If you are traveling from the United States to Italy, there’s a lot to be said for packing light. On the other hand, Rome weather is capable of some extreme temperatures, and you want to be sure you have the clothes you need to keep you comfortable in any type of weather. It’s also a good idea to be aware of the local customs and rules about modesty, especially when it comes to visiting Vatican City and the museums and churches located there.
Rome General Attire
There are a few articles of clothing you should bring to the Eternal City no matter when you travel. The first thing you should pack is a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Most of the streets are cobbled and uneven. Wearing high heels can lead to sore feet, falls, and twisted ankles. In this case, common sense should come before fashion sense.
Any time you visit Italy, but especially if your travel days fall between September and April, bring a light rain jacket with a hood. Rain in the Eternal City can last for hours on end, and it’s no fun being stuck in your hotel room watching the rain fall.
Another useful item to bring is a cap or a hat. During the summer months, you can use it to shield your face from the sun, and during the winter months, you can use it to keep your head warm.
Rome in Summer
Rome weather in July through September has the reputation for being hot, sometimes up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and very humid. Although shorts and sleeveless shirts may sound like a good idea, most churches or religious museums will not allow entrance to any man with uncovered knees or any woman with uncovered knees or shoulders. Women should also avoid low-cut, revealing clothing.
Local men typically wear chinos with lightweight dress shirts, and women wear summer slacks, dresses, and shirts. Full-length blue jeans are acceptable, even in many churches.
Rome in Winter
Expect cold and rainy weather during the winter months. Be sure to bring your umbrella as well as a heavy jacket or a coat. Long sleeved shirts and blouses and heavy pants will also keep you warm. Head scarves won’t take much room in your suitcase, but they do a great job protecting your face from the cold wind.
Above all, select clothing that can be easily washed so you won’t spend the better half of your vacation looking for a reputable dry cleaner. Rome weather can be a challenge for travelers, but if you anticipate it and dress for it, your trip to Italy can still be filled with fun and adventure.