Packing for Rome in January

Packing for Rome in January? Wondering what to bring and what to wear when you visit Rome in January

pantheon in januaryJanuary is a wonderful time to visit Rome. Find out what to pack and what to wear.

Find out what kind of weather to expect, how to dress, and what not to leave at home!

Packing for Rome in January - what to bring and how to dress

Packing for Rome in January means layers, lots of layers!

January is definitely the heart of winter, and although Rome has relatively mild winters, it can still feel pretty cool at times.

Regardless of whether you’re visiting Rome in early January for New Years Eve, mid-January or at the end of January, it’s important to pack plenty of layers so you stay warm when exploring the city.

On this page you'll find:

The BEST packing cubes!

One of my favorite things to help me pack are these high-quality packing cubes.

They are super-sturdy, waterproof, and expandable.

They help me organize everything and keep stuff from moving around in my suitcase.

The packing cubes come in different sizes so it's also great for lumping together workout clothes or toilettries.

Dressing for the rain in Rome

Rain in Rome in January is definitely a possibility, but February and March tend to be the rainier months. And while it rarely snows in Rome, if you are prepared for rain, then you are prepared for snow.

It is very likely that there could be some rain if you visit Rome in January so be sure to come prepared for this!

A rain-hat is the perfect packable accessory - it doesn't take up much room but is so useful when you need it, plus it can easily be carried in a day-bag or backpack ready for when it’s needed.

I would also suggest packing a quality travel umbrella along with a waterproof jacket or poncho. 

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Packing for Rome in January - Essentials

After nearly 20 years of living here and experiencing the weather in Rome in January, I have lots of experience with dressing comfortably for walking around the city a lot throughout the month, just like you’ll be doing when you visit.

These are my personal recommendations for packing for Rome in January:

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This is the time of year in Rome to wear a warm and cozy winter hat.

They're easy to pack and keep in your bag as you walk around. Trust me, when temps drop as the sun goes down, you’ll appreciate a warm hat!

I own these e-tip gloves and just love them. They are perfect for cold weather, and I can keep them on while I use my phone to make calls or take pictures.

I've washed them more than once, and they still look brand new. 

A scarf is a must-have item throughout the year in Rome. In warmer weather, it's just fashionable. But in winter, I love having a large pashmina which I find is more versatile than just a regular scarf. I prefer a blend of cashmere and silk because it's not overly hot, and it doesn't make me itch.

Bonus - these are great for the plane ride too!

In Italy, men wear scarves year-round. It's partly for the fashion but mostly because Italians have a firm belief in always keeping your neck warm.

Another essential thing to include in your packing for Rome in January is a good jacket. The best option for what to wear when sight-seeing in Rome in cold weather is a waterproof hiking jacket, with removable lining.

I have several for when I hike, and I wear them around Rome in winter. It's really 3 jackets in one with the different combinations!

Here is a men's version of the same kind of jacket: waterproof, sporty, and with removable lining. It's the perfect travel jacket to include in your packing for Rome in January!

It doesn't hurt to travel in Rome (or anywhere) with a good travel umbrella. You can always buy one here, even off a street vendor if you get caught in the rain, but having one in your bag will prevent you getting wet in a sudden downpour!

I love mine, that has features like wind-resistant ribs, and a cool open AND close button.

When packing for Rome in January, heavy cotton pants or comfortable jeans are an excellent idea for men, women, and children alike.

warm cardigan, pullover, or turtleneck is a good idea as well.

Even when you take off your jacket, you will still stay warm and cozy.

half-zip or full-zip fleece is another great way to be warm and comfortable while sightseeing in Rome in January.

It's also easy to pack in your luggage, and to ball up and carry around in a small backpack when exploring the city.

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When packing for Rome in January, don't forget to include the following items in your packing list:

For more packing inspiration, watch my guide about what to pack for winter in Rome:

The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

What to wear in Rome in early, mid, and late January

You can expect wintery but relatively mild weather in Rome in January. Rome doesn't really get much sleet and snow (although it can happen on occasion).

On occasion you might find yourself in a quick hail shower, but again, it's not that common.

The temperatures stay fairly steady across January in Rome, averaging around 50-56 Fahrenheit/10-14 Celsuis during the day and dropping to around 34-40 Fahrenheit/1-4 Celsuis during the night. 

Packing for Rome in January? It's definitely winter so plan to layer and always be comfortable!

Whether you're packing for Rome in January for the beginning, middle or end of the month, you'll want to bring some good basics for layering such as cotton t-shirts or long-sleeved tops, jeans/cotton pants, a cardigan or pullover, and a rain-jacket with removable lining.

To be more specific:

Packing for Rome in early january

In early January, the weather in Rome can feel pretty chilly if the sun isn't shining (which is likely to be the case!) so be sure to pack warm layers and ensure you have a good waterproof coat or jacket with you.

It's definitely not shorts/t-shirt weather so stick with jeans or cotton pants and long-sleeved tops.

Here at the Spanish Steps in early January, you can see that everyone is wearing jackets or heavy jumpers, with scarves and hats a common sight.

I would also recommend carrying a scarf and gloves with you, ready for the afternoons and evenings when the temperature starts to drop.

Packing for Rome in Mid-january

If you're planning to visit Rome in mid-January, you can count on the weather still being wintery. However, the days are starting to get longer so it feels a bit warmer during the day.

It still is winter though so ensure you have a good selection of warm layers to keep you cosy. Bringing a jacket with removable layers is a great idea, as you can remove the heavier layer during the day when it feels warmer.

Looking over the Roman Forum late afternoon in mid-January, you can see that the sunshine is lasting longer and there are clear skies. You should be prepared for slightly warmer daytimes and cool evenings.

You could bring a short-sleeved top like a t-shirt but you'll definitely want to wear a pullover or cardigan AND a jacket as you walk around Rome during the day.

At night, you will want to wear at least a sweater/jumper plus a jacket. And don't forget that scarf!

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Packing for Rome in late january

By the end of January, the days are noticeably longer after the winter solstice on December 22 and while the evenings are still pretty cold, between 11am and 4pm it can be surprisingly warm and sunny.

Here at the Giardini degli Arancini in the morning, towards the end of January, you can see the sun is already pretty high in the sky.

If you're packing to visit Rome in late January, it still isn't shorts weather, but you may feel comfortable in a short-sleeved top and long pants - just remember to pack a good-quality jacket or coat to put on when the sun starts to set.

You may still want to bring a warm hat and gloves for the evenings when temps drop into the low digits.

General Rome packing tips for any time of year

So what else do you need to consider when packing for Rome in January?

These are just a few of my personal recommendations for what is essential to pack for Rome, any time of year:



Any medications you take, along with a list of these medications - I would recommend keeping these with you in your carry-on, rather than packing them in your checked luggage.


Photocopies of your passport.

Plug converters for your dual-voltage appliances. Voltage in Italy is 220, and in the US and some other countries, it's 110. Most electronic devices (cameras, cell phones, laptops, electric shavers) default to dual voltage, but you will need a plug adapter as the plug shapes are different here. This universal adapter covers you in multiple locations if you travel to different parts of the world.

Carrying a well-stocked first-aid kit will ensure peace of mind when traveling. I always like having one with me when I travel, it’s very handy for when you need something quickly.

Travel insurance isn't something to pack but it is something not to forget!

I can't tell you the times our B&B guests had lost luggage that never arrived, had flights cancelled or delayed, or had documents/wallets pickpocketed. Double check what your credit card covers - chances are you are not covered for what you need when these things happen!

I've got lots more suggestions for what to bring when you visit Rome.

See my page about What to Pack for Rome where you can download a handy packing list, and visit my Amazon page for all my shopping recommendations!

What to wear in Rome in January

So how should you dress when you visit Rome in January?

You will probably be walking a lot, so you need comfortable shoes.

Rule 1: Be Comfortable!

My number one rule for sightseeing in Rome, at any time of year: be comfortable.

This is most important for your shoes. It is crucial to wear good walking shoes, and good quality socks.

I would recommend only bringing shoes you have already broken in, and don’t worry about looking like a tourist - that’s exactly what you are!

Rule 2: Dress in Layers

The next rule, which is especially relevant for January is: dress in layers.

Since, as I mentioned, the weather in Rome in January changes significantly throughout the day, and it sometimes rain unexpectedly, it's necessary to wear layers that you can remove/put on easily such as cardigans/pullovers/jumpers and waterproof jackets.

This also means it's a good idea to wear a backpack as you walk around Rome, so you can have a place to put your layers if you take them off.

Bottom line, when packing for Rome in January, don't forget to:

  • Wear good walking shoes
  • Dress in jeans or heavy cotton pants
  • Wear a light cotton shirt with a sweater/cardigan 
  • Wear a waterproof coat/jacket 
  • Bring a warm hat and gloves
  • Last but not least, don't forget the Italian MUST WEAR - a scarf. Always a scarf.

If you are planning to go to an event, for example a wedding, opera or dinner at a special restaurant, then you may wish to bring something elegant to wear.

Otherwise, it is fine to wear more casual clothes to eat out at many restaurants in Rome so you do not need to pack much, if any, evening-wear.

Find more information on what to expect when traveling to Rome in January here or watch my YouTube video:

Visit our dedicated pages about what to pack for Rome for every month:

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