Does it snow in Rome? We’re answering all winter weather questions in this article!
The capital of Italy seldom sees snow, but it’s not non-existent.
That said, the chances of witnessing snow on a winter trip to Rome are incredibly slim.
The last substantial snowfall was in 2018 and before that, 2012.
Let’s take a look at all things Rome and snow!
Does it snow in Rome?
Rome, the capital city of Italy, is much better known for its warm Mediterranean climate than the chance of any snow!
Temperatures drop in winter, sure – but snowfall’s rare.
But that said, it CAN happen.
You might see photographs of the Colosseum blanketed in a thin layer of snow, but these moments are exceptional!
The last significant snowfall in Rome was in 2018, when the city saw enough snow to disrupt public transport, albeit temporarily.
Schools closed, and Romans took to the streets to revel in the rare snowy landscape.
However, within a day or two, the city returned to its more typical winter weather: chilly, but snow-free.
Why doesn’t it snow much in Rome?
Rome has a Mediterranean climate because of its southern location in Europe and its proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea.
This maritime influence tends to moderate temperatures, keeping winters milder compared to more inland or northerly locations.
Plus, the Apennine mountain range acts as a shield, blocking many cold fronts coming from the north.
As a result, most of the colder air that might bring snow gets stopped in its tracks.
Plus, Rome itself is low-lying – not like the mountains in Northern Italy, which frequently see snow.
All of this means that usually, the temperatures don’t drop low enough in Rome to see snow – and even when they do, there’s often not enough precipitation in the air for it!
When has it snowed in Rome?
Snow in Rome is such a rarity that when it does happen, it makes headlines!
Over the past decade, there have been only a handful of occasions when Rome’s cobblestone streets turned white.
One of the most talked-about snow events in recent years was in 2018.
The snowfall was significant enough to temporarily disrupt public transport, with buses struggling to navigate the icy roads and trams coming to a complete halt!
Before 2018, the last time Romans saw their city blanketed in white was back in 2012.
Just like in 2018, schools closed, and both tourists and locals flocked to iconic spots like the Colosseum to capture the rare scenes on their cameras.
But by the next day, the melting had begun!
There are some instances dating further back, but they only confirm how rare snowfall is in Rome.
The snow of 1985 is often mentioned by older Romans as a once-in-a-generation event. It came as a major surprise, not least because it was a heavier snowfall that led to more prolonged disruptions across the city.
What’s it like when it snows in Rome?
During the last significant snowfall, public transport systems experienced delays, roads became slushy, and the city enlisted the army to help clear the streets.
Schools closed for the day, many shops shut their doors, and Romans took to the streets.
Social media feeds were filled with images and videos of people taking part in spirited snowball fights, even at illustrious locations like St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican!
People created makeshift sledges out of garbage bags and went tobogganing in public parks.
The Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum closed their doors until the snow emergency was declared over.
But despite Rome’s lack of snow preparedness, more than 1,500 people and 190 vehicles were deployed to help clear the streets!
Typical winter temperatures in Rome
Here’s a table featuring the typical winter temperatures in Rome!
|Month||Average High (°C [°F])||Average Low (°C [°F])|
|November||17°C [63°F]||8°C [46°F]|
|December||13°C [55°F]||4°C [39°F]|
|January||12°C [54°F]||3°C [37°F]|
|February||14°C [57°F]||4°C [39°F]|
|March||17°C [63°F]||7°C [45°F]|
Snow in Rome: or not!
So, as you can see, it doesn’t snow much in Rome – in fact, during the shoulder seasons, Rome’s often considered a winter sun destination.
It can happen, but it’s very unlikely!