Rome in January: weather and climate tips

Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 31.01.2024

January brings you to Rome's winter wonderland, where the city's timeless appeal combines with the charm of the cold season. Discover the secrets of the weather in Rome in January, and we'll guide you through the enchanting tapestry of climate recommendations. Let's walk through the city's January climate so you can make the most of your Rome trip with fresh air and fewer people.

Is January a good time to visit Rome?

January is a unique and relaxing time to explore Rome. The city's appeal remains intact and fewer tourists allow you to get a better look at famous sights such as the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums. Experience local life by sampling Italian cuisine and taking part in cultural festivals such as Epiphany.

Although some outdoor attractions are open during limited hours, the more relaxed atmosphere provides an opportunity to delve deeper into Rome's history and traditions.

While January isn't ideal for sunny outdoor activities, it offers a relaxing holiday for those seeking a more contemplative and in-depth Rome experience. Soak up the cosy atmosphere of cafes and wander the streets of the city, where the magic of winter adds an enchanting touch of timeless beauty.

Keen on travelling to Rome? Browse our Italy itineraries for more inspiration.

Fragments of the Colosseum © Shutterstock

Fragments of the Colosseum © Shutterstock

Temperatures in Rome in January

In January, Rome experiences a cool and crisp climate that is quite different from its scorching summers. Average temperatures during this winter month typically range from around 4°C (39°F) in the early mornings and evenings to 12°C (54°F) in the warmer parts of the day.

While it rarely dips below freezing, occasional cold snaps can bring frosty mornings. Rainfall is moderate, with January being one of the wetter months of the year, so carrying an umbrella when exploring the city is advisable. Despite the cooler temperatures and occasional rain,

The weather in Rome in January holds a unique charm, with fewer tourists crowding its historic sites and a cosy atmosphere in its trattorias and cafes, making it an excellent time to visit the city.

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

Forum Romanum, Rome © Rudy Blasko/Shutterstock

Forum Romanum, Rome © Rudy Blasko/Shutterstock

Is Rome cold in January?

Yes, it can be cold in Rome in January. Although not as cold compared to other European cities, you can expect relatively chilly weather in Rome in January, especially in the evenings and early mornings.

It is recommended that you bring warm clothing such as jumpers, jackets, scarves and gloves to keep yourself comfortable while exploring the city. The weather in Rome in January can be very changeable, so you should wear layered clothing to adapt to temperature changes throughout the day.

While January may not be the warmest time to visit the city, it offers a unique opportunity to explore Rome with fewer crowds and a calmer atmosphere. It's a great time to explore historical sites, museums and local culture without the intense heat of the summer months.

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

Unforgettable and fully customisable Rome itineraries

Experience the weather in Rome in January with our personalised and exciting itineraries tailored to your preferences. Wander among the iconic sights and discover hidden gems in the city's winter atmosphere. Let us design the perfect Rome itinerary for you, guaranteeing 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.

Pantheon at night, Rome, Italy

Pantheon at night, Rome, Italy

What to do in Rome in January

January in Rome reveals a captivating blend of history, culture and seasonal charm. Start by immersing yourself in the wonders of the Vatican, visiting the papal audience, and wandering through the Vatican Museums and the mesmerising Sistine Chapel. The cooler temperatures lend a tranquil vibe to these famous sites.

Transport yourself back in time to the Colosseum and Roman Forum, where you can experience ancient grandeur without the bustling crowds of tourists during the warmer months. The enduring charm of Piazza Navona invites you to wander its picturesque expanse, still decorated with the remains of the Christmas market.

Immerse yourself in the heart of Roman cuisine with authentic dishes and savour the rich flavours of Italy. Embrace local traditions during the Epiphany celebrations, when the city comes alive with processions and festivities.

January in Rome has a unique character, offering a more intimate and contemplative introduction to the city's treasures. Whether you're exploring ancient sites, savouring culinary delights or soaking up local culture, this Rome trip promises to be unforgettable and enchanting.

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

Tour groups in the reconstructed arena, among the ancient ruins of the Colosseum © Shutterstock

The ancient ruins of the Colosseum © Shutterstock

Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 31.01.2024

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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