Rome’s impressive monuments, world-renowned art, delicious food, and incredible architecture draw in millions of visitors worldwide each year. However, one question most tourists ask is whether it snows in Rome. You wouldn’t want to plan a dream vacation only to be met with cold weather and snow.
Snow is a rare phenomenon in Rome. However, there have been few instances where Rome has experienced a sprinkling of the white stuff. Most recently was in February 2018, while the snowfall of 1956 remains the most significant in the city’s history as a blanket of snow covered the Eternal City.
But don’t let the possibility of snow deter you from visiting Rome – the Eternal City is beautiful every season! Read on to learn more about winters in Rome, whether it’s worth visiting the city during the winter months, and what to pack for a winter trip.
Does It Snow In Rome?
Snow is a rare event in Rome, but it has been known to happen occasionally. For the last 20 years or so, there have only been a handful of times, seven to be exact, that snow has fallen in the City of Rome.
Most of it has been light dusting that has quickly turned to slush, but the flakes that fell in February of 2018 were a little more substantial. That being said, even the most significant snowfall in recent memory is nothing compared to what the Eternal City saw back in 1956.
What Are Winters Like in Rome?
Winters in Rome are relatively mild, with temperatures averaging between 42°F (5.5°C) and 54°F (12°C). Winter starts in November and lasts until mid-March. January and February are the coldest months, with rains occurring every few days. Night temperatures can drop below freezing around 25°F (–4°C).
Overcast skies are typical in winter, but you can also expect some sunny days, with highs of 59°F (15°C) not uncommon. Mild winds and rain characterize cloudy periods. When the sun does make an appearance, it’s a welcome relief from the gloominess.
If you’re planning to visit Rome in winter, pack some warm clothes but don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen – you might be surprised by a sunny day! The warmest clothes you’ll need are a jacket, scarf, and hat. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is also essential as you’ll be doing a lot of walking to explore Rome’s extensive historical center.
Is Rome Worth Visiting in Winter?
Despite the chilly temperatures and occasional rain showers, there are plenty of reasons to visit Rome during winter. The city is much less crowded than during peak tourist season, making it the perfect time to explore Rome’s famous landmarks and attractions without the hordes of people.
Winter is also a great time to sample Rome’s hearty and delicious cuisine – there’s nothing better than a bowl of steaming pasta to warm you up on a cold day! The fresh, seasonal produce used in winter dishes is also a treat for the taste buds.
Visiting Rome in winter is also cheaper as accommodation rates are cheaper due to low demand. You’ll find that many tours and attractions offer discounts during the winter months. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly vacation, winter is the best time to visit Rome.
You’ll also love the pop-up Christmas markets, which start mid-November and continue until early January. You can get your hand on unique handmade gifts, sample traditional Christmas foods, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
What To Pack for a Winter Trip to Rome
Proper preparation is key to enjoying a winter trip to Rome. Knowing what to pack will help you make the most of your vacation and ensure you’re comfortable in the colder weather. Here are a few essential items to pack for your winter trip to the Eternal City:
Keeping warm and cozy is key to enjoying all Rome offers in winter. Temperatures can dip below freezing at night, and you might get sick if you don’t dress appropriately. Some warm clothes you can pack include:
- A warm coat
- A scarf
- Hats and gloves
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Jeans or pants
Rain is a common occurrence in Rome during winter. December is the rainiest month, with an average of 100 mm (3.9 inches) of rainfall. January and February are not far behind, with 70 mm (2.8 inches) of rain each month. To stay dry, pack:
- An umbrella or raincoat
- Waterproof shoes or boots
- A change of clothes in case you get wet
Sunscreen and Sunglasses
Although it’s not as sunny as in summer, Rome still has plenty of sunny hours during winter. When the sun does appear, the rays can be pretty strong. Be sure to pack:
- A hat or visor
Comfortable Walking Shoes
Rome is a mecca of tourist attractions, including the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Galleria Borghese, many of which are within walking distance. Since you’ll be doing a lot of walking, comfortable shoes are a must. Skechers, Converse, and Vans are all excellent choices. Their light weight and flexibility will make walking around Rome a breeze.
Other Useful Items
To make the most of your winter trip to Rome, you should pack a few other items:
- A portable battery charger: Rome is a big city, and you’ll want to have your phone handy to take photos and navigate your way around.
- A city map: Rome can be confusing to navigate, especially if you don’t speak Italian. A city map will help you get around with ease.
- A travel guidebook: This is a great way to learn about Rome’s history and culture.
- A small first-aid kit: This is always a good idea, especially if you have allergies or medical conditions.
- Travel documents: Don’t forget to pack your passport, visa, and other required documents. You don’t want TSA agents’ wrath to befall you at the airport.
Does Milan Get Snow?
Milan, like the mountainous region of Italy, gets its fair share of snowfall from December to January. The snowfall is moderate, about 2-4 in (50.8-101.6 mm) per month. However, because of its low altitude and Mediterranean climate, the snow doesn’t stay on the ground for long, melting within a day.
If you’re looking to experience a true winter wonderland in Milan, The Aosta Valley forms the perfect snow paradise, with its high altitude, picturesque villages, and world-famous ski resorts. Just a few hours’ drive from Milan, this is the place to be if you’re looking to hit the slopes or enjoy a winter wonderland.
While snow is not common in Rome, it occasionally happens between December and February. Pack warm clothes and rain gear if you’re planning a trip to Rome during winter. And don’t forget your comfortable walking shoes! With these essential items, you’ll enjoy all Rome has to offer, snow or no snow.