December does not bring with it ideal weather conditions for you to travel around Italy. The month marks the official onset of winter and is characterized by cold temperatures and plenty of wet days. It's not quite as gloomy or grey as November, though, and despite a fair share of rain dampening many a December day, the sun will make sustained appearances most afternoons.
Don't, however, think for even a second that December isn't a good time to visit Italy. What you can't do swimming in the waters of the country's many famed beaches, you can now do skiing on the country's many a stunning northern slope. Moreover, Christmas is around the corner and this means the festive charm is all around in the shape of decorations and festive installations.
And if all that isn't enough to convince you, take a second to digest the fact that Bel Paese is free from large crowds and tourist groups during this time of the year. Yes, it gets a little busy around Christmas time but you can enjoy most points of major tourist interest throughout Italy in relative ease and quiet for most of the month.
Just be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing like thick coats, winter hats, boots, scarves, and dress in layers to ensure a good time when traveling in Italy during December. Carrying an umbrella or a raincoat with you when you're out and about wouldn't hurt either.
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Mi esposo y yo, tuvimos la oportunidad de visitar la hermosa ciudad de Xian, la muralla de la ciudad, los guerreros de terracota, el barrio musulmán, todo esto con la mejor guia del mundo mundial!!! Susana, quien aparte de ser super simpática, tiene un gran conocimiento de la ciudad, la historia de los lugares y monumentos y aparte está siempre al pendiente de cualquier cosa que necesites y va más allá par hacerte tener una experiencia excelente, nos quedamos con ganas de regresar. Gracias x todo!!More
Betty A, Feb 2024
Shanghai is an amazing mix of modern and historical China. Our guide Kris was great and very flexible when it came to completing the itinerary which was helpful considering the poor weather + visibility on the first day when we were supposed to visit Shanghai tower. Walking along the river front (bund) area was a big highlight for us.More
Explore49612084715, Feb 2024
We traveled to Shanghai in Jan/Feb 2024 with China Highlights. Shanghai is an amazing mix of modern and historical China. Our guide Kris was great and very flexible when it came to completing the itinerary which was helpful considering the poor weather + visibility on the first day when we were supposed to visit Shanghai tower. Walking along the river front (bund) area was a big highlight for us.More
Lydia, Feb 2024
Shanghai trip for Mihail
Me and my wife had a trip to China and part of it we spent in Shanghai. Our private tour guide was Kris Lee and I have to say he was very much up for the task. His knowledge of China's history was quite comprehensive and more than I could have expected. If only I could have that kind of memory. His level of English exceeded my expectations and that of course served us very well not only in understanding the Chinese culture, traditions, way of life, etc, but also allowed us to order meals, drinks, make purchases, ask whatever questions coming to mind, making us comfortable to experience the place without the inherent language issues we could have had otherwise. All in all Kris Lee is certainly an asset for any travel agency from ChinaMore
Mihail D, Feb 2024
Mi esposo y yo, tuvimos la oportunidad de visitar la hermosa ciudad de Xian, la muralla de la ciudad, los guerreros de terracota, el barrio musulmán, todo esto con la mejor guia del mundo mundial!!! Susana, quien aparte de ser super simpática, tiene un gran conocimiento de la ciudad, la historia de los lugares y monumentos y aparte está siempre al pendiente de cualquier cosa que necesites y va más allá par hacerte tener una experiencia excelente, nos quedamos con ganas de regresar. Gracias x todo!!
Daisy was our guide for 3 days in Dali. She was the best guide we have had in China. She was very warm. Just like a close friend. She was extremely knowledgeable about the culture and history of the area. She took many pictures of us even without our asking her to.Her English was excellent!More
David, Feb 2024
Daisy was an amazing guide
Daisy was an amazing guide. She took us to the old town, on a boat ride, and to Sha xi. She was very warm. She explained everything in detail and answered all of our questions. She made us feel very welcome.More
文 文, Feb 2024
1 Day in Beijing
Nice views, Not too much people, Jessi (guide ) so friendly and she have a great service & she knows the answer of all your questionsMore
Fernando J, Feb 2024
Zhangjiajie/ Spectacular scenery and great taste of local culture.
Zhangjiajie immediately went to the top of our list of natural attractions in the world. The landscapes are fascinating and unique. We really valued the guidance by China Highlights. Roger was good accommodating to our needs during the planning phase. In the actual trip Linda provided us with knowledgeable and passionate guidance. She was very personable and respectful at the same time. Her advice was critical to be able to see so much - as in every park or area there are multiple buses to move around. She showed us the best spots at the best time.Local restaurant selection was good. One piece of advice- make sure to specify how much spice you enjoy in your food. Local food can be quite spicy.More
Raul C Mexico city, Jan 2024
Private trip in Beijing and Luoyang
We spent 3 days in Beijing with Helen as our guide. We went to TianAnMen, Forbidden City and MuTianYu Great Wall to name a few. Helen took great care of us and is very attentive as I travel with my 60+ years old parents, from asking whether we need restroom breaks to making sure that our lunch were all according to our dietary needsMore
Iriana Iriana, Jan 2024
An excellent day with Linda
Linda (Ling ling)is a great tour guide,provide a lot of knowledge and history of the great wall,and took us to taste very delicious food too,we had a very good time with her!highly recommend her!More
Angeline Lim, Jan 2024
Great time in Beijing with Bruce
We stayed in Beijing for three days altogether. We went to the summer palace. the Tian'an'men square, the Forbidden City,the Temple of heaven and the Great Wall. Our tour guide Bruce is very friendly and speaks English fluently. He explained every scenic spot to us patiently and humorously. my family are very satisfied with his service.More
Mayra C, Jan 2024
Profesional and detail oriented
My last stop was Shanghai. I was greeted by Martin. It is pretty much a 1 day itinerary there. Martin took me to all the stops and introduced me to a cool tea house not on the agenda. With the extra time we had we also stopped Starbuck’s Reserve which is the largest in the world. Martin also helped me make reservations at the Old Jazz Club at the Fairmont Hotel.More
Megan Sandbothe, Jan 2024
We recently spent 4 days with Alvin hosting us throughout Huangshan, Tunxi and Hongcun. The scenery was spectacular, hotels quirky, food excellent and knowledge and passion from Alvin was so invaluable and also fun! Would highly recommend.More
Joanne, Jan 2024
Great couple days in Shanghai. Thanks to my guide Martin for showing me best of Shanghai. Great work by China team - trip very well organised.More
Steve P, Jan 2024
Amazing experience !!!
Great tour! Very flexible and our tour guide Chris was so amazing that he adjusted to our last time request there! I totally recommend this tour !!More
Victor A, Jan 2024
Private trip in Beijing and Luoyang
We spent 3 days in Beijing with Helen as our guide. We went to TianAnMen, Forbidden City and MuTianYu Great Wall to name a few. Helen took great care of us and is very attentive as I travel with my 60+ years old parents, from asking whether we need restroom breaks to making sure that our lunch were all according to our dietary needs. We had great 3 days in Beijing.We also visited Luoyang. Our travel advisor arranged a Business class seat for our high speed train to Luoyang. We were picked up at the station by our guide in Luoyang, Lisa. We then visited Dengfeng to see Songyang academy, shaolin temple, Luoyang grottoes. She also took care of us very well and very knowledgeable about the history.More
, Jan 2024
2 days in the mountains
Alvin was attentive and good company. He went to the extra effort to show us things we were interested in viewing and provided detailed information.More
Robert Fleming, Jan 2024
Amazing trip in China
Guides were Mark in Beijing, Jenny in Xi’an, Frank in Guilin/Yangshuo and Kris and Peter in Shanghai. I can’t say enough how wonderful each of them were to us. They worked very hard to give us a five star tour. The drivers were five star as well. Our hotels were very clean and wonderful with a great breakfast buffet each morning. Our guides would take us to a great locals place for lunch each day and then dinner we were on our own, but each guide would give us fantastic places to go. I know without a doubt our trip was exceptional due to booking with Liberman at China Highlights Tour Company.More
Mary Ann Brady, Jan 2024
China Highlights is Excellent
Jenny was the tour guide in Xian, showed us the terracota warriors found in 1974 by a farmer behind a mountain masoleum, with projected ongoing excavations for next 100 years. Made clay model terracota warriors.Jenny is very enthusiastic and bubbly, helped us all the way, from picking up us from train station to dropping us off at the airport.More
Brahma P, Jan 2024
Datong, China's best kept secret!
I've had multiple guides for different locations with China highlights but Joy was exceptional. She was easy to talk to, super knowledgeable and also amazingly organised. When visiting the Yungang grottoes not only did I get wonderful explanations of the symbolism of the cave carvings and history of the art styles but Joy even prepared a notepad for the commemorative stamps available there so that I had a souvenir to tax home with me.More
Kris, Jan 2024
Italy Weather in December Overview
- Average temperature range: 1°C-15°C (34°F-59°F)
- Season: Cold and Wet
- Rainfall: 105 mm (4.1 inches) in Rome, 70 mm (2.8 inches) in Venice, 120 mm (4.7 inches) in Naples
- Rainy days: 7 in Rome, 6 in Venice, 8 in Naples
December Weather by Region
Weather in Italy during December is marked by largely cold and wet conditions with some variations depending on which part of the country you're traveling to. By studying the country's three separate climate regions described in detail below, you'll have a much better idea of what to expect as far as expected precipitation and average temperatures are concerned.
Northern Italy: 1°C-8°C (34°F-46°F)
Northern Italy is characterized by largely poor weather and low temperatures during December. The average maximum temperature in the region during the month is around 8°C (46°F) and the average minimum temperature is around 2°C (36°F).
Moderate monthly rainfall figures of about 70 mm (2.8 inches) can also be expected in northern Italy during December, meaning days with limited hours of sunshine are likely to feature for most of the month.
Central Italy: 4°C-13°C (39°F-55°F)
Generally unpleasant weather conditions can be expected in central Italy during December. The average temperature high is closer to the 13°C (55°F) mark whereas the average temperature low is closer to the 5°C (41°F) mark.
Although it's sunnier in central Italy during December than it is further north, high monthly rainfall figures of around 105 mm (4.1 inches) over the course of 7 days ought to still be expected in this part of the country.
Southern Italy: 7°C-15°C (45°F-59°F)
Like central Italy, the south is also marked by largely unpleasant weather conditions and moderate temperatures during December. The average maximum temperature in the region during the month hovers around the 15°C (59°F) mark while the average minimum temperature hovers around the 8°C (46°F) mark.
High monthly rainfall in the way of around 120 mm (4.7 inches) is to be expected in and around the metropolitan centers of cities like Naples. That being said, it's neither too gloomy nor too sunny in these parts during most December days.
Best Places to See in Italy in December
The winter season in the Dolomites, or the Pale Mountains, begins in December. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of Italy's best slopes and the advantage of going to the region during December is it's nowhere near as crowded as it will be from January onwards.
Spend your December afternoons skiing down slopes under the glint of the winter sun and spend your evenings enveloped in the warmth of thermal baths as snow falls all around you... dreamy, eh?
If you're tired of the cold weather and are seeking some warmth, make your way down south to the milder temperatures of a Sicilian December. The Christmas decorations in cities like Palermo, Taormina, and Siracusa, and the mouthwatering market fare offered in the city centers of these three Sicilian cities makes a December trip to southern Italy well worth it.
The capital has a special festive charm the closer it gets to Christmas. It's chilly but not quite as cold as it is further up north, and damp but not quite as wet as it is further south. The relatively good weather, the fact that there's an absence of large tourist groups in the city's major museums and tourist attractions, and a general upturn in the collective Roman mood, all combine to ensure Rome was added to our list of must-visits for your time in Italy during December.
December Crowds and Costs
If you want to travel around Italy and feel like a local, December is the time to go! There are barely any tourists around and the few you might run into, are likely to be from other parts of the country. This absence of large crowds and general decline in tourist activity results in December being one of the most affordable times to visit Italy. The ski resorts, though, are more expensive during December.
That being said, it is important to remember that things do tend to become a little busier and crowded during the days leading up to Christmas. Schools are on holiday, and everyone is in the holiday spirit, meaning visits to museums and Christmas markets may be plans many families are considering, so with that in mind, we suggest you also book your tickets far in advance. Museums limiting the number of people that can enter during the festive period is not an unheard-of practice either.
What to Wear in Italy in December
It's important to pack plenty of warm clothing with you when traveling around Italy in December. Packing plenty of sweaters, thick jackets, coats, boots or warm shoes, scarves, winter hats, and dressing in layers will prove very useful.
If you plan to go skiing, bringing your own gear or equipment will prove shrewd in that it'll help you save a good amount of money. If not, renting is also always an option.
It's very likely to rain in most parts of Italy during December, so make sure you have a raincoat or umbrella handy at all times.
December Events in Italy
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception: La Festa della Concezione Immacolata, or The Feast of the Immaculate Conception takes place on December 8th and is a national holiday in Italy. Most Italians take the day off to spend time with family, put up Christmas decorations, and get in the spirit of the holiday season.
Museums and restaurants in major cities and tourist hotspots will stay open for the day but you should remember to buy tickets or make reservations in advance. Most businesses in smaller towns and villages, though, are likely to remain closed.
Christmas: Natale, or Christmas Day, takes place on December 25th and the day is a major national holiday in Italy. Most restaurants and all major tourist attractions will remain shut on this day. Very few restaurants will remain open but even for those, it's advisable you reserve a table in advance.
Although public transportation services will also be affected on the day of Christmas, it's a very special time of year to be in Italy. Churches will be beautifully decorated and the holiday lights will ensure you get into the spirit of things to have a wonderful time.
Christmas Eve is not an official holiday and you ought to attend the midnight mass on this day if that interests you. Most restaurants will also remain open on Christmas Eve but again, make sure you reserve in advance just to be on the safe side.
Explore Italy with Global Highlights
Looking to plan your perfect December trip to Italy? Let Global Highlights plan your dream vacation for you! We specialize in creating tailor-made tours that not only consider your travel goals but also keep in mind ongoing weather conditions to make your dream trip as memorable as possible. Let us deal with the planning stress so that you can just enjoy the journey!
Monthly Weather in Italy
Why Travel with Global Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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