In this what to wear in Rome in January we tell you everything that needs to be on your Rome Winter packing list from the best shoes for Rome in winter to what to wear in Rome at night.
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Weather in Rome in January
Rome in January is definitely still mid-winter. In fact Winter is full swing in January and it is often the coldest month of the year in the Eternal City.
This means you can expect relatively cold weather. However you shouldn’t worry that this will affect your enjoyment of the city.
Note: It is worth being aware that the weather between the months in Rome changes quite dramatically. If your trip spans a couple of months then please be sure to check out our other monthly guides:
Is it cold in Rome in January?
As January is one of the Winter months in Rome you can expect to experience some cold weather. In fac it is often the coldest month of the year in Rome.
The average high in Rome in January hovers around 12C/53.6F but the low drops to around 3C/37.4F. So it can feel chilly if you are visiting in January and requires some layers and a winter coat at the minimum.
Does it rain a lot in January in Rome?
Rome in January is actually not the wettest month of the year. However on average you can expect to get around 7 days of rain in January in Rome but this is usually just showers rather than whole days of downpours.
However it is still worth having a compact travel umbrella with you as well as some waterproof layers such as a coat and shoes.
Does it snow in January in Rome?
Snow is exceptionally rare in Rome even in January which is often the coldest month of the year. However on the rare occurrences when there has been snow in Rome it has been in January and February. Therefore it is worth keeping an eye on your weather app for those rare occasions.
Note: if you are planning on going to Italy for skiing, check out our skiing capsule wardrobe. This will provide more specific skiing packing list info as this guide is a more general Italy packing list rather than a Winter sports one.
And if you are traveling to other regions of Italy be sure to check out our other seasonal specific Italy packing lists:
- What to wear in Florence in Winter
- What to wear in Italy in January
- What to wear in Milan in Winter
- What to wear to Venice in Winter
- What to wear to Pompeii
- What to wear in Naples
- What to wear to the Amalfi Coast
- What to wear in Puglia
- What to wear in Cinque Terre
- What to wear in Lake Como
- What to wear in Positano
Note: although the weather in this guide are historical averages however we advise always checking the weather at your destination 7 days in advance in case of anomalies such as cold snaps and heat waves.
What to Wear in Rome in January
Note: While this Rome in January packing list covers the city of Rome what it does not cover:
- the Vatican City
The reason for this is because the Vatican Dress Code is very strict and has a specific dress code. Also if you are worried about what to wear to other tourist attractions in then be sure to check out our related Rome guides:
- Your Colosseum Dress Code Questions Answered
- Your Pantheon Dress Code Questions Answered
- Your Rome Dress Code Questions Answered
- Your Italian Church Dress Code Questions Answered.
Best Shoes for Rome in January
Boots should be top of any packing list for Rome in January. In fact I think ankle boots are the best shoes for Rome in Winter full stop.
I find a smarter shoe such as an ankle boot more appropriate for dinners in Rome than a sneaker. The reason for this is because Rome can be both cold and rainy in January. However if you pick boots just be sure they aren’t high heeled or thin heeled – these should be on your what not to pack for Rome list.
I like an ankle boot that is water proof and also has a thick heel and good sole that will work on Rome’s uneven streets.
This is because the streets are Rome are cobbled and uneven and you will be doing lots of walking during your Rome itinerary so you need to make sure your shoes and boots are practical for this.
Both ankle boots and knee high boots are acceptable for women and you should definitely just pick the pair you feel most comfortable in. However knee high boots can be more difficult to pack due to their size.
Despite some internet rumour sneakers are perfectly acceptable to wear in Rome or anywhere in Italy. In fact whenever I go to Rome whatever time of year my number one go to shoe is a sneaker as they cope well with the terrain and are without doubt the most comfortable walking shoe.
My favorite sneaker brands for travel are Hoka and AllBirds as these are so comfortable for doing lots of walking. However you are also can’t go wrong with the versatile white sneaker. My favorite white sneaker is Addidas Cloud Foam brand.
But you should pick whatever you feel most comfortable in as there is nothing worse than getting a blister during your vacation.
What to wear in Rome in January for women
So now you know what to expect from the weather, what should you wear in Rome in Winter?
But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Rome in Winter for women and men, we wanted to reiterate that we think it is a great idea to pack a capsule wardrobe.
It means you are less likely to lose your luggage when traveling and prevents you from overpacking. For help in packing a capsule wardrobe check out these posts:
So what does a Rome Winter Packing List look like for women? In our opinion you should have the below on your list:
A coat is an essential for any Rome Winter packing list. A puffer type coat is a great shout for Rome in Winter or even a parka as this can cope with all types of Roman weather.
Winter accessories are a must for Italy in January.
I would also recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look.
Also it is worthwhile taking with you gloves that are touch screen compatible. You are likely to be taking lots of photographs in Rome, and you don’t want to have to take off your gloves every time you need to use your phone.
Again despite internet rumours again we want to clarify that jeans are perfectly acceptable to wear in Rome especially in Winter.
But if you want to look like a local in Rome then we advise picking jeans that are:
- darker in color
- more fitted
- not ripped
Although you can wear baggy jeans or pale coloured jeans in Rome these aren’t really worn by the locals.
You may even decided that a pair of fleece lined jeans are most appropriate for the weather.
Alongside jeans we also recommend packing other smart trousers. As Rome in January can be cold a pair of wooden trousers or cords would be perfect for sightseeing in Rome in this month.
We also love a black pant for anywhere in Italy (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel at the moment).
Also I like to include darker colors in my Rome winter capsule wardrobe as this fits in with local styles.
Romans are very stylish and my go to for a dinner in Rome in January has to be a smart woolen dress paired with tights and boots such as a sweater dress or a jumper dress. This is perfect for warmth and comfort while still looking elegant on a night out in Rome.
Longer length skirts
I would put short skirts on the what not to wear in Rome list but a longer length skirt is perfect for Rome in January. But I would advise you not to pick a skirt with a slit as this isn’t appropriate for visiting Italian churches and be sure to also add
Tights are an essential if you plan on wearing dresses or skirts in the Winter in Rome.
Blouses are exceptional versatile and easy to layer so are really great for packing for Rome in January. I like to pair them with a cardigan or sweater.
I never go to Rome without having some t shirts with me. For Rome in January I usually pick a combination of both long and short sleeve t shirts for versatility.
These act as great layers but can also be used as a top layer if you suddenly get a warm snap.
I recommend making your t shirt selection carefully however as Italians tend to opt for plain dark t shirts rather than anything bold or with graphics. These are types of shirts are definitely on my what not to wear in Rome list.
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.
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.
A Pashmina is top of my Rome packing list for every season and that is because of its versatility. In fact pashminas always go on my packing lists wherever in the world I am traveling.
As you are traveling to Rome in January this can double up as both a scarf or extra layer for the cool nights but also can help make your outfit more modest for when visiting religious sites in the area.
You will definitely want Pjs instead of a nightie for Rome in January.
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 Rome in January for Men
So now you know what to pack for women in Rome 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 Rome in Winter:
Layers are key for a Rome in January packing list for men. Just as they for women.
Key pieces to add to a Rome Packing list for Men should include:
A combination of chinos and jeans mean you should be covered for every occasion. I would also opt for smarter trousers when traveling in Rome however to fit in more with the locals.
T Shirts and Shirts
A mix of long and short t shirts are perfect for men during the day as both base layers and top layers on warmer days.
However if you plan on eating out I recommend packing some long sleeve button down shirts. The Rome restaurant dress code tends to be smart casual and you will look more like a local in Rome in a shirt rather than a t shirt when eating out in the evening.
Jacket / Coat
I always recommend that you check the temperature for your travel week before you go as to decide what thickness jacket you need. But something warmer with some water resistance is a good idea.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
What Else to Pack for Rome in January
So now you know what to wear for Rome in January including the best shoes to pack, we will turn our attention to what to pack for Rome in January other than clothes.
Our essentials to pack for Rome in January are:
- Documentation – i.e. including but not limited to Passports, travel insurance, prescriptionsm visas etc.
- Travel Adapaters for electronics – Italy uses standard European outputs and plugs.
- Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
- Crossbody Bag – anti theft type as with any city it can have issues with pickpockets around main tourist attractions.
- Compact Travel umbrella – useful to keep in your bag should you get a rainy day.
- Sun Screen – an essential for all travel packing list even in Winter.
- Lipbalm with SPF – Our favorite brand at the minute is sun bum and is good to combat the cold air effects on your lips.
- Reusable Water Bottle – There are water fountains all around the city where you can refill your water bottle. This will save you money and is better for the environment so be sure to pack one with you.
- Charging Equipment
- Power pack / Battery Pack
- Toiletries – depending on space in your case you could buy these on arrival or pack and take with you. For a full toiletries packing list check out this post.
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
How to Dress for Special Events in Rome in January
There are several special events in Rome in March. They are:
- 1st January – New Years Day – many shops and the Vatican museums are closed due to it being a public holiday.
- 6th January – Befana – aka the Ephipany or Day of Kings. This should have no impact on your dress code but should be noted that many Italians will celebrate this day.
FAQs about January Rome Packing List
What do people wear in Rome in January?
Romans in January know the importance of layers in your wardrobe and you should definitely follow suit.