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Italy in December: A Winter Getaway

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From the powdery snow of the ski slopes in the Alps and the Dolomite to the spring-like warmth of Palermo and other destinations in Sicily, a trip to Italy in Decemberstill manages to provide a wonderful array of vacation options despite winter. So why not stroll through the nearly empty museums of Venice and Florence, indulge in some last-minute gift buying in Milan, and enjoy Christmas festivities in Rome and the Vatican?

Italy weather in December

A small village in Dolomites covered with snow top roofs
Like Val di Funes, explore other villages that look like a winter wonderland
Lodges in Alps di suisi
 If you like the cold winters, you may want to relax in cozy lodges located in Alpe di suisi

Expect the weather to be cold while traveling to Italy in December. Temperatures in the country during this time of year range from -3°C to 7°C in Bolzano, located in the Alps, where the ski season kicks off with the first round of snow. However, they reach up to 16°C in Naples and the south. Although warmer than its northern counterpart, the southern parts of Italy see slightly more rain in this month, receiving some rainfall for nine days compared to four or five days in the north. Daylight hours across Italy are limited compared to the summer months, with sunset taking place before 5:00 pm in Rome.

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

Why visit Italy in December

Food plater in the Alps
Just because it is winter, doesn't mean the deliciousness of food ceases in Italy

Pack a warm hat, woolen scarves, and thick gloves, and the cold weather will not stop you from experiencing all that Italy is famous for. Plus, there are also several advantages to visiting Italy in December.

  • Better rates: A trip to Italy in December can mean paying less for accommodation and travel compared with the peak season. You can explore the country for as little as USD 160 per person, per day during this time of year. The one area where this does not hold true is in the northern mountains since December in Italy is also the prime skiing and snowboarding season.
  • Fewer crowds: With a lesser number of visitors choosing December holidays in Italy, you will spend much less time in queues outside museums and highlights and have a much more personal experience of Italy’s wonders, whether that’s Rome’s Colosseum or Florence’s statue of David.
  • Authenticity: Destinations such as Venice, which struggle with visitor numbers at other times of the year, take on a much more relaxed and genuine feel during December. This is also a great opportunity to meet locals in those places and interact with them.
  • Seasonal wonders: The Christmas period is taken very seriously in this deeply religious country. Streets, piazzas, and churches are all decorated to welcome the festive season during December. Come evening, Christmas markets line town squares, while midnight masses are held in churches all over the country, the most famous being the one held at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Where to go and what to do

Skiing equipments in Italian alps
Skiing is the thing to do when you are in Italy during the winter months

Even in December, there are many things to do in Italy. The obvious favorite among adrenaline junkies is a few days’ skiing and snowboarding experience in resorts such as Cortina d’Ampezzo, a joint host for the 2026 Winter Olympics. Rome in winter rarely sees the levels of snow as Italy’s north, which ensures that the capital remains one of the top places to visit in Italy even during the cold months for anyone with interest in its ancient past. For warmth, head south. The Bay of Naples remains a fine place to linger in December and is just a short distance from the vineyards of Mount Vesuvius, the ruins of Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast. Apulia’s Lecce has some admirable baroque buildings, while a journey across the Strait of Messina to Sicily will reveal the Christmas traditions of this beautiful island. Wondering how long you should stay? Check out our travel guide to how many days to spend in Italy for more information.

What to bring

rack the contains different winter clothes
Milan in the wintertime is the best place to stock up on your fashion essentials
Christmas lights in Navigli Milan Italy
The spirit of Christmas sure is strong in Milan

Your packing list for Italy in December will differ depending on which part of the peninsula you intend to visit. If you are going for the wintry north, you will want plenty of warm clothes, ranging from thick socks and thermal underwear to winter overcoats. If you are instead traveling to Naples or anywhere further south, you can get away with a spring wardrobe comprising short-sleeved tops and trousers or skirts alongside a sweater for cooler evenings. In addition to all this, a pair of shoes you can walk comfortably in all day is also a must.

Italy’s weather in December will not stop you from enjoying the many attractions and destinations that the country boasts. So why not take advantage of low-season prices? However, if December in Italy is not for you, the country offers plenty of opportunities during other seasons as well. Feeling inspired? Make your trip to Italy a dream come true by getting in contact with our local travel experts for your customized tour to Italy.

You may want to check out our Italy tours in December.

Other articles:
Italy in November
Italy in January

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    Antonio Mauriello
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