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Traveling to Italy in January will see you explore this much-loved destination without the crowds that pack out the piazzas of Venice and Rome in the summer months. Firmly within the country’s low season, beach trips are definitely a no-go even in Sicily and the warmer south around Bari or Naples and Pompeii. However, the Alps and Dolomites offer fantastic skiing at this time of year, and the streets of Florence are even more magical with a smattering of snowflakes.

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Italy weather in January

The view of Alpi Apuane mountains in winter
Witness the serene first light in blue hour in the scenic mountains of Alpi Apuane

There’s no denying that Italy in January is what most people would call cold. Visit Italy in January and you should expect cloudy skies and regular bouts of rain, making the best places to visit in Italy in January indoor attractions such as the Vatican Museums. Further north, rain turns to snow, making Italy in January peak season for skiers and snowboarders. Here the average temperature is a mere 5°C (41°F). It rises to around 10-16°C (50-61°F) in the south of Italy in January. Trips to the island of Capri are therefore not off the cards, although the country’s waters can be choppy at this time of year.

For a seasonal overview, read our travel guide on the best time to visit Italy.

Weather in Italy in January - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)151314
Avg Nightly (°C)433
Avg Daily (°F)595658
Avg Nightly (°F)403838
Avg Rainfall (mm)962520

Why visit Italy in January

Th homeplace of pizza, Naples is a must to visit during 7 day in Italy.
An overview of Naples, one of the most beautiful bays in Italy
Take to to the trails of the Dolomites during your Italy family vacation.
The Dolomites has splendid landscapes and hiking trails that are suitable for kids as well

Don’t let the weather in Italy in January put you off. With sensible clothing, it’s still possible to experience most of the country’s bucket list attractions. In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy the following:

  • Cheaper hotel and flight costs: Outside of the ski areas, a trip to Italy in January is great on the budget, allowing you to spend more on activities and less on stays.
  • Shorter lines: Visit Italy in January and you can forget about the snaking lines outside the Uffizi in Florence or having to worry about getting the right timed entry into the Colosseum in Rome.
  • Winter sports: Italy’s northern mountains are at their prime in January, with almost 6,000 kilometers of piste blanketed in natural snowfall.
  • January sales: January sees the annual winter sales kick off in Italy, so you can get a bargain on a new wardrobe as well as flights and accommodation. Don’t miss out on Milan, the country’s fashion capital.
  • Epiphany: The last day of Christmas in the Catholic church, Epiphany on January 6 celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men to the Baby Jesus. It’s today that Italians swap gifts and children’s stockings are filled, but not by Santa but by a witch called La Befana.

Where to go and what to do

Detail of the palaces over the Orta San Giulio Island
Visit Orta San Giulio Island which is considered a UNESCO site

When it comes to places to visit in Italy in January, few destinations are out of bounds entirely and you won’t find yourself short of things to do in Italy. Missing the hubbub of summer, Venice has a much more authentic feel, with the city’s canals busy with residents rather than tourists. As one of the main gateways to the Alps, Turin remains busy. Its long nights are enlivened by lighting carefully installed to show the city’s most famous buildings at their very best. Rome is a must for many given its range of ancient monuments and world-class museums, while hilltop Sienna has charming views across the wintry Tuscan landscapes. If you feel the cold, take a trip to Palermo, the provincial capital of Sicily, where temperatures remain spring-like and dramatic architecture awaits. To start planning your own adventure to Italy in January, check out our guide on how many days to spend in Italy.

Although Italy in January is not the winter warmer some visitors may be hankering for, it can be a great month for visiting. Not only are there better hotel and flight rates, but fewer crowds, delightful winter landscapes, and sales too – all of which can be built into a customized trip to Italy. Speak to our local travel experts to plan a trip. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our Italy tours in January.

Other articles:
Italy in December
Italy in February

Published by David Lee, updated on August 8, 2022

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