Italy in winter tends to attract a particular type of traveller; someone that is not afraid of a cooler climate, enjoys festive activities and one that is savvy enough to plan their trip for when flights and accommodation are significantly cheaper.
In winter, Italy thrives. With an array of museums, winter sports and seasonal markets in full swing, there is something to cater for all tastes. If you’re planning a trip to Italy during the cooler months, pay close attention to our perfect Italy packing list for winter.
Sit back, pack, and relax.
Winter in the South Tyrol, the Italian Dolomiti is nothing short of spectacular! Everything is memorable about this unique location. The people, the food, the skiing and the natural beauty are all unbeatable. There is huge amount of skiable terrain for all abilities in the Dolomiti Superski system. Ski from village to village, indulging in everything they have to offer, each location just as charming as the next. Whether traveling as a family, single or planning a romantic getaway, this region is a must for the bucket list! – Marla, Marla Meridith
Weather in Italy during Winter
In the north of Italy, there is a much higher chance of snow and it can be quite cold. The further south you travel, there is a much lower chance of snowfall however, you will still need to be prepared for a cooler climate.
- December: Average temperature in Rome: 10°C
With a range of festive activities to enjoy and while the temperatures are cool, visitors can still explore Italy without being limited by harsh weather conditions.
- January: Average temperature in Rome: 8°C
Celebrate the new year in style across Italy. If you are a skiing-enthusiast, January would be the best time to visit.
- February: Average temperature in Rome: 9°C
As Italy slowly moves away from the peak of winter, visitors should still expect to brave cold mornings and mild afternoons.
Winter in Italy can be amazing if you are willing to plan ahead. Head north for ski resorts and winter sports, or stick to the central and southern locations for a taste of the dolce vita. Plan to explore indoor food markets, museums and historic sites that can be toured without any worries about the weather. But most of all, leave plenty of time in your schedule for meals filled with hearty Italian comfort food. – Natalie, An American in Rome
What kind of clothing should you pack?
For many individuals, packing for a trip abroad can evoke a feeling of excitement. For others, the mere thought of packing can send even the most seasoned explorer into a total head spin. This is why we’ve compiled a list of essentials.
- A jacket – You can leave your huge snow jacket at home (unless you will be skiing, of course), as a light, mid-length down or waterproof jacket should do the trick. Take a look at affordable offerings from the likes of Uniqlo, H&M, Lululemon or similar high street stores. If you’re living in the opposite hemisphere of Italy and find yourself unable to purchase a warm jacket before you jet off, you can easily find one when you arrive.
- Layers –A few thin layers can help build a cosy outfit – minus the bulk-factor. These layers can quickly be removed when the inside temperature skyrockets at restaurants or inside some museums. Consider merino thermals for a base layer, a thin sweater or hoodie featuring wool where possible, and a windproof jacket to complete the look.
- A scarf – A scarf in Italy during winter will officially be your best friend.
- Gloves or mittens – With a number of smartphone compatible touchscreen gloves on the market, there is no excuse not to keep your phalanges warm during your winter sojourn. If you’re more of a mitten fan, we would also encourage you to go for it.
- Proper socks – Cheap, cotton socks are highly absorbent and will hold any excess sweat or water close to the skin, resulting in nasty blisters. Consider packing merino or bamboo socks instead. Both feature natural moisture-wicking, antibacterial technology and are super warm.
What kind of shoes should you pack?
- Waterproof shoes –We need to talk about your feet because they deserve to be protected and treated with love. With cobblestones and uneven surfaces found across most parts of Italy, you will need sturdy, waterproof shoes or boots. If you plan on staying south or if bulky hiking boots are not your style, consider one of the many waterproof versions of your favourite sneakers including Vans or Converse.
- Gumboots – While they might not keep your feet warm, they will absolutely keep them dry. Hunter wellies or a less-expensive option will do.
What extras should you pack?
- A small umbrella –Despite what we said earlier about a light jacket or coat doing the trick, an inexpensive umbrella from the same place just won’t cut it. Invest in a small, sturdy umbrella to take away with you.
- Disposable hand and foot warmers –Available via Amazon or most outdoor stores, disposable hand and foot warmers are essential for travellers with poor circulation.|
- Sunglasses –Vibrant blue skies are a common feature up in the northern regions of Italy even during winter, so a pair of sunglasses will never go astray.
- Packing cubes –In short: a total lifesaver. While this may not fit within the above wardrobe suggestions, packing cubes will allow you to squeeze bulky items in your suitcase with neatly organised, colour-coordinated cubes. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. Take a look at Amazon among other sites for low-cost alternatives in all sizes.
I have been to Italy many times, I love to travel to this amazing country, but my last trip to Trentino was just pure magic. Trentino has everything I love, spectacular mountain ranges, superb hiking routes, awfully picturesque cute little villages and food to die for. Not to mention some of the best cultural and music events such as Sounds of the Dolomites Festival. It is a must place to visit in winter if you are a mountain lover! – Marysia, My Travel Affairs
And there you have it, the perfect Italy packing list for winter. Did we miss anything?
Share in the comments below and tell us what you would pack.