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Italy In December: Weather & Best Things to do Guide 2023

Italy In December

A Picturesque Italian Village With Snow-Covered Streets And Vibrant Christmas Decorations, Captured In A High-Quality Photograph.

Exploring Italy in December might leave you wondering about the weather, celebrations, and must-visit places. Known for its festive Christmas celebrations from December 8th until January 6th, Italy is a winter wonderland during this period.

Italy is a great place for a family vacation, and December is a great time to enjoy the country without the summer heat! This post will guide you to experiencing the magical Italian Christmas season – from thrilling winter sports to delectable holiday foods. Ready to unwrap an Italian adventure? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Italy in December offers a magical Christmas season, with festive celebrations and beautiful winter landscapes.
  • The weather in Italy can vary depending on the region, but generally, it is cold during this time of year. In northern Italy, temperatures range from 25-45°F (-4-5°C), while southern parts of Italy and Sicily are warmer at around 55-60°F (13-16°C).
  • Some key celebrations and events in Italy during December include the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, Santa Claus visiting kids on December 6th, Nativity scenes all around Italy, midnight mass on Christmas Eve, grand Christmas trees in main squares, and New Year’s Eve parties with live music and fireworks.
  • Some recommended places to visit in Italy in December are Sicily for its beautiful old towns and Mount Etna for skiing; Venice for its magical atmosphere with fewer crowds; Turin for its Christmas markets and the chance of seeing snow; Rome for its less crowded attractions adorned with festive decorations; and the Amalfi Coast for its stunning views and charming towns.

Weather in Italy in December

A Picturesque Italian Village With Snow-Covered Rooftops, Bustling Atmosphere, And Diverse People, Captured In A High-Quality Photograph.

In Italy, December brings cold weather. It can change a lot based on where you are. In northern Italy, the winter month’s temperature stays between 25-45°F (-4-5°C). This means it’s chilly! Snow may even cover places like the Italian Alps.

But the days are milder if you visit central Italy during this time. The average temperatures swing from 40-55°F (5-13°C). Southern parts of Italy and Sicily give you warmer times with numbers around 55-60°F (13-16°C).

But remember that even these regions can turn cold and wet in December. So, pack your clothes wisely!

Celebrations and Festivities in Italy in December

A Vibrant Italian Town Adorned With Dazzling Christmas Lights Captures The Bustling Atmosphere Of A Festive Night.

Italy lights up with joy and warmth in December. Here are some of the main happenings:

  • The Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception kicks off on December 8th. This day is a big deal in Italy.
  • Santa Claus visits kids on December 6th in Northern Italy. Kids hang socks and stockings for him to fill.
  • Saint Nicholas gets honored on St. Nicholas Day, which is also December 6th.
  • The Italian Christmas season runs from December 8th until Epiphany on January 6th.
  • From North to South, every town shines bright with stunning Christmas lights.
  • Nativity scenes, known as “presepe”, are seen all around Italy.
  • Many Italians attend the midnight mass at church on Christmas Eve.
  • Big cities like Rome put up grand Christmas trees in the main squares.
  • New Year’s Eve sees big parties, live music, and fireworks displays across cities and towns.

Best Places to Visit in Italy in December

Venice Canal

In December, Italy offers a wide range of beautiful destinations to explore. From the enchanting canals of Venice to the historical sites of Rome and the stunning Amalfi Coast, there is something for everyone.

Whether seeking winter sports in the Dolomites or strolling through Christmas markets in Bolzano and Merano, Italy, December is a magical experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste seasonal dishes and indulge in festive sweets while enjoying this captivating country’s rich traditions and celebrations.

Read more to discover your perfect winter holiday destination!


Scenic View Of Snow-Covered Mount Etna With Surrounding Landscapes, Showcasing Diverse Faces, Hairstyles, And Outfits, With A Bustling Atmosphere.

Sicily shines in the winter months. Many people live in this island paradise all year. You can find lots of fun places to eat and see here. Plus, it’s one of the best places to visit Italy in DecemberMount Etna beckons for an exciting day of skiing.

The beautiful old towns make a perfect place for walks with your family too. Val di Noto is a must-see with its grand buildings from long ago, and it’s even on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites! With fewer crowds than big cities, Sicily offers you and your kids a chance to discover Italy’s true heart at your own pace.


Venice Grand Canal

Venice is a magical place to visit in December, especially for family travelers. The city is famous for its beautiful Christmas decorations and bustling Christmas markets. During this time of year, Venice experiences fewer crowds, making it a quieter and more peaceful destination than the busy summer months.

However, it’s important to note that Venice can be quite cold in December because of its proximity to the Alps. You might want to pack warm clothes and be prepared for windy and rainy days since the city is on the Adriatic Sea.

Despite the colder weather, visiting Venice in winter offers a unique and less crowded experience compared to other times of the year.


A Picturesque Winter Scene In Turin Featuring Snow-Covered Streets, Colorful Christmas Lights, And A Bustling Atmosphere.

Turin is a great place to visit in Italy during December, especially for family travelers. This city is known for its Christmas markets and festive decorations, making it feel like a winter wonderland.

You can explore cozy cafes and shops while enjoying the pleasant winter climate. Plus, there’s a chance of seeing snow in the nearby mountains. Turin is considered a low-season destination in December, so you’ll have fewer crowds than in the summer months.

So, if you’re looking for a magical place to experience Christmas celebrations and enjoy winter activities, Turin should be on your list!


A Festive Photo Of Christmas Decorations Illuminating The Historic Streets Of Rome, Capturing The Bustling Atmosphere And Charm.

December is a wonderful time to visit Rome, especially for families. The city is less crowded during this low season, which means shorter lines and more opportunities to explore without the crowds.

Rome comes alive with festive lights and decorations, creating a magical atmosphere for family travelers. You can stroll through the streets and marvel at the nativity scenes and Christmas trees that adorn the city.

Plus, there are plenty of seasonal foods and dishes to try during your visit. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the charm of Rome in December!

The Amalfi Coast

Vibrant Sunset Over Colorful Houses In Positano With A Bustling Atmosphere And Stunning Seascape.

The Amalfi Coast is a beautiful destination in Italy, known for its stunning views and sandy beaches. While it’s usually crowded during the summer, visiting the Amalfi Coast in December can be a magical experience, especially during Christmas.

The average temperatures range from 40°F to 55°F, making it chilly but enjoyable. You’ll have the chance to explore the charming towns along the coast and soak up the festive atmosphere.

Plus, you’ll taste delicious local foods, enjoy panoramic views of cliffs and sparkling blue waters, and immerse yourself in Italian culture and music. So why not consider adding the Amalfi Coast to your list of places to visit during December? It’s worth experiencing this unique side of Italy!


Florence Italy View

Florence is a wonderful place to visit in Italy during December, especially for families. It is considered one of the best places because of its historical and cultural beauty.

In early December, you’ll see all the storekeepers decorating their shops for Christmas, which adds to the festive atmosphere. The weather can be cold this time of year, so pack your warm winter clothing.

And if you’re visiting in 2023, don’t miss out on Florence’s Christmas market – it will be a popular attraction during the holiday season!

Activities and Events in Italy in December

A Picturesque Italian Village At Night Adorned With Christmas Lights, Bustling With Activity And Captured In High Resolution.

Experience the thrill of winter sports in the Dolomites, explore charming Christmas markets in Bolzano and Merano, wander through Rome and visit the Vatican, or enjoy the festive atmosphere in big cities. There is something everyone can do and see in Italy during December.

Winter sports in the Dolomites

A Picturesque Winter Landscape In The Dolomite Mountain Range With Snow-Covered Slopes And A Ski Chairlift.

The Dolomites, in winter, are a magical place for family travelers who love adventure. It offers exciting mountain sports as its highlight. With countless ski resorts open from December to April, there are plenty of activities to enjoy, such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and even ice skating.

The Dolomites provide the perfect destination for nature lovers and those who enjoy mountaineering or winter sports. You can try alpine skiing or take a thrilling ride on a snowboard.

These popular winter sports will bring the whole family lots of fun and excitement!

Christmas markets in Bolzano and Merano

A Vibrant And Festive Christmas Market With Colorful Stalls And Decorations In Bolzano And Merano.

In Italy, the Christmas markets in Bolzano and Merano are something you don’t want to miss during your December trip. The Bolzano Christmas Market, also known as “Christkindlmarkt,” is the biggest one in Italy.

It runs from late November until January 6th, giving you plenty of time to explore. The Merano Christmas Market is open daily from November 25th to January 6th (closed on December 25th).

These markets offer a wonderful shopping experience, with around eighty exhibitors showcasing various products and crafts. You can enjoy traditional food, find unique gifts, and be entertained by live music and performances.

Exploring Rome and the Vatican

Rome View From Vatican

Rome and the Vatican are must-see destinations when visiting Italy in December. You can explore famous attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Trevi Fountain, and the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

The Vatican offers even more with its stunning St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums. In December, Rome is filled with Christmas decorations, and light shows create a magical atmosphere throughout the city.

You can also experience religious traditions and enjoy shopping for unique gifts. Check out current exhibits and events during your visit to fully immerse yourself in everything Rome offers in December.

Enjoying the winter atmosphere in big cities

A Festive Cityscape With Diverse People, Lively Streets, And Vibrant Decorations.

Big cities in Italy are the perfect place to soak up the winter atmosphere. In December, these cities come alive with festive decorations and twinkling lights, creating a magical ambiance that will delight family travelers.

You can stroll through the charming streets, taking in the sights of beautifully adorned Christmas trees and colorful displays. With fewer tourists this month, you can explore at your own pace and truly immerse yourself in the local culture.

From holiday markets offering unique gifts and delicious treats to live music performances and cultural events, there is always something exciting in these big cities during December.

What to Eat in Italy in December

A Festive Table Set With Traditional Italian Holiday Dishes, Adorned With Seasonal Produce, Without Any Humans Present.

Indulge in seasonal produce, traditional holiday dishes, and Christmas sweets – discover the culinary delights of Italy in December. Want to know more? Keep reading!

Seasonal produce

In Italy, in December, you can find some delicious seasonal produce. This includes cabbage, cavolo nero (a type of kale), kale, and cauliflower. You’ll also find fruits and vegetables like violet artichokes, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage in season during this time of year.

If you’re craving fresh fruit, pears, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, kiwis, and winter vegetables like broccoli are also available. So while exploring the festive atmosphere in Italy in December, be sure to try some of these tasty local foods!

Traditional holiday dishes

During the holiday season in Italy, you can expect to enjoy a variety of traditional dishes. One popular tradition is the Christmas Eve dinner, known as La Vigilia, which often consists of a feast of seven fishes.

These fishes can include baccalà (salt cod), swordfish, tuna, salmon, calamari, smelts, and spaghetti with clam sauce. In addition to seafood dishes, other favorites during this time include octopus salad and salted cod, known as baccalà.

Those with sweet teeth also enjoy traditional Italian Christmas sweets like panettone and pandoro. So get ready to savor these delicious flavors of Italy’s festive culinary traditions!

Christmas sweets

Traditional Italian Christmas sweets are a big part of the holiday season. You will find delicious treats like panettone, a sweet bread filled with citrus fruits. Another popular choice is pandoro, a golden cake that is soft and fluffy.

If you prefer something chewy, try Torrent, a nougat dessert made with honey, sugar, egg white, and nuts. And, of course, no Italian Christmas would be complete without tiramisu – a creamy dessert made with mascarpone cheese and coffee-soaked ladyfinger cookies.

These delightful sweets are perfect for sharing with family and friends during this special time of year in Italy.

Tips for Traveling to Italy in December

A Vibrant Italian Christmas Market Scene With Stalls, Decorations, And A Bustling Atmosphere, Captured With High-Quality Photography.

Traveling to Italy in December can be a wonderful experience, especially for family travelers. Here are some tips to make your trip more enjoyable:

1. Pack warm clothing: December is cold in Italy, so bring warm coats, scarves, and gloves. Layers are essential, as the weather can vary throughout the day.

2. Check the local festivities: December is a month of Christmas celebrations in Italy, with many events taking place nationwide—research and plan to see if any festivals or special events are happening during your visit.

3. Visit popular attractions early: While December is considered a low season in Italy, some popular attractions may still have crowds. Try visiting these places early to avoid long lines and overcrowding.

4. Embrace indoor activities: With cooler temperatures and possibly rainy days, it’s also a good idea to plan some indoor activities. Museums like the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or Vatican Museums in Rome can be great options.

5. Taste seasonal specialties: December brings delicious seasonal dishes to Italy. Don’t miss out on traditional holiday dishes like panettone (a sweet bread) or tortellini pasta with brodo (broth).

6. Be aware of closures: Remember that some smaller towns or attractions might have limited opening hours or even close for winter maintenance during this time.

7. Watch out for lower prices: On the positive side, traveling to Italy in December means you might enjoy lower prices on accommodation and flights compared to peak summer months.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your trip and create unforgettable memories while exploring beautiful Italy in December!


A Festive Christmas Market With Colorful Stalls, Twinkling Lights, And A Bustling Atmosphere, Captured In A Crystal Clear Photo.

December is the perfect time to visit Italy, with its festive celebrations and picturesque winter landscapes. From exploring the historic cities to enjoying delicious seasonal dishes, there is something for everyone in Italy during this magical month.

Whether you want to witness the grandeur of Rome or experience the charm of smaller towns, Italy in December offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. So pack your bags and prepare to create lasting memories in this beautiful country during the holiday season.


Weather in December

Q: What is the weather like in Italy in December?
A: The weather can vary, with southern Italy experiencing milder winter weather and northern regions getting colder. Expect average temperatures ranging from 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is common, so an umbrella is handy. The best month to go to Italy

Q: How does the weather differ between Italian cities and small towns?
A: Major cities and small towns in higher altitudes can have colder temperatures, while coastal towns may have more sunny days and milder weather.

Tourism and Celebrations

Q: Is December a good time to visit Italy for tourists?
A: Yes, December is a wonderful time for a winter trip, with Christmas festivities in full swing and popular destinations less crowded. However, some places may close during public holidays. How many days in Florence?

Q: What special events and celebrations occur in December?
A: Italy boasts the best Christmas markets, nativity scenes (presepi), New Year’s Eve fireworks, and unique celebrations like the wild boar festival. Places like South Tyrol and Lake Como have their traditional celebrations. Christmas in Venice, Italy

Q: Are there any national holidays during December?
A: Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day are national holidays, and many Italian regions have unique local holidays.

Attractions and Packing

Q: What are the main attractions to visit during December?
A: UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Cinque Terre, the Eternal City of Rome, St. Peter’s Basilica, and iconic places like Piazza San Marco and Piazza Navona are must-visits. Also, winter is ideal for a gondola ride in Venice or a visit to Mount Vesuvius. How many days in Venice?

Q: What should I pack to visit Italy in December?
A: Pack layers, including sweaters, jackets/coats, scarves, and gloves, as low temperatures in the colder months require warm clothing. An umbrella or raincoat is advisable. Italy family vacation

Other Insights

Q: Can I take a day trip to see the Last Supper in December?
A: Yes, you can visit the Last Supper, but be mindful of closures during the Christmas holidays and check availability in advance.

Q: How is olive oil production celebrated in December?
A: Some regions celebrate olive oil with festivals and tastings during winter, especially in southern Italy.

Q: What’s the best time of the year for winter sun?
A: December offers a chance to enjoy the winter sun, especially in southern regions, and explore Italy’s best things. Best things to do in Italy with kids

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