Rome in February: too cold to enjoy?

Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Rome in February: too cold to enjoy?

Has anyone been to Rome in February? We were in Paris last year during February and froze.
paristhrice is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 05:24 PM
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Call me an "anti-anecdotalist", but I believe in data for answering questions like this. the website provides it better than most sites I know.

In an average February, Rome has four days that dip below 32 degrees F; the average high is 56, and the average is 40.

Paris averages 12 days each February below 32 degrees F; the average high is 45 and the average low is 34.

Only you know what constitutes weather that is "too cold to enjoy".

For what it's worth, Nice has milder February statistics than either Paris or Rome, and Palermo is considerably milder than Nice for February; Palermo averages 0 days below 32 degrees F per month, 12 of 12 months.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 05:42 PM
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I went to Paris in Feb. and I didn't freeze but even if I did, I wouldn't mind as I like Paris in any weather. I would do the same with Rome if I had the opportunity.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Hi paristhrice, I have not been in Rome, or Italy for that matter, in February but from everything friends in Italy and family members have said "yes it can be cold in Rome". But keep in mind all the residents of Rome survive the weather. I would pack for cold weather including a scarf, gloves etc. and go and enjoy.

However, if you were truly miserable in Paris last February maybe it would be good to wait a couple of months before you visit Rome.

Like everywhere, one cannot forcast the weather. I just read and posted a thread that Italy in this moment is having terrible weather around Bari (rain amount that they usually get in a year of rainy season), terrible fog along the Adriatic and awful floods and mudslides in the NW (Liguira) section of Italy. It makes me wonder if Italy will have a terrible winter or does it mean that Italy is having an early winter and consequently spring will arrive early?

The weather in Italy has been very unusual the past years. I don't think even the experts exactly know what to expect. Best wishes to you and with your decision.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 08:52 PM
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I was in Rome in January and it was in the high 60s/low 70s. Weather in Rome and in Italy in General is very strange sometimes. It can go from 40 to 60 overnight. I don't think it's very cold, but I'm also from New England so the cold weather doesn't really bother me. I think it depends on what you consider "cold". It's different for everyone. But I really don't think Rome in February will be too cold to enjoy. I'd suggest bringing a warm jacket and a sweater to be safe but I carried my jacket and sweatshirt around the city in January and sweated a bit.
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Old Oct 24th, 2005, 08:03 AM
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Where are you from and what kind of temps are you used to in winter? If you're from Florida - yes Rome will be freezing. If you're from Minnesota it will seem tropical.

Are you used to walking around outside in winter - or do you just scurry from the house to the car to the office? )I was talking to some tourists from Nebraska in NYC last year - and realized the reason they thought it was so cold is that they never spent time outdoors in winter.)

Did you literally freeze in Paris - are you writing from the grave? Or was it just cold - and how cold was it? Paris is usually not so cold as the northern US and Rome even slightly warmer than that - but it won't be semi-tropical.

So - only you can anser.
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Old Oct 25th, 2005, 11:20 PM
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The cold's one thing. I can deal with cold. Now, rain bothers me. We're looking at a trip to Rome in mid to late February with my wife and I (both of us are pretty hardy) with our parents (slightly less hardy). I figure cold + rain could just about do us in.

Also, what is you experts' sense of venue closings? Are we going to be racing out each morning to get into the one museum or church of the day, or will places at least be open during daylight hours (which, it being February, will be fairly limited.)

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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 12:11 AM
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In January, attractions were open reasonable hours in Rome. I found that I was comfortable with just a sweater by the afternoon, although I needed a jacket in the morning and evening. However, your Paris experience suggests to me that your tolerance might be low. The buildings and attractions might not be heated very warmly either (I didn't really notice, but from what I've read, heating is very expensive in Italy and I noticed lots of people wore their coats buttoned at all sorts of indoor places).
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 12:49 AM
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I have been to Rome in February and noticed that when I was comfortable in a jacket, the Romans were dressed in winter coats, hats and scarves. I'm from Massachusetts. It's all relative.

Closing hours were early (maybe 12:30?) at the Vatican Museums, but other than that I didn't notice any hours that would restrict one's touring.

I was also in Paris last February and the OP is right, it was really cold. Snow and everything. Winter coats and the works for me.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 01:08 AM
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I was in Rome the first weekend of March last spring.

Florence and Venice had snow but Rome didn't. Unfortunately, Rome had rain, and that whipped at our faces and ruined our umbrellas. Luckily, it didn't rain everyday so we looked at the forecast and planned our sightseeing that way.

There weren't many tourists so we it was easy to plan. And Rome is wonderful when the tourist season is down. I'd risk the rain, bless the cold and go again in a heartbeat at that time of the year.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 01:29 AM
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Hello paristhrice, each year in Europe has been different lately. My Rome born and raised SIL who know lives here in my city in CA always says how miserable January and February it is in Rome. But reading throught post here I rather chuckled to myself as I have always noticed that Italians seem to feel the cold and bundle up more then we do in the US. The love scarves, gloves, heavy jackets/coats etc.

Of course I do not know where you are from. And as others have mentioned that could make a difference.

I would pack for cold weather, warm jacket, scarf, gloves etc. One good thing about being in Rome is that you can spend a lot of time being indoors unlike say being along the coast etc.
And winter food in Italy is wonderful IMO. Don't forget the rich red wine!
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 01:52 AM
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It may be cold, but you will still enjoy yourselves. There is so much to see and do (and eat and drink!). Bring a good jacket, warm and comfy shoes and maybe an umbrella! (Last year it was snowing, but the year before you could go out by day in a jean jacket!)
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 05:03 AM
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We've been in Italy three times in February with Rome included in two of the trips.

In 2002, we spent a week in Rome, and the weather was was sunny and warm.

In 2003, we didn't go to Rome, but Venice was sunny and cold enough for coats, hats, and gloves. The sunshine and scarcity of other tourists more than made up for the chill.

In 2004,we actually had snow mixed with rain during our three days in Rome. It really didn't seem cold, though.

As for the bundled-up Romans--we Alabamians seemed much more cold tolerant than they did.

And in Paris last week before last, with the weather sunny and in the low 70s, the Parisians were wrapped in coats and scarves. Go figure.


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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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We were in Rome in late February/early March last year. The weather was actually quite nice, especially when coming from bitterly cold Vienna, which was the first part of our trip. The temps were mostly in the low to mid 60's, with one day in the low 70's, definitely warmer than what I'm accustomed to in St. Louis during that time of the year. The sun was out and it was very nice. Sweaters were fine for the day, and light jackets over sweaters were fine for the evenings. I'm not sure if this is the usual or not, but we were also there in December and the temps were about the same. You should be fine.

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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 06:44 AM
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With all due respect to Rex and the historical weather database as well as to all the other posters, my experience over a number of years is that the weather in Italy -- as indeed anywhere -- has become totally unpredictable.

Most recent experience of the above: Two weeks in Sicily and one week in Rome in October. According to, the temperatures in October are the same as those in May, both in Sicily and Rome. Rainfall is about double what it is in May.

Not so! Temperatures were well below those I had experienced in May 2006. Rain was almost continuous, both in Sicily and Rome. And in both places, everyone told me, "This is most unusual."

So my advice would be, "Be prepared for anything"...
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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With all due respect to Eloise and anecdotal posters, Rex is correct that historical averages give the BEST estimate of what type of weather one might expect in any particular area.

Note that I wrote BEST, not perfect. Averages are just averages, after all. Yes, some years it can be much hotter, colder, rainer, or drier than the exact average. But for planning purposes, the historical averages will get you closer to what PROBABLY will happen than will a small sample of anecdotal experiences.

So, plan long term based on the historic averages, BUT check those 10-day forecasts as your travel date approaches. Of course, even those 10-day forecasts can be wrong.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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I've been to Rome twice in Early February for rugby matches. The first time it was beautifully warm in the sun, during the daytime, and I could sit out in short sleeves. But in the shade it was chilly & at night I needed a warm coat. The second time it started off the same way but the last day and a half it rained relentlessly.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 10:52 AM
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You don't have to freeze.
I too, went to Paris in Feb of 2005 and was worried that it would be too cold to enjoy. I'm from So. California and I don't ski. After consulting with friends from cold weather places, I was perfectly toasty in Paris. Clothes really do make the vacation. Here's what worked for me:
Wool coat- found a great sale on one after Xmas.
Wool socks
Silk undies
Dress in layers.
A long wool scarf.
The wool scarf can be folded accordian style and wrapped around the head and neck when the wind gets cold it's easy to pull a piece up over the face and it's very warm.

Now, I know this seems some pretty basic if you've been in snow all your life but if you haven't, it's little things that make the difference.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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actually this thread made me want to switch my potential trip to Rome from potentially april to potentially february.

i imagine the weather there to be similiar to the weather in nyc right now, which is what i like--40 degrees, just cold enough for a scarf, gloves and hat, without being too freezing.

kind of like how paris was last february, i guess..
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Old Oct 28th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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I was in Paris for New Years last year and loved the weather. The average was around 40-45 or so but the sun was always out. So, I am not sure what you consider cold or if it got alot colder in February but, my suggestion is to visit Rome when it is cooler.
The streets are mostly all black cobblestone and the buildings tower, not skyscrappers but in combination with the black underfooting, it gets hot. I was in Rome in February and loved the temperature. You will need a jacket and if you get really cold, gloves and maybe a hat. But, I would rather walk thru the Forum a little chilly then in the sweltering heat with no shade!
So, in my opinion, Rome is much more enjoyable in the colder months!
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