Moving from the sunny and hot Philippines to Italy, Rome is quite shocking, not only because of the contrast of daily living but also because of the climate change, especially when you arrive in winter.
I moved from a blazing ht 35ºC Philippines to a really cold around 13ºC Rome. Lucky for me I had bought a multi-purpose winter coat at the Columbia Store in Cebu City before departure. The coat keeps me warm and comfortable and the removable inner lining works nicely in the house as a vest.
The mornings are the coldest when temperatures drop around zero, and the afternoons are the nicest especially like the last few days when the sun is out and warms my face.
Overall it is manageable. I think the hardest moments are leaving the hot shower stepping in an ice cold bathroom. I hate that!
Italian houses are not built for winter, and although they do have low temperatures for a few months each year the houses are not prepared for winter. Many houses do not have heating other than the feeble warmth blowing from the reversed aircon or electric heaters like the one heating my back while I type this from under a blanket, sitting on the couch.
Rome in winter is a nice place though. It is quieter at the tourist attractions than during summer
Although there are still cues at the entrance of many attractions they are not as long as they are in summer. So that makes it worthwhile coming to Rome in winter. Rome is a busy tourist attraction all year round, but in winters like now, when the sun is out almost every afternoon it is pretty comfortable and the blue air gives a nice background for the many photos of historical buildings.
Italians love to eat outdoors and many restaurants are small with terraces outside to enlarge their square meters. Those terraces are nicely warmed by heaters. A downside is that the food chills very fast. So I prefer to sit inside over sitting outside.
Did you know that in Italy when you sit down to eat prices go up? The most affordable way to eat for example breakfast or lunch is standing at the (coffee)bar, getting your pastry one side and the hot drinks on the other and just enjoy it on the spot.
And did you know that you are not allowed to make noise between 11 at night and 7 in the mourning and that all aircon units are shut down during that period to prevent noise pollution?
So maybe winter isn’t such a bad time to visit this cultural hot spot, since in summer, without an aircon it might be pretty uncomfortable in the nights.
With most attractions being indoors or mainly indoors it is not such a challenge to do Rome in wintertime. Public transport takes you within a few minutes from location to location and even if you want to walk, you might enjoy a brisk walk in the cold crisp air.
Yesterday, with the sun out I walked around with an unzipped coat and was very comfortable
I have to get used to shoes again, I haven’t been wearing them for over 3 years, only while riding the highways in the Philippines on long trips I wore shoes. Now I walk on them all day every day. No more flip-flops and it will take a few months before I can wear sandals again.
Same with socks!
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.