Are you heading to Rome, the beautiful Eternal City, in October? If you are wondering what to wear to Rome, Italy in October, check out my guide. This loveliest of Italian cities is the perfect place to visit in the fall, with ideal temperatures and lower crowds.
On our last fall trip, we marveled at all the beautiful buildings while imagining all of the remarkable history contained within its city walls. Whether you are visiting Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel, or the Trevi Fountain, make sure to keep reading to find all of the things to include in your Rome packing list. Best wishes for a great time in Rome, Italy!
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Is October a good month to visit Rome?
October is a good month to visit Rome, and it is the best season in my opinion. There are fewer crowds as the hot summer tourists have returned home. As a general rule, early fall from late September, through early October and early November and up until late fall is filled with days of mild temperatures. The Mediterranean climate gets cooler temperatures by late October.
This is a significant contrast from summer months where sunny hot days can reach temperatures up past 90 degrees F. These warm days in the summer, combined with peak crowds, can make a tough combo. This is why October and November can make the best time to visit Rome. To me, the fall and winter months are a great option for Italy travel.
Is it cold in Rome in October?
Average temperatures reach 57-76 degrees F which makes a visit very pleasant this time of year. The average high temperatures are around 67-76 degrees with the average lows between 50-57 degrees. A good idea is to always check the latest weather forecast before you travel. If you are wondering what to wear to Rome, Italy in October, the weather forecast is the first place to start.
After making sure you have all of your reservations and passport, I think checking the weather is the most important thing before packing your suitcase. My favorite weather apps when visiting European countries are Weather Bug and MET Office. I find these tend to be the most reliable and can even highlight hour-by-hour forecast pretty reliably.
If you are traveling throughout Italy, be sure to check all of your cities, as northern Italy can vary quite widely from southern Italy. Your Italy packing list will vary, according to which part of the country you plan to visit. Weather at the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre may require a different travel wardrobe than in central Italy. Be sure to think about the climate of Italy’s different regions when considering what to wear to Rome, Italy in October.
Weather in Rome in October
Rome stays fairly temperate in October with mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Typically, the coldest month is January or February, and warmer weather is more common in the fall. You may have some rainy days in Rome in October, so it’s always a good choice to throw in a small umbrella or light rain jacket in your suitcase.
As a general rule, Rome isn’t known for particularly known for strong wintry winds, so a standard umbrella should be fine. You want to keep enjoying this beautiful city in the rain, so be prepared from late September to late November for some rain showers.
How much does it rain in Rome in October?
Typically, there is only a small chance of rain in Rome in October. Generally speaking, on average, it rains about 12-14 days throughout the whole month. Even those days will usually not be all-day thunderstorm events, so you should be ok to keep touring. Of course, many of the sites are outdoors, so again, be prepared with an umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket, just in case.
What time is sunrise and sunset in Rome in October?
When our family first moved overseas from the eastern U.S. to Europe, I was shocked at the sunrise and sunset times compared to where we came originally. It is a good thing to double check sunrise and sunset times when you travel abroad. First, it helps you plan your days a bit better. If you travel during a time of short daylight hours, it can affect how much you can see in a day.
In October, the sun usually rises around 7-7:30 AM which is pretty comfortable. if this feels too early to you, be sure to pack an eye mask to keep out early rays. Of course, when touring, the “early bird catches the worm,” so it is always great to take advantage of lower crowds during the morning hours.
The sun sets in Rome in October around 6-6:30 PM until daylight savings time takes effect at the end of the month. During the sunset hours, the temperature may begin to drop, so be sure to throw a wrap or a cardigan in your suitcase to keep you comfortable. Light sweaters or a denim jacket over a summer dress or cotton t-shirts can easily update your summer wardrobe for travel. Consider plenty of layers when you think about what to wear to Rome, Italy in October.
How do people dress in Rome in October?
One of the best things about travel is observing what other people wear throughout the world. Italian style is well known, and Italian fashion is some of the best! Typically, in October, people in Rome start to transition to more winter wear. It is a good time to pack darker colors, as you will begin to see locals wearing more dark colors and neutrals, going away from lighter, pastel tones and linen pants of spring and summer.
As you plan your travel wardrobe, do some research on what locals wear. Follow local social media accounts for the most up to date style tips. In general, you will want a versatile wardrobe with several pairs of shoes. Italians love their shoes and tend to own and sell the best shoes in the world! For the fall, consider some neutral comfortable walking shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking. Leather ankle boots or a leather jacket can easily dress up a summer dress for an evening out.
If you see rain or cold weather in the forecast, consider a neutral trench coat to elevate your look.
How can I elevate my look for my trip to Rome?
For general tips, you will see lots of Italian women wearing a dark pair of fitted jeans with a classic long sleeved shirt. They may pair that with a light jacket or cardigan when daytime temperatures start to go down. Pick a great fabric that will pack easily and resist wrinkles.
Wrap dresses and jumpsuits are also good options. Scarves are very common for a pop of color, along with comfortable shoes or black boots. Combine with a stylish pair of sunglasses and you are all set!
Typically Italian men will also wear a fitted dark jean or a pair of chinos with button down shirts or polo shirts for day wear. Black or brown leather shoes dress up the look, or just a simple pair of dark colored sneakers appear commonly on the streets of Rome.
Remember that air conditioning is not as common in Europe as it is in the United States. Layers tend to work best, in case you encounter warmer days during your trip.
What should you not wear in Rome?
One of my top tips for Rome is to avoid uncomfortable shoes! You will not have a wonderful time in Rome if you are trying to walk in high heels on the ancient cobblestone streets or around Piazza Navona. Be sure to spend a couple of days walking around in the shoes you will pack before your trip. If you are uncomfortable at home, leave them at home! My favorites are simple sneakers and Teva sandals like those below.
For other general tips for visiting religious sites in Rome, avoid wearing tank tops or short shorts to any religious sites. Stick a scarf in your travel backpack if you are visiting St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums, or any other place that may require your shoulders to be covered. It’s also great to have an extra layer for cooler morning or evening temperatures.
Many of these sites have a strict dress code that requires longer shorts that reach below the knee. I chose to just wear a long dress with shorts underneath, but in the fall, you could easily wear Capri pants or just long pants to avoid any issues at the entrance.
What do you wear in Rome to not look like a tourist?
When thinking about what to wear to Rome, Italy in October, dressing like a local will help you stick out a little less. This is particularly true if you are using public transport around the city. In general, an easy way to think about your packing list is to remember that Europeans dress up a bit more.
Athletic clothing or clothes with huge logos will make you stick out as a tourist in Italy. To avoid looking like a tourist, avoid huge, baggy clothing or toting a brightly colored backpack. Stick to well-fitting clothing with neutral colors. Slim-fitting backpacks or crossbody bags are the best way to fit in with those around you.
Another important thing to remember is that Europeans typically don’t wear baseball hats, which is a giveaway that you are a tourist. However, a classic straw hat may just be the best way to stay cool and be your best friend on warmer days! It is the perfect time to try out some more tailored European looks during your trip to Italy.
What should I pack for Rome in October?
Whether you are visiting the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, or the Pantheon, create a simple travel capsule wardrobe for your trip. Think about your personal style and pack light so you do not have to worry about toting a huge amount of luggage around Rome. Even the best hotels have limited closet space, so do yourself a favor and consider items that take up little room in your suitcase.
I like to use packing cubes and roll each item to maximize my space.
Here are a few essential items to consider for your packing list:
- underwear and socks
- pajamas: Remember that many European hotels do not have A/C, so you may want to consider lightweight pajamas.
- short sleeved tops
- straw hat
- pants: chinos or well fitting dark jeans are best
- versatile dress (longer than knee length); wrap style is particularly comfortable and stylish
- accessories: earrings, necklaces; leave your most treasured possessions at home
- long sleeved tops
- lightweight, waterproof jacket for outdoor activities
- men’s polo shirts
- men’s long sleeve shirts
- men’s short sleeve shirts
- comfortable shoes, including sandals, sneakers, and dress shoes
- slippers for hotel
- refillable water bottle
- credit cards (check your card’s international rules)
- Euros for street vendors or restaurants that do not accept cards
- travel documents
- travel confirmations
- portable cell phone charger
- cell phones
- European travel adapter
- crossbody bag
What should I wear when visiting the Vatican?
When visiting places in Vatican City, be sure to check the dress code. You hate to go to all of the trouble of arranging a visit and then be turned away because of a dress code issue. In general, your knees and shoulders need to be covered. The Vatican is an independent city-state and the home base for the entire Roman Catholic Church. Those visiting the area are expected to show the utmost respect, and part of that respect is through the dress code.
The Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square all have a dress code. This dress code is to cover your upper arms and knees. Also, people can be turned away for having any offensive writing on their clothing.
Men also need to remove hats before entering the premises. Women can keep hats on. Another thing to note before visiting the Vatican is that security lines can get long. However, in general, the lines do move quickly. If you want to have the least amount of wait, get there early or consider a visit around 2 PM which many big tour groups have gone through and are now going to lunch.
What should I pack for my kids for Rome? Kids Guide: What to Wear to Rome, Italy in October
If you travel with young children to Rome, an important thing to remember is that the streets can make pushing a stroller tricky. The best way to transport little ones is to consider bringing a baby sling or backpack carrier, especially around the Colosseum or other historic ruins.
Other items to include for babies, toddlers or small children:
- diaper bag
- sippy cup
- baby wipes
- baby sunscreen
- daily outfits with daily changes
- burp cloths
I hope this ultimate packing list for Rome for October helps you as you plan your next adventure to this beautiful city. Enjoy “la dolce vita!” Be sure to sign up for my free newsletter to get a complete packing list for your family’s next big trip.
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