Italy Weather in December 2024: Travel Tips, Crowds, and Costs

Italy Weather in December 2024: Travel Tips, Crowds, and Costs

By Ruby Zhao | Updated Feb. 21, 2024

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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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

1)Dolomites

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?

2)Sicily

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.

3)Rome

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.

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Monthly Weather in Italy

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