What to Wear in Rome in October – Essential Items to Pack

Even though August in Rome is the busiest tourist month, I think October really is one of the best times to visit the eternal city. Summer temperatures are a memory, winter ones haven’t started yet and neither the usual autumn rainfalls. Knowing what to wear in Rome in October will have you prepared in case of changes in the weather and will help you plan your itinerary also if you are thinking of taking a day trip.

With always new archaeological diggings and new restaurant openings, Rome is an ever-changing city in everything, whether it’s the food scene or the local history. This is why when packing for a Rome trip it’s a good idea to have something for every occasion such as a fancy restaurant or an ancient site.

So if you are planning your holiday, here are our tips on how what to wear in October in Rome.

What to wear in Rome in October + Tips on what to pack

Comfortable shoes

This is pretty much a common item to pack for Rome no matter what season you are traveling. In October, we suggest you wear light runners or comfortable walking shoes that are neither winter boots nor too heavy or warm.

October in Rome is still quite warm so your shoes would ideally be made of breathable mesh material so that you don’t sweat much. In October it doesn’t rain much so you will walk a lot around Rome’s important archaeological sites such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Trajan’s Markets.

Image: Shes to wear in Rome in October

Fancy shoes

If you want to carry on with the fun into the night and enjoy an aperitif at one of Rome’s scenic rooftop bars or a fancy dinner at a rooftop restaurant, you might want to dress up a little. So if you have some room in your luggage, you can pack also a pair of fancy shoes.

Fancy shoes are definitely not a must to wear in Rome in October. If you are not into night fun, you can totally save the room and leave it for some souvenir shopping. But if you think you want to plan a night out after a day of sightseeing, you can wear either light spring shoes or even summer sandals, especially if you come beginning of October.

Check out our guide to the best rooftop restaurants in Rome.

Cotton t-shirts

At the beginning of the month or in the hottest hours of the day, you will likely feel hot and want to wear a cotton t-shirt instead of a blouse or jumper. I see our German friends wearing t-shirts even during winter in Rome. Even though I’m definitely not suggesting this, in October you totally can.

October’s highest temperatures in Rome range between 22 and 23°C (around 73°F) and is usually very sunny, so wearing a jacket, even if light, sometimes feels hot for me too, and I get cold pretty easily.

If you have limited time, you won’t probably be able to take a long break or go back to your hotel after lunch so you might want to wear a t-shirt in case it becomes too warm for a jumper.

Long-sleeve tops

Along with short-sleeve t-shirts, having long-sleeve tops handy is a good idea in October in Rome. Why? Because while the weather is not winter cold yet, it’s not too hot either, and sometimes, instead of a summer clothes, you might need a little warmer garments.

Image: What to wear in Rome in October tips

Jumper or sweatshirt

If you start your sightseeing early morning or finish late in the evening, a jumper or sweatshirt will become quite handy. If you are planning a trip for the end of the summer and are wondering what to wear in Rome in October, you might need a sweatshirt mainly for the evening, but if you are coming closer to November, you might need more than one jumper.

Towards the end of October, in fact, when fall gets closer to winter, there might be the need to wear a jumper also during the day rather than just at night or in the evening. Depending on how long you stay in Rome, you would decide how many jumpers to pack.

Socks or tights

While I suggest you don’t wear socks with sandals if you are trying to blend in, I definitely recommend wearing socks in October in Rome because it’s not too hot anymore and you will be more comfortable.

If you are wearing a skirt, you should wear tights. Keep in mind that if you are entering a church or visiting the Vatican, your skirt should be knee-length.

Light jacket

If I were you, I would also pack a light jacket, whether you are traveling at the beginning or at the end of the month. A light jacket can be necessary if you are wearing a t-shirt and enter somewhere with air conditioning or if you are out till the evening.

If you are the type that dresses casual during the day and fancy in the evening, then probably you would pack even more than one light jacket so that you are covered depending on the occasion. A light jacket is pretty versatile, especially when the weather is unstable, so if you are planning what to wear in Rome in October, this is a must.

Long trousers or denim

Once the fall has started, I prefer to wear long trousers, usually light ones. While denim jeans might be too heavy for the beginning of the month, towards the end of October in Rome, you would probably enjoy wearing some warmer clothes.

Image: Trousers and jumper to wear in Rome in October

Fancy dress

Why not, just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean that in October in Rome you shouldn’t wear a fancy dress. Since you are likely to wear it in the evening, you probably won’t want to pack a summer dress. I suggest you pack a typical dress for the autumn season and you will be covered also in case of a drop in the temperatures.

Shawl or light scarf

While a light scarf is often used as a fashion item, it comes quite handy to protect you from the eventual wind and the evening humidity. Even at the beginning of the month, and even if you are still wearing t-shirts and light clothes, at night throwing a shawl over your shoulders is a good idea.

Raincoat

While temperatures are still mild and pleasant in October in Rome, rainfalls start around the second half of August. October rain is nice and often welcome for a break from the occasional hot weather, but a raincoat will be necessary to protect you from getting wet.

Shops now sell plenty of types of raincoats that you can easily fold and make very small, so perfect for traveling and packing light.

Sunglasses

That’s right, in Italy we use sunglasses all year long, and there must be a reason. Rome is a sunny city and while in winter you can find quite a few days where there’s no need for them, October is just the beginning of fall so a pair of sunglasses is something you will appreciate carrying around.

Always keep in mind that one of the best things to do in Rome is to enjoy the view from above, whether it’s a rooftop bar or a landmark such as the Roman Forum or St. Peter’s dome. On a very sunny day (and in October this can happen), you will definitely need to protect your eyes.

Make sure you don’t miss our guide to visiting the Vatican City in Rome.

Image: Rome in October

More tips on what to pack for Rome in October

Sunscreen

I don’t wear sunscreen often and I admit, I don’t do it in October. But if you have very light skin, probably October’s sun in Rome will be too strong for you. If you don’t feel like packing one, you can always find it in pharmacies or stores in Rome, and in October they are usually in a big sale.

Umbrella

As soon as it starts raining in Rome, you will find plenty of street vendors. I have bought many times from them because more than once the rain caught me by surprise. Unfortunately, they are low quality and break pretty quickly. So if you have some room in your luggage, I recommend packing a good-quality foldable umbrella from home.

Reusable water bottle

This is very handy to pack for Rome because you will find the nasoni fountains all over the city where you can refill your bottle with drinkable water without the need to buy one every time.

Small backpack

When you are out sightseeing, it’s always a good idea to carry a small backpack for essential items you might need repeatedly. This way, things like a small umbrella or a bottle of water are easily accessible.

Cross-body bag

If you are not into backpacks, you can opt for a cross-body bag to carry your valuables around. Actually, if you are visiting the Colosseum, backpacks are not even allowed, so a large bag is a better option.

Don’t miss our up-to-date guide to visiting the Colosseum.

Slippers for your hotel

If you are booking a high-end hotel, you will find the slippers in the room, but if your Rome hotel has also a pool, you might want to wear your own flip flops.

Can you wear sandals in Rome in October?

Yes, you can wear sandals in Rome in October, especially at the beginning of the month. I would still recommend to pack also a pair of ankle boots or runners in case of rain or coldish temperatures.

Even though in the evening you might go out for a fancy dinner, keep in mind that during the day you are going to walk a lot and, depending on what you visit, you will find plenty of staircases. This is why a pair of comfortable sneakers is a must and, if you really want to wear sandals in October in Rome also for your sightseeing, you might want to opt for Birkenstock or this type of shoes.

Is it cold in Rome in October?

No, weather is Rome in October is nice and cool. Temperatures range between 12°C (53°F) as the lowest at night and 20-22°C (68-71°F) the highest during the day.

Image: Rome in autumn

Do I need a coat for Italy in October?

I wouldn’t pack a long coat for Italy in October, especially for Rome. Maybe in colder places like Milan or Trentino Alto Adige you might already see some wearing a long coat, but in Rome this is more of a winter garment. In October in Rome you are unlikely to see anyone wearing it, not even in the evening when temperatures tend to drop a little.

Does it rain a lot in Rome in October?

Usually, in Rome in October it rains a little. Let’s say that in the whole month of October, you might find between a week to 10 days of rainfalls. More often it’s a quick shower, sometimes a fall storm, but usually at night.

However, like for every month of the year, it’s really a matter of luck. I remember even a few July months cold and rainy, and normally, July in Italy is known as its hottest summer month. To be better safe than sorry, I still recommend you pack an umbrella and a raincoat. And don’t worry, while I’m positive you are likely not to go to the beach, there are plenty of things to do in Rome when it rains.

Is Rome humid in October?

When it rains, you can have some humid days in Rome in October, but usually, November is a more humid month. Normally, October is Rome is sunny and quite dry, with hotter temperatures around midday but rarely humid.

I would say humidity in Rome in October is mainly in the evening, and this is why I recommend wearing or carrying a light scarf with you.

Is Rome worth visiting in October?

I think October is one of the best months to visit Rome. Spring offers nice weather and a lovely light but it’s often crowded. Summer is way too crowded and I suggest you travel to Rome only if there’s the only time you can, while October is perfect for both the weather and the fewer queues.

Even the most popular landmarks such as the Colosseum or the Vatican Museums will have shorter lines and the experience inside will be much better.

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About The Author: Angela Corrias

Hi, my name is Angela Corrias! I am an Italian journalist, photographer, and blogger living in Rome. After over ten years of living abroad, I finally came to the conclusion that in order to better organize my future adventures, I needed a base. Since I know and love Rome so much, I moved back to the Eternal City. This is how Rome Actually was born. Here, I cover everything about Rome, from the local food to the culture to Roman history.

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