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Chrismas in Italy

My Daughter will be finishing a University Program in Rome on Dec. 14. We will have 10-12 days to travel/explore.Will fly in/out of Rome(FCO) Our interests varied, we are active,love art, people & traditions. We want to see Italy as if a local! An Italian Holiday, Christmas a favorite time of year, the lights, the traditions, decorations, also from a Holy standpoint. I have to feel Italy is a treasure trove of such happenings and venues. Possible places of interest Florence/Siena..Venice..Sorrento or others?
A first visit to Italy. The Rick Steves guidebooks are very helpful. Your personal suggestions & guidance is needed! Also, what type of weather will we typically find in December?
Thank your for help, suggestions & guidance!

Posted by
204 posts

We have spent several Christmases in Italy and we always go during the winter, that is October to March. We go almost every year. I have been asked so many times about about Christmas in Roma that I wrote up a little piece that you are welcome to if you want it. Just email me at


Posted by
576 posts

Charles Luther emailed me his essay on Italy several years ago and it was very helpful!He REALLY knows Italy and has a good sense of humor in his writing, and was very generous with his time in answering many questions I had.(Thanks again, Charles!)We took our 14&18 yr.old daughters to Rome,Lucca,Sienna,Florence,Pisa&Venice this past Christmas. In Rome, many cafes were serving outside, even w/out heaters.We often didn't need our coats.Venice was a little cooler and our only misty day.We saw many fancy creche displays & some Christmas markets,but Italy was much more understated (meaning non-commercial!)than the US.It really helped to read online about the traditions, like the Xmas witch, to understand ahead of time what we were experiencing.Seeing the pope give a blessing from his balcony on Dec.26 was a HUGE highlight,even tho we're not Catholic.My daughter now has lots of "Pope"souvineers!The crowds were thin and we thought it was a great time to see Italy for our 1st trip.

Posted by
339 posts

One of the best trips our family ever took was to Italy in December! It was our first visit to the country, too. I second everything the previous posters said. As for the weather- it was cool to cold depending on where we were, but never unbearable. Rome was mid 50's during the day. Venice was downright cold and quite damp with the wind blowing off the water. Rain in Florence, snow in the mountains. Lots of layers worked well. Also, we were glad we took a few guided tours such as the Vatican Museum, the Doge's Palace in Venice, and Florence architecture and statuary. This made everything come so much more alive and we didn't have our noses stuck in guidebooks so much. The Advent (pre-Christmas) preparations were lovely and so different and less commercial than here in the US. Have fun planning!