What to wear in Rome in spring: all you need to know + essential packing list

by marta

Heading to Rome at Easter and wondering what to pack? Take the guesswork out of your packing efforts with this guide: find out what to wear in Rome in spring to be appropriate, comfortable and stylish at all times.

Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit Rome.

After a humid winter, spring in Rome announces itself with a triumph of plum and cherry tree blossoms, restaurants start opening their terraces and locals shed their heavier layers, ready to soak up the bright yer gentle sun.

However, this is not to say that spring in Rome is always idyllic and you are guaranteed good weather.

Like in so many other parts of Europe, spring in Rome is also a season of sudden weather changes and to make sure you are not caught unprepared during a long day out sightseeing, some preparation is needed.

In this post, I answer the most common questions about packing for Rome in spring and will give my best practical advice on what to wear in Rome in spring to be comfortable, appropriate when visiting churches and not look like a tourist (at least, not too much to attract the wrong type of attention!)

When is spring in Rome?

According to the astronomical calendar, spring in Rome starts on the 20th of March (Spring Equinox) and finishes 3 months later, on the 21st of June (Summer solstice), when summer starts.

However, if we look at spring in practical and packing terms, this definition only comes in handy to a point. In reality, Rome sees the beginning of what many would consider spring temperatures as early as mid February and starts getting hot and summery in early June.

Because of this, for the purpose of this post I am going to cover not just 3 months but 4 and will consider spring in Rome to be from early March to the end of June.

How hot is Rome in spring?

Rome in spring usually sees warm but not scorching hot temperatures. The thermometer raises steadily between March and the summer and in general you can expect sunny days, with week peppered by the odd rain shower.

When packing for Rome in spring, your are unlikely to need heavy coats or sweaters but don’t rush packing your shorts quite yet.

While during the day you will be most likely find yourself wishing you had more skin exposed, in the evening the temperatures can fall dramatically and you will want to have a light jacket and closed shoes.

These are the official temperatures in Rome in spring:

Spring in Rome / monthsTemperature High /LowAverage rainy days
March16C / 6C7
April19C / 8C8
May24C / 13C5
June28C / 17C3

What to wear in Rome in spring: thoughts about ‘blending in’

If you are in Rome as a tourist, especially if with a rather packed itinerary and landmarks and museums to visit, you don’t need any special style tip and you can wear absolutely whatever you are comfortable in.

I know that there is a big worry about blending in but look at it this way: the thing that is likely to give away the fact that you are a tourist is likely not what you are wearing.

You can look as ‘local’ as you wish, but there is a good chance you will not be dressed and will not act like a local on their way to work. But don’t worry!

Looking like a visitor in Rome is really not a big problem. First of all, we have so many visitors, you will never really stand out as one.

Also, Italians wear a much wider variety of styles than the web suggests and especially lately, you see the spectrum of what people wear go from the extreme casual to the super refined so really, there is no one style to match!

Good to know! Athletic wear is not common for adults outside of the gym and usually mentioned as ‘the giveaway of the American Tourist’. It sort of is but really: no reason to stay away from it, there is nothing wrong with looking like or being an American tourist! The only places where athletic wear may not be appropriate are upper scale restaurants but in the vast majority of places, nobody will have an issue with what you are wearing. If this is your style, go for it!

You will be ok in whatever you feel comfortable waiting, except for a couple of situations (churches and upscale restaurants, see below).

That said, if you are coming to Rome for work or a longe stay or are anyway interested in knowing what to expect from local fashion, here are some tips.

What colors to wear in Rome in spring

Spring in Rome is a time for neutral, pastel and bright colors. At this time, locals opt for beige and light brown for tops, jackets and shoes and embrace colors such as light pink and taupe.

In Rome we are not particularly big on florals, not even in summer, so you are more likely to see blocks of colors than patterns.

In the photo, you see me in my yellow leather jacket, colorful scarves and my daughter who ‘stole’ my sunglasses for the occasion!

The best shoes for Rome in spring

The best shoes to wear in Rome in spring and breathable, comfortable runners. Ideally, you want shoes that can take a bit of rain or two pairs, so you can leave one to dry overnight should you be caught in a heavy shower.

If you’ve been online a lot before landing on this article, I know you may find the advice about sneakers in Rome surprising; how about all the blogs that say we don’t wear sneakers in Rome?

As a born and bread Roman I can tell you this: that are wrong! We absolutely wear sneakers in Rome!

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

In the photo, you can see the three styles of sneaker we have: the one in the center is me, the others two are my kids!

photo of feet in sneakers in Rome to showcase three different styles

Children and young people in general wear sneakers all the time and you’ll be hard pressed to find a different style. Everyone is in sneaker of all types!

What is true however, is that people who go to the office or people off to dinner, often opt for fashion runners rather than full on gym ones. Fashion sneakers are great for a smart casual look and would be the local style of choice for most situations that don’t require formal attire.

There is absolutely not general rule agains gym shoes, however you’ll see the sneakers wear in Rome for a smart casual look are vans, new balance, veja etc or very commonly comfortable shoes that are not runners such as Ecco or Camper brands.

Sports sneakers become less common as age progresses.

You can find an excellent list of great walking shoes for Italy here

Dresses and skirts in Rome: rules for churches

The one place in Rome where there is an actual dress code is the Vatican.

The Vatican has a strict dress code that applies to all its inside spaces, which include the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica and the top basilicas around Rome.

The dress code for the Vatican and churches in Rome is dictated by the need of modesty and to abide to it you need to keep in mind two things: the letter of the rule and the spirit of the rule.

The letter of the rule is that you must not show kneed nor shoulder: this means longer skirts, longer ‘shorts’, no tank tops etc.

The spirit of the rule however goes a little beyond this and it is, to a large extent, down to what it a common perception of what is modest and respectful of what the Catholic consider a sacred space.

In spring, the issue doesn’t come up a lot as you’ll probably be covered up sufficiently without much effort but if in doubt, think of the outfit that is less likely to cause offence, applying a pretty conservative standard.

Sign in front of St Peter basilica with dress code for entry. Drawing of people in shorts and revealing clothing crossed out in red on blue background
Visiting Rome churches does require following a dress code

Restaurants and terraces dress code

There is no special dress code for restaurants unless you go to high end ones.

In general, locals tend to dress in what abroad is perceived as smart casual style so if you are in local neighborhood restaurants, you may notice people are more ‘dressed up’ than you, especially you have been trotting around all day from one landmark to the other.

This is not however a rule and you don’t need to worry about being turned away in more tourist attire.

Restaurants in the center will have a mix of styles.

If you are going to a higher end restaurant or an upscale terrace, then you want to dress for the occasion: in this case, avoiding athletic wear and opting for polo or shirt for men goes a long way. Shorts on adults can be problematic in high end places so trousers are recommended.

Kids can pretty much wear whatever they want. however, once they hit teenage years it is advisable to follow adult rules in higher end establishments.

What to pack for Rome in spring: essentials

One medium / light jacket

One medium / light jacket.

For this season, I love puffa style jackets which occupy little space in your bag and still keep you warm. Unless you are used to very warm temperatures back home, you are unlikely to need a full winter coat at this time.

A stylish scarf

A scarf is my must have in Rome in all seasons and one you will need in spring especially in the evening. As well as being useful to protect you from sudden drops in temperatures, it is an item Rome women love and a great fashion statement. Bring a few in different colors for maximum style impact

Rome packing list for spring essential items (jeans, scarf, sunglasses, tops)

Cardigan / hoodie

In spring in Rome the temperature will from warm to chilly so layers are essential.

A cardigan, light woollen top or a hoodies for kids is perfect for this season.

Long pants / jeans / skirts

For season and versatility, in Rome in spring you’ll want to wear long pants or, on a hot day, a skirt.

In this season jeans work well and are very widely accepted in terms of attire or cotton, polyester and chinos work great. Children can easily wear athletic wear although you may want to upgrade the attire to chinos or similar if going to a more upscale dining establishment.

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 recommend this style for practicality: a crossbody bag is easy to keep safe and it is also usually a size that you can bring with you inside museums.

if you are traveling with young kids and you need a diaper bag, on the other hand, a backpack one can be handy. In that case, I recommend to bring two bags: one for them and a small crossbody one with documents, money, phone, etc.

A pocket Italian dictionary and phrasebook

Pocket Italian dictionary or >>>> this essential list of Italian sentences for visitors <<<

In Rome English is widely spoken but a little effort goes a long way: we love when we see visitors making an effort!

Good walking shoes

See above! These are the one item you need to get right in Rome.

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 sole, closed shoes for spring and only bring sandals if very late in the season or if you don’t mind changing mid walk when the temperature drops.

You can find my recommendations on the best walking shoes for Rome here.

Tech essentials

In all seasons, 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!


Without going overboard, always make sure you have some cash on you while in Rome. This can come I handy for tips in restaurants (if you are leaving one), public toilets etc.

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

Taxis are obliged to accept cards but often complain and prefer cash. If you are not in the mood to take them on (I know I am often not), having cash can also be handy.


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

While you do not want all your documents on you, in case you lose them or they get stolen (not as common as the web suggests but it does happen in Rome), having ID on you at all times is compulsory in Italy, so make sure you are not caught unprepared if asked by the authorities.

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.

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.

What to pack for Rome in March

Aside from general items above, this is what I recommend you pack for Rome March.

The saying goes ‘Crazy March, the sun comes out? you take the umbrella’ (In Italian: Marzo pazzerello, esce il sole prendi l’ombrello‘) and indeed, March in Rome is a changeable, unpredictable month.

The beginning of the month still sees residues of winter and especially in the evening you will want to wrap up well, while during the day you are likely to want to take your jacket off and, if very lucky with the weather, possibly even your sweater, for a short time.

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

  • Light jacket
  • Scarf
  • Short sleeve tops
  • One long sleeve top for layering
  • Cardigan
  • Jeans / long trousers
  • Skirt and tights
  • Closed toe, walking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Your basics (underwear, socks, toiletries etc)
  • A travel umbrella

Find here >>> my full packing list for Rome in March

What to wear in Rome in April

April is mild in Rome but it is also a month with frequent rain showers. Is packing for Rome in April, make sure you have:

  • A lightweight jacket
  • A light scarf
  • Short sleeve tops
  • Cardigan
  • Jeans /trousers
  • Skirt and tights
  • Travel umbrella
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Everyday essentials (underwear, socks etc)

Find here >>> my full packing list for Rome in April.

My children in Borghese Gardens in Rome in April with short sleeve shirts and hoodies / sweaters

What to wear in Rome in May

May can be properly warm in Rome and you want to be ready with light clothes.

At this time, neutrals tend to leave space to more colorful fashion choices so if you love colors, this is your time to express yourself fully!

This is my lisy of what to pack for Rome in May:

  • Sleeveless and short sleeve tops
  • A light cardigan
  • Light large scarf (also to wrap around your shoulders if visiting churches)
  • Jeans / Trousers
  • Mid season dresses /skirt
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Everyday essentials (underwear, socks, pajama etc)
  • Sun hat
  • Closed toe shoes and sandals

Find here >>> my complete packing list for Rome in May.

What to wear in Rome in June

June is usually a warm and dry month. The beginning of the month especially sees a rise in temperatures, then mid month tends to see a small drop again to then see a steady ride towards scorching hot July.

When packing for Rome in June, make sure you include:

  • Short sleeve tops and spaghetti straps tops
  • A light scarf to cover your shoulders when visiting churches
  • Light trousers (linen etc) / skirt / shorts
  • Good walking sandals
  • Sun screen, sun glasses, sun hat

I hope you found these tips on what to wear in Rome in spring useful. Safe travels!

Originally published in 2019. Last updated in January 2024 with current photos and trends.

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