Are you wondering what to wear in Venice in Winter? In this guide we will tell you EXACTLY what to pack for Venice in Winter no matter if you are visiting Venice in December, January or February. This includes guidance on how to dress for the weather as well as Venice special events in Winter
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Weather in Venice in Winter (December, January and February)
Winter in Venice is classified as December, January and February. And as you would expect from any European country in Winter, Venice can get quite cold in Winter. But how cold is it?
How cold is Venice in Winter?
Generally speaking the average temperatures in Venice in Winter range from 0°C/32°F to 0°C/48°F. Of these, January tends to be the coldest of the Winter months in Venice, while February is usually the warmest.
Therefore in answer to is it cold in Venice in November I would say it can be, especially early morning and in the evenings when the sun goes down and when you are on a boat on the beautiful canals of Venice. Therefore for me any key to any Venice Winter packing list is lots of light layers.
And if your visit covers two months be sure to check out our other Venice guides:
Is it rainy in Venice in November?
On average Winter in Venice typically sees around 4-6 days of rain per month.
Does Venice flood in December. January or February?
Although winter is not the rainiest season in Venice, you still have to consider how flooding will affect what you pack for Venice.
The flood seasons in Venice is known locally as acqua alta, which means high water, and usually runs from October to January. Therefore if you are traveling to Venice in December and January it is especially important that you have some shoes that have some waterproof qualities and also avoid clothes that drag on the floor.
Venice in February is technically not flood season however there is always a chance that you will see some light flooding in Venice at this time.
Does it snow in Venice in winter?
Yes it can definitely snow in Venice in Winter. However you are unlikely to experience a white Christmas in Venice, as actually December is the least snowy Winter month in Venice.
Usually when snow does fall in Venice it comes towards the end of January and February. However this is by no means an annual ocurrence. For this reason we recommend checking the weather 7 days before travel.
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.
Note: if you are traveling to other cities and regions in Italy be sure to check out our other monthly guides:
- What to wear in Florence in Winter
- What to wear in Milan in Winter
- What to wear in Rome in December
- What to wear to Italy in December
- What to wear in Italy in January
- What to wear to Italy in February
- 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
How do local people dress in Venice in December?
If you don’t want to look like a tourist in Venice then you need to know how the local people in Venice dress.
By December, you will find that local Venetians have firmly transitioned into their winter capsule wardrobe, and will remain in this until March. Thick coats will commonly be see across the city as locals know how much chillier it can feel next to the water.
Also it is worth noting that smart casual tends to be the most commonly seen attire in restaurants in Venice. For more information on what to wear to dinner in Italy check out this post.
Dress Codes in Venice in Winter
Given the Venice Winter temperatures it is unlikely that you will be wearing strappy tops and short skirts. However it is worth remembering that all Italian churches have dress codes that require modest outfits. Therefore be sure to have at least one outfit with you that covers shoulders and knees if you plan on going inside churches such as St Marks Basilica.
What to wear for acqua alta Venice
As I mentioned above, Acqua Alta is the High Water aka the flooding season in Venice. It runs from November to January so if you are visiting Venice in Winter you are likely to see Venice flooded. But how does the flooding in Venice affect your packing list?
Although Venice will put up passerelle or raised wooden walkway in the biggest tourist areas around the city such as in St Marks Square, there are still times when you will find yourself having to wade through water.
Well we always recommend packing shoes with some waterproofing for Venice in Winter. That way your shoes will be able to cope with any rainy days you have.
However just waterproof shoes will not be enough if Venice is badly flooded when you visit. If you have space in your case you could pack wellington boots to help cope with the floods but these are quite bulky to fit in your case.
If you don’t have room in your suitcase, we recommend doing as the local Venetians do and buying plastic overshoes. Overshoes are plastic yellow boots that you can pull on over your clothes and shoes. These boots aren’t reusable for more than a couple of days but will do for most people traveling to Venice during flooding.
These boots usually cost between 10-20 Euros and should suffice for most Venice tourist in Winter.
Please note: floods are not an annual event in Venice so you may not need to be prepared for flooding, but it is always good to bear in mind in case it does occur during your vacation.
What to wear for Venice Carnival
Perhaps the biggest event in Venice, and the one with the strictest dress code is the Venice Carnival. Venice Carnival occurs every February, in 2024 it runs from 3 to 13 February 2024.
However for most visitors in Venice, the Carnival will not affect the dress code. You only need to concern yourself with dress codes if you are going to a specific event such as the Masquerade Carnival Balls. This requires historical costume and a mask.
But if you are not going to a special event, then you can dress comfortably for Venice Carnival. But a great souvenir is a a Carnival mask and it is worth finding one that fits comfortably.
What to wear in Venice in Winter
Before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Venice 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 overpack. For help in packing a capsule wardrobe check out these posts:
Note: if you want to know what to wear to the airplane and airport in Winter check out this post.
Best Shoes for Venice in Winter
So now you know what to wear in Winter in Venice, we will turn our attention for to the best shoes for Venice.
As the weather is changeable in Venice in Winter and flood season has started we recommend having a leather boot with some waterproofingr. These are also better for going to restaurants too.
For tips on how to pack boots in a suitcase check out this post.
If you know there is going to be flooding during your Venice Winter vacation you may want to add wellingtons to your Winter packing list. However these can be very bulky to pack. For this reason I usually recommend leaving the wellies at home and picking up some waterproof overshoes locally if required.
Sneakers are a great shoe choice for Venice no matter the month. That is because any visit to Venice involves a lot of walking and sneakers are the best shoes to walk in Venice in.
For Winter we recommend sneakers with some waterproofing due to the chances of local flooding and rain.
What to wear in Venice in Winter for women
A thick coat is an essential for any Venice Winter packing list. A puffer type coat is a great shout for Venice in Winter, but something with some waterproofing is another good idea. And if you plan to spend time on gondolas or vaporetti I recommend a coat that has some wind resistance as it can be cool on the water.
Wool Hat or Beanie, scarves and gloves
Winter accessories are a must for Venice in Winter. You will be doing lots of outdoor activities in Venice even in Winter and it can feel very cold on the water and in the evenings.
I would recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.
Jeans are perfect for sightseeing during the day in Venice. I would recommend picking smarter jeans such as black jeans or dark blue jeans that are more fitted or skinny jeans to be more in keeping with local style.
For some reason people seem to think that jeans are not on the what not to wear in Italy list. However this is definitely not the case in Winter.
On top of jeans we recommend also packing some smarter trousers. We love a black pant for Venice (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel) or a thick wool pant or even some cords.
Skirts and Dresses
As the nights can be very cold, I recommend wearing a sweater dress or a jumper dress, paired with thick tights and boots.
Also as there can be flooding at this time of year we recommend sticking to dresses that are midi in length. That way nothing will be dragging on the floor and getting wet.
I would personally pack more long sleeve than short sleeve t shirts for Venice in Winter.
To be more in keeping with local styles I recommend packing plain t shirts as opposed to highly graphic or slogan tees.
Also, and this is definitely just my personal fashion style, but I personally avoid striped t shirts for Venice, as I think navy and white striped tees look too much like a gondolier.
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.
These are great for casual sightseeing during the day.
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.
Blouses are perfect for Venice in Winter as they work brilliantly for cooler nights paired with a statement cardigan or merino wool sweater.
They are also the perfect choice for visiting the duomo and churches where modest attire is required.
A pashmina should be on your Venice packing list no matter the month you are visiting but are especially important for November.
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.
PJs or Nightie
As the weather cools you will want slightly heavier weight pyjamas and nighties.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying.
What to Wear in Venice in November Packing List for Men
Alongside our regular men’s travel essentials we recommend adding the following items to your men’s packing list for Venice in Winter:
A practical warm coat with some insulation as well as being water and wind resistant is a good idea for Venice in Winter.
T Shirts and Shirts
A mix of long and short sleeve t shirts is a good idea, as well as a button down shirt for fancier restaurants.
Jeans are great for sightseeing in Winter. You may want to add a smarter pair of chinos or smart wool trousers to the packing list too for nights out and fancier dinners.
A hoodie, jumper and sweater alongside the jacket are the perfect layers for 7 days in Venice.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
Including thicker socks.
What to wear in Venice in December
In Venice you should dress appropriately for the weather. This means packing lots of light layers coupled with a thick coat and waterproof boots.
What to wear in Venice in January
January tends to be the coldest of the Winter months in Venice. Therefore in answer to what to wear in Venice in January we recommend lots of light layers and a thick coat. But if you feel the cold, you may also want to add some thermal underwear. We recommend those made of merino wool.
What to wear in Venice in February
While February is warmer than January, it is also slightly rainier. Therefore for visitings in February we recommend sticking to light layers but also always having a waterproof top layer and a compact travel umbrella with them at all times.
And while CArnival takes places in Venice in February, most visitors to the city will not be going to a ticketed event where there is an attached dress code. If you are then you should pack a costume and mask to meet dress code or plan on buying one when you arrive in Venice.
One of the premier places in the city to get your costume is Nicolao Atelier. Just be warned these traditional costumes are expensive and are often planned months in advance.
However even if you aren’t going to you can head along to St Marks Square and the nearby piazzas to see the costumes and take photos.
What to Pack for Venice in Winter (Non Clothing)
Now that you know what to wear in Venice in November we will turn our attention to what to pack for Venice in November other than clothes.
- 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 Umbrella – for rainy days
- 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
- Universal Travel Adapaters for electronics – Italy uses standard European outputs and plugs.
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
- Toiletries – for our essential toiletries packing list click here.
Venice Winter Packing List Checklist
So just to recap here is our complete list of what to add to your Venice Winter Packing List
- Waterproof and Wind resistant Coat or jacket
- Scarf, Gloves, Hat and ear muffs
- T shirts
- Thicker weight trousers such as jeans, woolen trousers or corduroy trousers.
- Merino Wool Themeral socks
- Layers such as sweaters, fleeces, jumpers and hoodies
- Dresses / Skirts
- Warm Nightwear
- Ankle Boots
- Wellies (optional)
- Medication and Documentation
- Back Pack
- Travel Adaptor
- Battery Pack
- Travel first aid kit including blister plasters
- Lip Balm
FAQs about Venice Winter Packing list
Do you need a jacket in Winter in Venice?
Yes a jacket is absolutely an essential for Winter in Venice no matter the month of travel. We recommend something that is thick, waterproof and has some level of wind resistance for out on the canals
Can you wear jeans in Venice in Winter?
Jeans are a great pick for Winter in Venice. However I wouldn’t only pack jeans as these can be uncomfortable in rainy weather.
Should I pack swimwear for Venice in Winter?
Swimwear really isn’t necessary for Venice in Winter as it is too cold to really enjoy beaches or pools in the region.
Have you been to Venice in Winter? Tell us what you wore below!