Italy Weather in January 2024: Places to See in Italy in January

By Ishaan | Updated Aug. 4, 2023

It's the dead of winter in Italy during the month of January. It's cold and damp in most regions of the country during this time from Venice and Bologna in the north, to Rome and Teramo in the center, and Naples and Bari in the south. Milan and the extreme north do see snowfall during January as well, making it a good time to visit the area if you like skiing.

Considering the less-than-ideal weather condition in Italy during January, not many tourists visit the country during the month. This results in museums and other tourist hotspots being far less busy, and your overall travel costs not being as expensive as they'd normally be.

That being said, you can expect it to be slightly busy and crowded if shopping over the weekend during Saldi, the winter sales, and during the Epiphany/Befana celebrations.

You should pack for your trip to Italy in January with the cold and wet weather conditions in mind, though, and remember to carry plenty of sweaters, scarves, woolen hats, thick jackets, gloves, boots, umbrellas, and raincoats.

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Italy Weather in January Overview

  • Average temperature range: 3°C-11°C (37°F-52°F)
  • Season: Cold and moderately rainy
  • Rainfall: 66 mm (2.6 inches) in Rome, 56 mm (2.2 inches) in Venice, 73 mm (2.9 inches) in Naples
  • Rainy days: 13 in Rome, 9 in Venice, 14 in Naples

January Weather by Region

Weather conditions in Italy during January can range from extremely cold to moderately bearable depending on which part of the country you're in. 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 precipitation and average temperatures.

Northern Italy: 1°C-7°C (34°F-44°F)

January is extremely cold in Italy and widely regarded as one of the coldest months of the year in the country. The average maximum daytime temperature in this part of the country which includes tourist hotspots such as Venice, Milan, and Bologna is around 7°C (44°F) whereas the average minimum nighttime temperature is around 1°C (34°F).

It's not only chilly in northern Italy during the month of January, but mildly wet as well, with little chance of seeing the sun on most days. An average of 56 mm (2.2 inches) of rainfall can be expected in Venice along with there being a high chance of snow in Milan and the extreme north as well.

Central Italy: 3°C-12°C (37°F-54°F)

Although it is the coldest month of the year in the Italian capital, January in Rome and other parts of central Italy is much more bearable than it is in the northern parts of the country. The average maximum temperature in the region lies closer to 13°C (55°F) while the average minimum temperature lies closer to 4°C (39°F).

Although not nice and sunny every single day, you can expect reasonably comfortable afternoons on days the sun does decide to make an appearance. About 66 mm (2.6 inches) of rainfall over a span of 13 days can be expected in Rome during January.

Southern Italy: 4°C-12°C (39°F-54°F)

Although still cold during the month of January, the city of Naples – and the southern part of Italy in general – experiences weather conditions that are slightly more pleasant when compared to other parts of the country during this time. The average temperature highs in the southern region during this time are around 12°C (54°F) and the average temperature lows are around 4°C (39°F).

As with most other parts of Italy, Naples is also marked by moderate amounts of rainfall during January, and you can expect it to rain for about half the month, with the total amount of rainfall equaling about 73 mm (2.9 inches). The rest of the month will be marked by occasional glimpses of the otherwise elusive sun.

Best Places to See in Italy in January

1. Rome

Regardless of the time of year, a visit to the capital should not be avoided. Although January is the coldest month of the year in Rome, it remains a very good time to visit the city as you can experience its magnificent museums, astounding architecture, and historic highlights without having to worry about being in the company of too many tourists as January is far from the busiest time in the centuries-old capital. If you're there during the first half of the month, you will get to see the city's streets and buildings dressed in their best Christmas attire as you make your way to the Colosseum or St. Peter's Basilica.

2. Venice

Weather wise, January is not the ideal month to be visiting Venice. It's cold and damp and not very pleasant. With that being said, this low season also means you don't have to queue up to see your favorite museums or pay exorbitant amounts of money to cruise the canals. Another thrilling reason to visit Venice during January is the city's celebration of the Epiphany/Befana festival. The city's best rowers row their boats in the Grand Canal dressed as Bafana, the good witch, much to the delight of those watching.

3. Milan

If you don't mind a bit of snow, Milan in January is another great option for you to consider for your travel plans to Italy. Not only is the stylish city home to the mesmerizing Duomo cathedral and some of the world's most sought-after designer brands but is also perfectly situated in the north to serve as a gateway to some of the world's best ski resorts. So, if you're into skiing and winter sports in general, Milan in January is the perfect place for you!

4. Naples

The best part about visiting Naples in January is that you can enjoy all the wonderful food the ancient city has to offer without having to wade through of tourists on the streets and in restaurants. You can enjoy everything Naples is famous for food-wise – everything from Neapolitan pizza and calzone to pastries and pasta – with Mount Vesuvius to give you company. The famous city is also the perfect gateway for your further travels to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.

5. Amalfi Coast

If you're looking to get away from the generally unpleasant weather that is the mainstay in most parts of Italy during January to soak up the sun and enjoy the Peninsula's picturesque beaches, the Amalfi Coast is where you want to go. Although the waters will still be a little too cold for you to swim in during January, you can drive down the beautiful coastline, spend time in its quaint villages, and collect enough pictures to last you a lifetime!

January Crowds and Costs

While the weather in January is not great in Italy, the big advantage to traveling in the country during this month is that it's not crowded and not as expensive as it would be during the high and shoulder seasons. You can expect some crowds if shopping over the weekend during Saldi, the winter sales, and during the Epiphany celebrations in the Vatican, Venice, and Florence, but apart from these few days, you can visit your favorite tourist hotspots like the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, and Pompeii with very few people around.

If you're looking to visit Milan and go further north to ski or partake in winter sports, however, you can expect it to be crowded and expensive. Food, accommodation, and entertainment will all be priced according to peak season rates as January is a very popular time in to engage in these activities.

What to Wear in Italy in January

When planning a trip to Italy during January, it's best to pack plenty of warm clothing and wet weather clothing as it's cold and damp in most parts of the country during this time.

A few cardigans or sweaters, long sleeve tops, trousers or jeans, thick jackets, comfortable walking shoes, warm boots, gloves, plenty of scarves, beanies or woolen hats, umbrellas, and a raincoat all ought to be included in your packing list for January in Italy.

January Events in Italy

Epiphany and Befana: The national holiday of Epiphany takes place on the 12th day of Christmas which falls on January 6 every year. While most restaurants will stay open, you can expect many smaller businesses – especially those in the countryside – to remain closed, so that the holiday can be celebrated with family members and close ones. Celebrations for Epiphany vary in style from Venice organizing a regatta on the lagoon to celebrate the arrival of La Befana (the good witch who doesn't leave the country on this special day so she can bless children with gifts and bless homes by taking all of last year's problems away) to the Vatican organizing a special Epiphany mass, and Florence holding a costumed parade.

Saldi: If you believe in the positives derived from retail therapy and love shopping in general, January is one of the best times to be in Italy. The festival of Epiphany/Befana also brings with it Saldi, or winter sales, something that results in much national excitement. You can expect massive discounts on clothes, leather goods, and designer items, among other things, by not just small boutique stores but also high-end designer brands. The best part? The discounts just get bigger and bigger the longer Saldi runs on since most merchants want to get rid of all old inventory.

Explore Italy with Global Highlights

Looking to plan your perfect January 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!

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