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What to wear in Italy in January

What to wear in Italy in January

Want to know what to wear in Italy in January? Winter is in full swing throughout Italy in January and both the crowds and the temperatures are at their lowest. In this guide we tell you everything to pack for Italy in January whichever region you are traveling too as well as give you tips on dress codes in Italy too.

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Weather in Italy in January

January sees Winter in full swing in Italy, and across the country you can expect cool temperatures. But how cold is Italy in January?

How Cold is Italy in January?

It really depends on the region of Italy you are visiting as to how cold the temperatures are. But generally speaking you can expect the temperatures in Italy in January to be coolest in the north and warmest in the South with temperature ranges such as:

  • Central Italy (covering Rome): average temperature range of 5 to 13 C / 40 to 55 F.
  • Northern Italy including Milan, the Italian Lakes and the Alps: average temperature range of 4 to -5 C / 25 to 45 F and
  • Southern Italy with an average temperature range of 10 to 16 C / 50 to 60 F.

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

For more specific local weather guidance check out our seasonal regional posts:

Does it Rain in Italy in January?

Italy in January, especially on the lower grounds does tend to be a damp and cold month. However any rainfall you see normally comes in showers rather than huge deluges.

But even though the rain is not excessive, we recommend packing a waterproof top layer and shoes as well as always having a compact travel umbrella always to hand.

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

Does it Snow in Italy in January?

Leaning Tower of Pisa in Winter
What to Pack for Pisa

Yes it can snow in January in Italy, and it can be one of the snowier months depending on where in the country you are traveling.

Generally speaking the mountainous regions in the North will see snow in January 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.

However I think Italy in the snow is a beautiful place to visit and makes for stunning photographs.

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 January

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 January

What to Wear in Italy in January for Women

Woman in Venice in January in winter clothes
What to wear in Italy in January

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

Winter Coat

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

If you can get something with some wind and water resistance it is always a good idea.

Click here to shop winter coats for Italy. 

Note: if you are traveling with a thick coat and worried about packing be sure to check out our guide on how to pack Winter Coats for travel.

Woolen Hat or Beanie, scarves and gloves

Winter accessories are a must for Italy in January and can actual help to make a winter outfit look more complete.

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 January 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 January as you do need a heavier weight trouser. In fact you could even get away with a pair of fleece lined jeans for the North of Italy in January

On top of jeans I would also have some smarter trousers such as thick wool trousers or some corduroy 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 January, 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 January 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.

And as a personal style choice I don’t think you can go wrong with a camel colored cardigan in Italy in Winter.

Click here to shop cardigans.


Jumpers are the main staple of Italian wardrobe in Winter for both day and night wear. Something plainer is more suitable in the day but you can do something sparkly or glittery for a jumper at night. 

I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe. That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.

Click here to shop jumpers 

T Shirts

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

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

Underwear and Socks

Goes without saying. I like to pack merino wool socks for Winter travel. They are thinner than hiking socks but are insulating so are good for cold weather.

What to Pack for Italy in January for Men

MAn in Winter coat taking photograph of Roman landscape in Winter
What to wear in Rome in Winter

So now you know what to pack for women in Italy in January, we will turn our attention to a men’s packing list. Alongside our regular men’s travel essentials we recommend adding the following items to your men’s packing list for Italy in Winter:


Chinos or jeans are great for day and night in Italy. And for very cold Januarys 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 January 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 coat with you for Winter. The further North you travel and the higher the altitude the thicker the coat you need. And something with some wind resistance and water proofing is always good

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

Best Shoes for Italy in January

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 picks for visiting in January 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 January 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 January (non-clothing)

Man taking photo of Trevi Fountain in January
What to wear in Italy in January

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

Personally I always pack the below for Italy in January:

How to dress in Italy in January for Special Events

There are no real special events in Italy in January that have special dress codes.

FAQs about Italy in January

Do you need a coat in January in Italy?

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

Can you wear jeans in Italy in January?

As Winter has firmly arrived in Italy in January, 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.

And if you are going to the North, a fleece lined pair is another great option.

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