Rome in December 2017, Weather & Temperature

This post covers what Rome is like in December and related topics ranging from weather and temperatures, what to wear and pack in your luggage to the crowds you’ll find, things to do and seasonal food and recipes you should try.

Credits: image by @Roma_Wonder

Weather and Average Temperature in Rome in December

Rome’s Winter, from December to February, is usually pretty mild compared to other destinations in Northern Europe. The average temperature is nearly 8°C (46,4 °F).

On sunny days maximum temperatures reach 12/15 °C ( 53,6 / 59,00 °F) during daytime. However, December in Rome is also the second wettest month of the year after November, so there can be rains as well. Weather forecasts are pretty unreliable due to sudden wind changes blowing from North.

In December temperatures tend to drop down after dark. Nights in Rome in December and January can be pretty cold with temperatures close to or below 0 degrees. The cold wind blowing from north usually makes Rome’s winter days cold, sunny and crisp. Snow is a pretty rare phenomenon in Rome, happening every 10 or 20 years.

During the first weeks of December it is not uncommon an autumn-like weather with mild temperatures around 15 °C (59 °F) accompanied by rain.

To sum up, winter in Rome sees the alternation of sunny and rainy days with mild temperatures during daytime and pretty cold nights especially due to the presence of cold north winds and a humid climate.

Sunset and Sundown

Days in December are pretty short. The winter solstice which happens on December 21st is the shortest day of the year. Sunset in Rome in December is approximately at 7:30 am, while sundown is at 4.30 pm / 4.45 pm.

Therefore by 5.00 pm it is already pretty dark in Rome. This is something you should take into account if you are planning to visit archaeological sites in Rome such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

What to wear in Rome in December

December in Rome brings lots of outdoor activities like visiting Christmas markets, strolling through squares decorated with Christmas trees and shopping from Christmas presents along with indoor events and concerts

Therefore, you will still want to pack warmly and comfortable clothes! When it comes to what to wear in Rome, no matter what time of year is, the first rule is to make sure you will be as comfortable as possible, especially with your feet! There’s nothing that could ruin your vacation like packing the wrong pair of shoes.

Make sure to pack sneakers, hiking shoes for long walks, and water proof shoes (leather boots for instance) in case of rain. Bring your best winter outfits and don’t forget a small umbrella!

This is a list of what we locals usually wear in Rome in December. Follow our lead to pack your luggage:

Hats, beanies and knit caps are a “must” in Rome in December, especially needed to warm yourself up during the cold evenings we previously talked about and to repair yourself from the wind and occasional rains.

Sunglasses! Yes, you will still need your sunglasses in Rome. After all, you are traveling to Italy which is known for its sunny weather. You will wear them in the morning, trust us!

Water-proof winter jackets are absolutely necessary in Rome in December, especially if you are planning to cover long distances walking to sightsee Rome’s attractions. Even better if you have a hooded jacket!

Make sure to pack both long sleeves shirts and T-shirts, along with sweaters and hoodies to make sure to stay warm in the evening and have some lighter clothes to wear in the morning on sunny days.

Scarfs and gloves: women in Italy love to wear wide scarfs on top of puffer coats! Other than being trendy, it is also a smart way to dress in layers. You will see that all men wear a scarf to keep them warm.

Bring jeans and warm pants such as heavy cotton trousers or even wool trousers. Women can bring their winter leggings to wear under wool dresses.

As for shoes we recommend you bring your sneakers and at least one other pair of waterproof shoes. Boots or ankle booties are a must in Rome in December!

Eventually, it is advisable to pack a small umbrella to carry on with you in case it suddenly starts raining. You will see that in Rome umbrella sellers pop out all of the sudden from every corner of Rome when it starts raining. However, most of the time those are poor quality umbrellas, which usually last for a couple of months. Stores like H&M or Zara sell small umbrella of better quality for a pretty cheap price.

Rome crowds in December

One of the best things about visiting Rome in December is that it is un-crowded! Traveling to Rome off-season has its advantages after all, one of them being that there are no long lines to visit Rome’s Attractions Highlights like the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Borghese Gallery, just to mention a few.

You won’t find many tourists in the Eternal City, while there’s usually a lot of traffic from locals and Italian visitors strolling around the city mostly for shopping or reuniting with their families for the holidays.

Activities and Things to do in Rome in December

As many other cities around the world, Rome in December has its own unique charm especially as Christmas Time approaches. There’s a festive atmosphere as iconic locations get decorated with Christmas ornaments, trees and as Christmas markets open up again.
December in Rome offers several activities and things to do, ranging from temporary exhibits to concerts.

For more information check out our Rome Upcoming Events page where you can filter the events by months to have a full overview of what is going on!

Seasonal Food

Some of the best Rome’s specialty dishes can be tasted in December! Seasonal ingredients such as artichokes, chicory and puntarelle gave birth to some of the most tasty recipes you can eat in Rome.