Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.
Need to know what to wear in Italy during winter? Read on.
More than 50 million tourists visit Italy annually and it’s not without reason. The country is nicknamed ‘Bel Paese’ meaning beautiful country. Its rich history, art, cultural heritage, fashion, cuisines, the beautiful Italian Alps, the glacial lakes, pretty alpine villages, and more instantly make you feel inspired to visit. Plus it shows up super cute on Instagram.
For tourists who don’t mind cold weather, winter is a great time to plan a vacation to Italy as there are numerous things to do and see. Apart from skiing and hiking, the opera, theatre, and main sites are also in full swing during the winter season.
If you are planning to visit Italy in winter, you are in the right place. I have put together a comprehensive and stylish packing list for you.
When to Visit Italy: Weather and Seasons
Italy’s weather condition varies in the two different parts of the country. The northern part usually has cold winters with hot summers while the southern part has mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.
Spring in Italy (March, April, and May): The best time of the year to visit Italy is in Spring. In March, the countryside starts to blossom although you can expect the nights and early mornings to still be chilly. April, on the other hand, welcomes spring in full swing and the blossoms and flower scents linger in the air. Finally, May weather starts to be warm and sunny in most parts of the country with an average temperature of 24oC. Therefore, even if you pack light clothes for the spring season, don’t forget to carry a warm jacket.
Summer in Italy (June, July, and August): Italians celebrate summer mostly by going to the beach. With July and August being the hottest months in the year, many locals and tourists head to the country’s beaches for some sunbathing and swimming. That’s because the average temperature is usually 30oC while the southern areas almost reach up to 40oC. To be able to enjoy the months, pack light clothes, sunscreen and plenty of hats and scarfs.
Fall in Italy (September, October, and November): Fall in Italy brings in different weather conditions during its three months period. September is often warm as August, although the evenings tend to be a bit chilly. By October, the temperature has gone down all over the peninsula with a higher probability of rainfall. November comes in as Italy’s rainiest month. Due to weather variations, you should pack warm and light clothes. See the packing list here.
Winter in Italy (December, January, and February): The three months make up the winter season which is the coldest time in Italy no matter what region you are in. Snow is common in most parts of the country in this season.
As for the months, December is cold but it isn’t the coldest month among the three. January is also cold, so much so that its last days are said to be the coldest in the year. February is also not left behind when it comes to the cold weather and is often wet almost everywhere in Italy. Since all the areas are cold, be sure to pack all warm clothes with a pair or two of winter boots.
What to Wear in Italy in Winter
- Two cardigans: To keep you warm throughout your stay.
- 1-2 x jacket/coats: Since Italy gets quite cold, it’s advisable to carry two warm jackets. However, if your luggage bag does not have enough space to carry two, you can settle for one.
- 1-2 x warm boot: Since you are planning to be outside most of the time, two pairs of warm boots are ideal for you. To save space and luggage weight ensure you wear one of the boots during the flight.
- I pair of sneakers: The sneakers are meant for any planned activity that doesn’t require wearing boots.
- 1-2 x pairs of gloves: with Italy being so cold in the winter, gloves come in handy especially if you are visiting the alpine villages.
- 4-5 x socks: Even if you are staying for more than five days, the socks are easily washable in a sink.
- Tops/ shirts x 4-7: Long sleeves are the best to keep you warm. If you don’t have enough space you can carry only four and just hand wash them in the hotel.
- Sleepwear: Should be warm and comfortable.
- 1 -2 x scarfs
- 6-10 pairs of underwear
- 3-5 bras
- 1-3 x woolen hat/beanie
What to Pack for Italy in Winter: Other Items
- Phone and charger
- Digital camera and lenses- If you can only afford one lens go for the wide-angle lenses
- 2 or 3 8GB Memory cards- This will help you out in case one memory card fails or get lost
- International adapter
- Camera’s charger and batteries
- Portable battery to charge a phone or a camera
- Non prescription medicine for stomach ache and other mild illnesses
- Anti-acid medicine in case you eat too much spicy food
- Prescribed medicine – Remember to carry the prescription in case you need a refill or are asked at the airport.
Makeup & Toiletries
- Toothbrush & toothpaste (travel-sized tube)
- Regular makeup kit and a travel-sized makeup bag
- Travel-sized solid shampoo and conditioner
- Hand and Body lotion
- Suitcase: It is ideal since you put everything in one place
- Backpack: Suitable if you are not carrying a lot of clothes. The Osprey 55 liter is a great choice
- Belt/ Neck Wallet: It is safe for keeping your personal documents such as passport, credit card, or ID card as well as any cash on hand.
- 2 bank cards such as a Master Card and a Visa
- A lock for your suitcase or bag as well as a dorm locker lock
- Photocopies / photo of your documents such as identity card, passport, among other travel documents. To be safe, leave some copies with a family member or close friend back home.
Don’t Forget to Pack Travel Insurance | Italy Packing List for Winter
Travel insurance should be on top of your list as you plan your trip to Italy. There is nothing more disappointing than being limited to having fun while you are on your long planned vacation.
Unfortunately, this can happen if you happen to lose your personal valuables or any medical emergency arises. To make sure you enjoy every bit of your vacation, select the best travel insurance that will cater to all your travel needs.
Packing List for Italy in Winter: Safety and Health
Italy is a safe place to travel. However, being a popular tourist destination, pickpockets are also drawn to the crowded tourist attractions. To avoid being pickpocketed on the crowded areas, keep your valuables close like in a neck wallet. Also, make sure you don’t carry all your cash when on the move.
As for medical care, Italy offers pretty good health care. The country has a nationalized health care for its citizens as well as residents known as the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). It can also be used by tourists for emergency services. Nonetheless, the tourists have to pay the medical bills from their own pocket or straight from their travel insurance cover.
Popular Day Tours in Italy
- Bernina Express Train & St. Moritz Tour
You can take the panoramic Bernina Express Train and enjoy the spectacular landscapes of Swiss Alps to the luxury resort of St. Moritz. While the train climbs up 2256 meters above sea level, you will get a two and half an hour chance to capture amazing photos of the remarkable landscapes.
After reaching the luxury resort of St. Moritz, you will get an opportunity to take a stroll and explore the various shops in the resort. See prices here.
- Opera Concert at Palazzo Santa Chiara in Rome
You can attend a one hour opera concert at the Palazzo Santa Chiara and listen to magical music as you admire the stunning theatre architecture. If you arrive early you can head to the cocktail bar and grab yourself a drink. Get to relax for some few minutes as you wait for other audience to arrive for the concert.
A few minutes before the concert starts, you can join other guests in the intimate auditorium to enjoy a one-hour nonstop musical performance. Find more details here.
- Poveglia Haunted History Private Tour
Visit Poveglia Island considered being one of the most haunted islands in the world. You get to explore the desolated grounds of a plague quarantine building which was once a hospital from 1403 to 1630. Furthermore, you get a chance to discover the lagoon around the historical Poveglia Island. Find more about it here.
Where to Stay in Italy
Budget: Hotels in Rome can be a bit expensive, being one of the most visited cities in Italy. Generator Rome is one of the more budget options. It’s 10 minutes’ walk from Terminal Central Station so handy if you that’s your chosen mode of transport. There’s free wifi too.
Mid-range: For a midrange option, Le Clarisse is a great choice. It offers stylish rooms with air-conditioning, a mini-bar and television. There is a private courtyard that you can enjoy the buffet breakfast in too.
Luxury: Hassler Roma is one of the more well known hotels in Rome and is a great option if you have a bigger budget. It has nice rooms and suites with free WIFI. The hotel also has a sauna, a Turkish bath and a gym as amenities. You can also eat at the hotel.
Budget: Don’t worry, Florence has some cheaper options that Rome. Hotel Montreal is a budget hotel that has air-conditioned rooms, a flat-screen TV and free WIFI. Reception is open 24/7 (at time of writing), and there’s also a coffee bar. The staff can help you organize trips in Florence and the surrounds.
Mid-range: Hotel Perseo is a nice, laidback hotel. All rooms free WIFI and flat-screen TVs. The higher priced rooms also have stunning city views. There are also rooms available with extra beds if you’re traveling in a larger group. There’s also a breakfast buffet on offer for guests.
Luxury: Hotel De LA Ville is a lovely luxury hotel found in the centre of the city. It has classic rooms as well as superior rooms. Both options have private bathrooms and cozy beds. There’s also a safe in the rooms.
For hotel ideas in other Italian cities, visit the Hotels Combined website.
Italy is a fabulous place to spend your vacation. With its numerous activities and sights to visit, you will find yourself having a hard time on which places to visit first.
If you are visiting Italy in winter, the packing list discussed above will prove a great help.