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What to wear in Italy in December

What to wear in Italy in December

Want to know what to wear in Italy in December? Winter firmly starts in December and as you would expect the temperatures plunge. In this guide we tell you everything to pack for Italy in December whichever region you are traveling too as well as give you tips on dress codes in Italy as well as what to wear for Christmas in Italy.

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Weather in Italy in December

December marks the beginning of Winter in Italy and temperatures and conditions start to get cooler. But how cold is Italy in December?

How Cold is Italy in December?

Murano glass Christmas tree and Murano Clock Tower
What to pack for Italy in December

It really depends on the region of Italy you are visiting as to what the temperatures are like. Generally speaking however you can expect the temperatures in Italy in December to be:

  • Central Italy: average temperature range of 39°F / 4°C to 55°F / 13°C.
  • Northern Italy: average temperature range of 33°F / 1°C to 45°F / 7°C and
  • Southern Italy: 43°F / 6°C to 58°F / 14°C.
  • Islands: 52°F / 11°C to 61°F / 16° C.

Therefore it really depends on where you are travelling to as to how many layers you need and how thick they should be.

Does it Rain in Italy in December?

The good news is that generally speaking Italy in December is less rainy than Italy in November.

However if you are on one of the islands and in cities such as Palermo it is actually one of the rainier times of year to visit.

Generally speaking however on mainland Italy you can expect 10mm to 40mm of rainfall in the month, with the South being significantly more rainy than the North.

To get a more accurate weather overview, be sure to check out our monthly city what to wear guides:

And if you trip spans two months be sure to check out our other monthly guides:

Does it Snow in Italy in December?

Yes it can snow in December in Italy, however you will find that the amount of snow really varies depending on the area you are traveling to.

Generally speaking the mountainous regions in the North will see snow in December i.e. the region north of Milan. And on some rare occasions the Northern cities such as Milan and Turin may get some snow too.

However the further south you go the more unlikely you are to get snow i.e. Rome is very unlikely and Naples is almost unheard of.

Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.

How do locals dress in Italy in December

Locals at Turin Christmas MArket in Italy in December
What to wear in Italy in December

If you want to be more in keeping with the locals you will need to know how locals in Italy dress.

Locals in Italy have firmly transitioned into their Winter Capsule Wardrobe. As such you are likely to see lots of coats and jackets, boots and plenty of pashminas.

For help in packing a Winter capsule wardrobe in Italy check out these posts:

What to wear in Italy in December

What to Wear in Italy in December for Women

Woman walking in Italian Street in Winter clothes in Italy in December celebrating Christmas
What to wear in Italy in December

So now you know what to expect from the weather, what should you wear in Italy in December for women?

Winter Coat

Although it is unlikely that you will in my opinion you won’t need thick thermal coats in Italy in December, except for on higher ground. However a warm winter coat is a definite must.

And no matter the month of travel you will find Italians are a stylish bunch so you will see locals wearing smarter Winter coats as opposed to walking jackets.

Click here to shop winter coats for Italy. 

Woolen Hat or Beanie, scarves and gloves

Winter accessories are a must for Italy in December.

I would also recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. Also as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs we recommend your gloves being touch screen compatible.

Click here to shop winter accessories


Trousers are my go to bottom layer for Italy in December even over skirts and dresses. That is because they cope with windy and chilly weather better.

And unlike in summer, jeans are a great choice for Italy in December as you do need a heavier weight trouser.

On top of jeans I would also have some smarter trousers such as thick wool trousers or some cordoroy pants too for going out at night or going for dinner in Italy.

And no matter the month you travel black is a great color selection for Italy.

Click here to shop trousers for Italy.


Although I tend to avoid dresses for sightseeing in December, I would usually take one with me for evenings out.

However I would always pack a pair thick tights to wear with a dress as nights can be chilly especially in the north. And as sneakers aren’t commonly seen in restaurants in Italy, these types of dresses pair well with ankle or knee high boots.

Click here to shop long sleeve dresses for Italy here.


For warmer days in December blouses are a good choice as well as for dinners with a smart casual dress code paired with a nice cardigan.

Click here to shop blouses


A smart cardigan is a great top layer for dining in Italy. I usually pair a smart cardigan with a t shirt or blouse in Winter.

Click here to shop cardigans.

T Shirts

T Shirts are great for Italy no matter whether you are visiting beaches, mountains, countryside or cities. For December. I recommend packing more long sleeve over and short sleeve t shirts as the weather in December is chilly.

I also recommend packing plain color t shirts if you want to blend in more with the locals. I would also leave text shirts and graphic tees at home as these aren’t very Italian. Click here to shop t shirts.


A pashmina should be on your Italian packing list no matter the month you are visiting but are especially important for December.

Pashminas can act as a scarf or extra layer on cooler nights and can help make your outfit more modest for visits to churches in Italy. Click here to shop pashminas.


For December I recommend packing heavier weight pyjamas as the temperatures start to drop.

Underwear and Socks

Goes without saying.

What to Pack for Italy in December for Men

If you want to know what to pack for Italy in December for men, I would say the same general principles apply for men and women i.e. lots of layers and smart coats.


Chinos or jeans are great for day and night in Italy. And for very cold Decembers then wool trousers are another good addition to the packing list.

Shop men’s travel chinos here.

T Shirts and Shirts

During the day t shirts are great. For December you are likely to need more long sleeve tees.

Again I would recommend avoiding anything with a graphic or slogan or in overly loud colors if you want to fit in with the locals. 

Also, as Italians tend to dress more smartly for dinner I would recommend adding some shirts with you for eating out in Italy.


As with the women’s packing list we recommend bringing a smart coat with you for Winter. The further North you travel and the higher the altitude the thicker the coat you need.

Click here to shop mens rain coats on amazon.


Layers are essential in form of cardigans or sweaters and you will need more the later in the month you decide to visit.

Usually for December I recommend a cardigan, a hoodie, smart sweater and a coat for a week.

Best Shoes for Italy in December

It doesn’t matter the month you are visiting Italy, there will always be a lot of walking involved. For this reason out top shoe pick are:

Ankle Boots

These are perfect for going out for dinner in the winter months in Italy. Again something that has some waterproofing is a good choice as well as a sole and shorter, thicker heel that can cope with the uneven terrains of Italian cities.

Click here to shop ankle boots.

Personally I recommend packing ankle boots as these are easier to pack than knee high or longer length boots. However if you have space and these are more your style then feel free to pack.

For more information on how to pack boots for travel check out this post.

As well as boots we also recommend packing:


Sneakers are great for sightseeing in Italy no matter the season. And don’t worry about locals not wearing them, I promise you they do!

For December we recommend packing a sneaker with a bit of waterproofing or at least some water resistance due to the amount of rain that falls this month. Our favorite brand is Ecco.

What to Pack for Italy in December (non-clothing)

Christmas tree in Rome Italy in December
What to pack for Italy in December

So now you know the clothes to pack for Italy in December, what other items should be on your what to pack for Italy in December list .

Personally I always pack the below for Italy in December:

How to dress in Italy in December for Special Events

There are no real special events in Italy in December that have special dress codes. However Christmas is obviously widely celebrated in Italy and the festivities will obviously have an impact on your clothing choices.

Christmas Markets in Italy

For instance you may be wondering what to wear to Christmas markets in Italy. Although not as renowned as the Christmas markets in Germany, there are in fact many Christmas markets and outdoor festivities.

If you plan on attending these you will need to make sure you pack for the cold including lots of layers and a warm winter coat plus Winter accessories.

I personally like sweaters made out of merino wool for this time of year. That is because they are thin and relatively light to pack however are very warm and insulating.

However there are no other dress codes at Italian Christmas markets.

Mass at Christmas in Italy

Although churches in Italy have always had a dress code, you will find that when people go to mass for special events such as Christmas that people will dress even more smartly than usual.

We recommend that if you plan on attending mass in Italy over Christmas that you stick to a smart casual dress code as opposed to a casual one. This is especially important if you plan on attending Midnight Mass in Italy.

What to wear to Christmas Dinner in Italy

If you are celebrating Christmas in Italy, you may be wondering what to wear to Christmas dinner. The truth is that restaurants in Italy don’t tend to have dress code that is different on Christmas.

However we would recommend sticking to smart casual clothing. But a bit of sparkle and glitter or lace would be appropriate to wear on Christmas day or throughout December.

FAQs about Italy in December

Do you need a coat in December in Italy?

Yes a coat is absolutely essential for December in Italy. In fact I would personally pack a warmer coat as opposed to a jacket for those traveling to Italy in December. And the further north you are traveling, the warmer the coat will need to be.

Can you wear jeans in Italy in December?

As Winter has firmly arrived in Italy in December, jeans are actually a really sensible choice for what to pack for Italy.

However I would always select a pair in a darker color than is more tailored / skinny fit as these are more in keeping with local fashion sensibilities.

Have you been to Italy in December? What did you wear? We would love to hear in the comments.