What to wear in Rome in April: complete packing list and style guide by a local

by marta

What to wear in Rome in April. Complete packing list for Rome in April: what to pack for April in Rome to stay comfortable, stylish and get the dress code right.

April is one of the most pleasant months for visiting Rome. 

A spring month, April usually comes with mid temperatures and bright skies; however, April is also rather rainy in Rome so packing for it requires a little more than just embracing pastel colors and summery tops.

When packing for Rome in April, you won’t need to fill your bags with heavy clothing but you will need layers.

I recommend you opt for easy options like cardigans and jackets, so you can wrap up when the sun gives way to the chill of the evening. 

Rome Imperial Forum view

Today, we share our complete packing list for Rome in April with tips on what to wear for comfort and style. 

With it, you can be sure you will be appropriate at all times (including in churches and dinners out) as well as comfortable while sightseeing in the Eternal City.

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How hot is Rome in April?

Rome in April usually sees warm but not scorching hot temperatures.

The thermometer shows steadily increasing temperatures as the month progresses and, in general, you can expect sunny days and the occasional rain shower.

When packing for Rome in April, you can usually do without heavy coats. However, this is not quite the time for summer clothes and sandals yet. 

During the day, you will be most likely find yourself in short sleeves; however, as soon as the sun goes down, you will want a good sweater and even a light jacket and scarf.

Rome is surprisingly humid so once the sun sets, even mild temperatures can feel chilly and unpleasant and rain can also mean a significant and sudden drop in temperature, so being ready is essential.

These are the official temperatures in Rome in April:

Average Temperature MaxAverage Temperature MaxAvg. n. rainy days
19C / 66F 9C / 48F 8

What to wear in Rome in April: style tips

If you want to blend in with the locals while visiting Rome in April, here are some tips.

What colors to wear in Rome in April

April in Rome is a time for neutral and pastel colors. At this time, you will find women opting for beige and light brown for tops, jackets and shoes and embracing colors such as pale pink and taupe.

Apri is usually not warm enough for summer dresses. However, bright summer colors such as red linen pants/trousers would be appropriate on a sunny day.

For men, this is a time for polo shirts and light sweaters: Italian men love colors and mustard yellow or terracorra reds are common. 

Dresses and skirts in Rome: rules for churches

Visiting churches is part of any trip to Rome and this is particularly true in April, when you may want to experience some of the preparations and celebrations for Easter.

See also >>> all you need to know about Rome at Easter.

The best dresses for churches in Rome are below the kneen, they cover your shoulders and do not have revealing necklines or backs.

You won’t need to be fully covered up; however, opting for modest attire is best, especially for the Papal basilicas. 

In terms of temperatures, most Italian women will still be wearing tights at this time. 

The rules about modest attire apply to men as well. 

The strictest dress rules are for the Vatican: I recommend you familiarise with them here >>> Vatican Dress Code.

The best shoes for Rome in April

The one item of clothing you need to get right in Rome in April is shoes and this is not for style but for comfort and safety.

No matter how you plan your Rome itinerary, you will walk a lot while in the city and you will often be on cobbled streets so proper shoes are paramount!

One of the craziest pieces of advice I see on the web about what to wear in Rome is that you cannot wear sneakers. This is absolutely mad and not true! 

Romans are sensible more than anything else and sneakers are very common and acceptable in a city where feet are the transport of choice and cobblestones ubiquitous.

What you want to actually avoid in Rome are sport runners or those types of sneakers that are made for the gym rather than for walking (you know the type: high sole, fluorescent colors etc).

The sneakers you want to wear in Rome are fashion ones, such as new balance or vans style. However, older travelers may find styles such as Camper shoes or Ecco urban shoes even better. 

You can find my list of recommended shoes for Rome travel here

What to pack for Rome in April: essentials

One medium / light jacket

Recommending a specific weight of jacket for rome in April is very hard as the temperature is neither cold nor hot, leaving plenty of space for personal interpretation on how or cols it actually is.

In general, I think it is safe to say that Rome ins April feels hot if you come from cold climates and just ok if you come from anywhere else.

You are unlikely to experience Rome in April as very hot or very cold, unless in the care of a freaky weather event!

Locals tend to wear medium to light jackets.

I personally love to wear my light down jacket in April: it is warm enough for night and light enough to stay around my waist during the day. 

Leather jackets are also great temperature-wise but make sure they can take the rain as rain showers in Rome in April are common. 

A stylish scarf

A scarf is my must-have in Rome in all seasons and you will need one in April, especially in the evening. 

As well as being useful with sudden drops in temperatures, scarves are an item Rome women love and a great fashion statement: a lightweight pashimna is usually a very versatile thing to have. 

A cross body bag

The best type of purse to have in Rome is a cross-body one that you can keep close to your body and with space for all your essentials. 

I don’t believe you need to invest in an anti teeth bag. However, this is very much a personal choice and if it adds to your peace of mind, it can be worth it.

What is paramount is that you never ever leave you bag unattended or open. Oick-pocket exist in busy areas and they are fast! 

A paper map

Despite claims of wifi being everywhere in Rome, this is not at all the case. 

If you don’t want to drain your phone battery with constant checks on google maps, equip yourself with a good paper map to navigate the city at best

A pocket Italian dictionary and phrasebook

Italians usually understand English (not always) but a little effort goes a long way. Aside from basic politeness, a phrase book can come in handy if you need to communicate with owners of smaller establishments or with any official authority

Good walking shoes

We have already covered this but it is worth repeating it!

Shoes are the one item you need to get right in Rome.

Close up of cream walking shoes worn by a woman sitting on a very wall
Young fashion man’s legs with sneakers seated in stone wall. White shoes

You are going to do a lot of walking in the city and you must keep yer feet protected from the charming yet exhausting cobblestones of the city.

Go for rubber soles and closed toes shoes. In April, you are unlikely to wear sandals unless you are used to frigid temperatures or you are in Rome very late in the month: locals will still be wearing winter / mid season shoes. 

Tech essentials

Don’t forget your phone, charger, camera and adapter for Italy. 

Bring a spare battery with you if using your phone for photos or maps as Rome will give your charge quite a workout!

Tech essentials you may want to have on your April packing list for Rome are:

  • Phone
  • Chargers 
  • Power adapters
  • Portable spare battery
  • Headphones (if using)
  • Ipad (if using)

Cash

Without going overboard, always make sure you have some cash on you while in Rome.

Larger hotels and restaurants accept credit cards but many smaller establishments do not and using cards for small purchases is usually a no- go (you cannot buy a few euro of gelato by credit card for instance).

Opt for small to medium notes and try avoid 50 Euro note or bigger: shops are not happy to break them up for you and you will find yourself stuck when trying to make a small purchase

Travel Documents for Rome

A little bit like for cash, you want to strike a balance between what is necessary and what is safe.

close up of laptop and hands of a woman booking a vacation with passport on the table

While you do not want all your documents on you, having ID on you at all times is compulsory in Italy, so make sure you are not caught unprepared if asked by the authorities.

Due to current regulations, it is also paramount to have your vaccination cert / card on you: this will be required to enter attractions, use public transport and all hospitality establishment (over 12 only)

Fashion accessories

Rome women love accessories. Opt for colorful necklace, earrings and sunglasses to immediately give a touch of class and color to your everyday outfit

A refillable water bottle

Rome has many drinkable water fountains providing delicious fresh water.

Read here >>> all about drinking Rome’s tap water.

Bringing your own water bottle means you can save money avoiding having to buy bottles and you will help the environment immensely as well as helping reduce one of the biggest problems in Rome: rubbish disposal.

Summarizing, my packing list for Rome in April:

Casual fashion lookbook concept. Clothing and accessory items on white isolated background with a lot of copy space for text. Top view, flat lay, close up.

When packing for Rome in April, make sure you have:

  • Light jacket, ideally able to withstand the rain
  • Scarf
  • Short sleeve tops
  • Cardigan
  • Jeans / long trousers
  • Skirt and tights
  • Underwear 
  • Socks
  • Button-down shirts for men
  • Nightwear (Pijama, nightgown: cotton or similar works well, no need for fleece but no summer pijamas either)
  • A blazer for men (for a smart casual look during the day or for dinner)
  • Closed toe, walking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel documents (Passport, visa if needed)
  • Vaccination cert / negative test result
  • Travel insurance
  • Essential medications and prescriptions (translated or with the name of the generic active principle – Commercial names in Italy tend to be different for abroad)
  • Copy of all your reservations/tours
  • A crossbody bag
  • Purse with money and cards
  • A reusable water bottle (foldable ones like this one work amazingly well!)
  • Your phone and charger
  • Italy travel adaptor
  • Portable power bank/battery pack
  • Camera, if different from your phone + extra photo cards
  • Italian phrasebook – Top tip! You can find here >>> a comprehensive, handy list of basic Italian expressions for travel (free)
  • Portable travel umbrella
  • Wet/dry bags

What to pack for Rome in April with kids

If traveling to Rome with kids, I recommend you check out our family guides:

Tips for visiting Rome with a toddler

Complete family guide to planning a trip to Rome with kids

Walking kids will only need mid-season clothing in April in Rome. Pre walkers may need to wrap up a little more, especially in the evening. 

This is me and my children in April in Rome – Caracalla’s Baths

My must-have for April in Rome are:

  • Baby carrier 
  • Cobbled-street ready stroller
  • Rain cover for the stroller/ pushchair (some good options are here
  • Jacket
  • Blanket
  • A change of shoes for rainy days
  • Well stocked baby changing bag
  • Baby Nightwear
  • Baby Daywear
  • Hat – light one, for sun more than cold
  • Sippy cup
  • Soother
  • Teether
  • Travel-ready toys (stacking cups, sticker books, magic boards etc.)
  • Cuddly toy/ teddy

Toiletries

I like to keep all my toiletries in a travel toiletry bag to hang in my hotel bathroom. I usually stock it with:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Shower gel / soap (I recommend solid soap for travel)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Tweezers
  • Comb and brush
  • Face and body moisturizers
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Women sanitary supplies
  • Perfume / skin scent
  • Make up
  • Shaving cream, blades and accessories
  • Hair ties

Accessories and nice to have

The best accessories I recommend for Rome are:

  • Sunglasses –April can bright and lovely, make sure you protect your eyes
  • Necklaces to dress an outfit up or down: Italian women love necklaces!
  • Earrings, again a popular Italian fashion statement
  • Scarf – for warmth and look
  • Eye mask for the plane
  • Travel pillow for the plane

The best luggage for Rome in April

The best luggage for Rome is spacious enough to keep safe your bulkier winter clothes and shoes yet light and resistant enough for you to safely manoeuvre it in airports and, if walking, on bumpy cobbled streets.

In terms of larger bags, I recommend:

I hope you found this packing list useful and it helped you decide what to wear in Rome in April: safe travel planning!

woman spring outfit in light blue

Printable packing list for Rome in April

How to pack for Rome in April to be comfortable, stylish and appropriate at all times

Materials

  • Clothings
  • Toiletries
  • Travel tech essentials

Tools

  • Main travel bag / luggage
  • Crossbody bag
  • Packing cubes

Instructions

  • Light jacket, rain proof
  • Scarf
  • Short sleeve tops
  • Cardigan
  • Jeans / long trousers
  • Skirt and tights
  • Underwear 
  • Socks
  • Button-down shirts for men
  • Nightwear (Pijama, nightgown: cotton or similar works well, no need for fleece but no summer pijamas either)
  • A blazer for men (for a smart casual look during the day or for dinner)
  • Closed toe, walking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel documents (Passport, visa if needed)
  • Vaccination cert / negative test result
  • Travel insurance
  • Essential medications and prescriptions (translated or with the name of the generic active principle – Commercial names in Italy tend to be different for abroad)
  • Copy of all your reservations/tours
  • A crossbody bag
  • Purse with money and cards
  • A reusable water bottle (foldable ones like this one work amazingly well!)
  • Your phone and charger
  • Italy Travel Adaptor
  • Portable power bank / battery pack
  • Camera, if different from your phone + extra photo cards
  • Italian phrasebook
  • Portable travel umbrella
  • Wet/dry bags
  • Baby carrier
  • Stroller
  • Soother / teether / blanky for babies / toddlers

Notes

Packing cubes are an excellent tool to pack more in a small bag.

Keep in mind that Italian houses usually do not have a dryer: pack accordingly if planning on doing laundry while in Rome

If traveling with a baby or toddler, carry a small number of essentials: baby and toddler products are readily avaiable in Rome in pharmacy shops and supermarkets

What to wear in Rome in April packing list – pint this!

Tourist in Rome with bright spring top and Colosseum in the background with overlay text: Rome in April, packing list

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