Wondering what to expect during Christmas in Rome, Florence or Venice?

The scent of spiced wine in the frosty air. Streets of sparkly, shimmering lights. Nativity scenes in every piazza. Fab, festive artisanal treats to take home.

And mostly: a collective desire to unwind, celebrate and indulge. AKA it’s the perfect time to visit (short lines for monuments and low hotel rates are an added bonus). 

Each Italian city is totally unique in how they celebrate, but they do share a couple of things under their collective Christmas tree.

First, there is a pretty strictly delineated Christmas season.

And it’s a generous time span! Christmastime here is considered to run from December 8th to January 6th. Why these dates in particular?

Second, they tend to keep similar hours.

With the exception of December 24th, 25th, 26th and January 1st, you still, for the most part, be able to access monuments and pop into restaurants as usual during regular operating hours. That’s why it’s one of the best times to be here –– the cities are calmer and lines are very, very short.

But to each city, their own Christmas quirks. Here’s what to expect if you’re in Rome, Florence or Venice over the holidays:

Christmas in Rome

We love spending Christmas in Rome for three good reasons: hotel rooms are a steal, lines for attractions and monuments are *way* shorter than usual, and overall, it slowly morphs into a quiet city filled with Christmas cheer. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the city if you don’t mind a little chill –– and chances are you won’t, once you’ve treated yourself to a new pair of leather gloves.

Christmas in Rome and the Colosseum in snow

Christmas in Rome at the market

Christmas in Florence

Florence isn’t shy about how much she digs Christmastime. Every window? Sparkling from top to bottom. Every piazza? Decked out in lights. Every street? Bustling with the scent of freshly wrapped gifts, panettone and the anticipation of the next holiday party to get to. It’s pretty freaking magical, and given how walkable the city is, the holiday spirit rubs off on you pretty quick!

Christmas in Rome and Florence at the market

Christmas in Venice

Truth be told, the wintertime isn’t *totally* the ideal time to visit Venice –– you may encounter flooding and the temperatures aren’t exactly balmy… But that doesn’t mean Venetians abstain from filling up on all the festive spirit! If you’re in Venice during Christmas, there’s still plenty to do and experience in this romantic city that gets decked out in gorgeous murano glass baubles. Plus, hotel prices can’t be beat in December in Venice, so we say treat yourself and go big or go home! 

Christmas in Rome and New Years Fireworks in Venice


Want more up-to-date intel on what to do every month in Rome, Florence and Venice –– including special Christmas events? Get all the deets when you grab Gigi Guides:

Here are some more blog posts too:

Got questions about visiting Italy during Christmas? Let us know in the comments and we’ll jump in to help you.

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