Rome in December: weather and climate tips

Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 06.06.2024

Experience Rome's timeless charm in December as the city wears its winter veil. Discover a captivating mix of history and festivities amidst the weather in Rome in December. From the crisp air carrying whispers of antiquity to the cosy embrace of cafes, let's navigate the enchanting mosaic of Rome's December climate to make the most of every moment in this timeless city.

Is December a good time to visit Rome?

December casts a unique spell over Rome, making it an unforgettable time to visit. Although the weather in Rome in December can be chilly, the city exudes an enchanting aura, combining historical grandeur with a festive mood.

Moderate crowds allow you to see iconic sights like the Colosseum and the Vatican without the scorching heat of summer. Imagine walking through cobbled streets decorated with twinkling lights and festive decorations while the aroma of roasted chestnuts wafts through the air.

True, you'll have to wear a jacket for this, but this is offset by the cosy warmth of traditional Italian trattorias and cafes.

Planning a trip to Italy? Make sure to browse our itineraries. And to feel more comfortable during your Rome holidays, also read how to get around Rome.


Pantheon at night, Rome @ Shutterstock

Temperatures in Rome in December

The weather in Rome in December experiences a mild and pleasant winter climate that draws visitors seeking a respite from the colder temperatures in other parts of Europe. Average daytime temperatures hover around 12 to 15°C (54 to 59°F), making it a comfortable time to explore the city's historic sites and charming neighborhoods without the scorching summer heat.

However, evenings can get chilly, with temperatures dropping to around 3 to 5°C (37 to 41°F), so it's advisable to bring a jacket or coat if you plan to venture out after sunset. December also brings occasional rainfall, so packing an umbrella or raincoat is a smart choice to ensure an enjoyable visit to the Eternal City during this festive holiday season.

Make sure to read all about the weather in Italy in November and the best time to visit Italy.

Piazza Navona,Rome during christmas time © Shutterstock

Piazza Navona, Rome during Christmas time © Shutterstock

What about the crowds & costs?

December in Rome is a welcome respite from the usual crowds of tourists, making it an attractive time to visit. Compared to the peak summer months, there are fewer tourists in the city, which creates a quieter and more intimate atmosphere at popular attractions. This allows you to explore iconic sites with greater ease and without the long queues that are usually seen during the high season.

In terms of cost, while some hotels and inns may offer slightly lower prices compared to peak tourist months, it is important to note that December is also a popular time for holiday travel, which can affect prices.

Overall, December is a balance between fewer tourists and a festive atmosphere, making it an enjoyable time to explore Rome for a more authentic and relaxed experience. It is advisable to book accommodation and flights in advance to ensure the best prices and availability during this popular festive period.

Rough Guides Tip: not sure about December? Perhaps Rome weather in November is more appealing to you.

Rome, Italy

The weather in Rome in December adds to the overall charm of the Eternal City @ Shutterstock

Is Rome cold in December?

Yes, it can get relatively cold in Rome in December. Average temperatures this month range from around 4°C (39°F) in the early mornings and evenings to around 12°C (54°F) in the afternoon. Although not as cold compared to some other European destinations, you can expect cooler temperatures, especially in the evenings.

To stay warm while exploring the city, it's best to bring warm clothes such as jumpers, jackets, scarves and gloves. The weather in Rome in December can be very changeable, so layering is key to adapting to temperature changes throughout the day.

Celebrate Christmas in Rome in December

Christmas in Rome in December is a truly spectacular experience, combining the city's timeless charm and rich festive traditions. Start by attending the Papal Midnight Mass in St Peter's Basilica, a grand and spiritually significant event that unites pilgrims from all over the world.

Christmas markets transform Piazza Navona into a winter wonderland of handicrafts and treats. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Christmas creches displayed throughout the city, each telling a different story of devotion and heritage.

On New Year's Eve, the Piazza del Popolo is even more cheerful as fireworks welcome the coming year. Rome in December is a symphony of cherished traditions and enchanting moments that bring back memories of a wonderful festive season.

Piazza del Popolo (People's Square) in Rome © Shutterstock

Piazza del Popolo (People's Square) in Rome © Shutterstock

Unforgettable and fully customisable Rome itineraries

Discover the delights of the weather in Rome in December with our customised and exciting itineraries tailored to your preferences. Stroll through iconic landmarks and discover hidden treasures amidst the city's seasonal charm. We will design the perfect Rome itinerary for you, ensuring an unforgettable journey through this enchanting place.

For more practical guidance that will help you make the most of your Italy trip, have a chat with our local experts, who can help you plan your dream trip or browse more of our Italy itineraries and find the best option to suit your tastes.


Vatican at night, Rome @ Shutterstock

What to do in Rome in December

In December, Rome reveals its captivating charm and offers a variety of exciting activities. Attend the Papal Midnight Mass in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, a landmark event that brings together visitors worldwide. Explore the Colosseum and Roman Forum in the cool winter sun, savouring their timeless grandeur without the bustling crowds.

Venture out to explore the Christmas markets that adorn Piazza Navona, where artisan products and seasonal treats create a festive tapestry. On Christmas Eve, witness the ethereal beauty of a candlelight vigil in the Pantheon, a moment of reflection within its ancient walls.

Don't miss the hearty flavours of Italian cuisine, savour rich pasta and traditional sweets such as panettone. Take part in local festivals such as St Nicholas Day and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

December in Rome is an enchanting symphony of history and celebration, a time to immerse yourself in its captivating essence and create cherished memories of Italy's winter wonderland.

Planning a trip to Rome? Check our 3 days in Rome and 4 days in Rome itinerary


Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy @ Shutterstock

If you prefer to plan and book your trip without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 06.06.2024

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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