Some people imagine that Italy is warm and sunny all year round, but many regions get plenty of snow, and temperatures plunge across the country at this time of year.
But as our readers' photos show, every Italian region is beautiful no matter how cold it gets.
Snow in Italy is not as uncommon as some people think, and when it falls on Italy's spectacular landscapes it makes for a truly magical sight.
Here's the Umbria countryside, between Perugia and Gubbio, as you might not have seen it before. Photo: Anthony Paonita
Tuscany might be more famous as a summer holiday destination, but it's enchanting in winter with a blanket of snow over the hills and forests. This winter sunset photo was snapped from a helicopter. Photo: Donato Eramo
Sushil Penuti shared a winter snap of her dog Wira, who doesn't let snow put her off scouting for persimmons in the hills around Bologna.
These two photos sent in by Nicky Gamble showed us just how much snow can fall on her home in Teramo province.
So far this year Italy's snowfall has been mainly confined to the mountains, as we can see in this sunny shot, sent by Toni Hilton in Monferrato, Piemonte.
A view of the Alps from Piemonte by Toni Hilton. She says these mountains are “shy.” “They are always there, for weeks you may not see them, for a haze. Then suddenly the winds clear the haze goes away… and I grab my camera!”We think the fog is pretty magical, too. Here, two churches can just be seen through the fog in Monferrato. Photo: Toni Hilton
This shot from Rik Rensen shows the hilltop hamlet of San Giorgio Scarampi, Langhe, with its 14th-century tower peeking through the shroud of fog. “It’s as if I've ended up in a fairytale,” he wrote.
Mantova is famously foggy too, but the skies were clear on this December night and the whole town was decked out in lights. Photo: Clare Speak/The Local Italy
Snow or not, streets and squares across the country get a magical transformation at this time of year, as we can see in this shot of Ascoli Piceno's Christmas markets by blogger The Italian On Tour.
The beachside town of Polignano a Mare, Puglia, is known for its festive displays. It has this year started charging visitors a five euro entry fee to its old town during December. Photo: Clare Speak/The Local Italy
David Knight sent in this picture from his home in Pisciotta, proving the view is stunning all year round.
For those in search of blue skies, here's Raymond Agostinelli's sunny snap from Mattinata, Puglia.
And here's our reporter's peaceful countryside view this morning from Gioia del Colle, Puglia, where the skies are often a clear, deep blue even in mid-winter. But don't be fooled – the temperature is still about five degrees!