When it comes to figuring out what to pack for Italy, there are a number of things to consider. First and foremost being the season that you’re traveling. In the summer, parts of Italy can get very very warm, and in the winter parts can be quite chilly, and if you’re in the mountains, you’ll be requiring snow gear.
No matter what season you’re traveling, though, you’re going to want to take into consideration that, in general, people in Italy tend to dress up a bit more than your typical American. An easy way to stick out like a sore thumb as a tourist is to hit the streets clad in athleisure. I’m not saying that you need to be dressed to the nines, but swapping out leggings with, say, a pair of wide leg trousers will make a huge difference (and be just as comfy)! In this post I’ll break down the core items you should consider bringing with a little commentary where necessary and, wherever applicable, I’ll link to some of my tried and true favorites.
So – let’s get you ready to go to Italy!
Packing List for Italy
Clothing to Pack for Italy
What kind of shirts and tops you’ll need will vary widely depending on the season that you’re traveling. If you’re there in the summer, bring some light, breathable tops as it can get quite warm. A crisp white button down is a must as it can be dressed up, dressed down or even used as a bathing suit cover up. If you happen to be traveling in the winter, layers are going to be your friend, as through most of the country it will be quite chilly in the morning and evenings and warm up during the peak of the day. I try to travel with a lot of high quality basics, that can be layered and dressed up or down depending on the accessories.
One thing you’ll notice around Italy, is that you don’t see jeans all that often on the locals. As I mentioned earlier the locals tend to dress up a little bit more than your typical American. It is still totally acceptable to wear jeans, but when you’re selecting the jeans you are bringing try to stick to classic darker washes. Maybe leave that distressed pair at home.
My current go-to are wide leg black trousers. They’re deceivingly comfortable while adding a touch of tailoring to your outfit. They also will go with just about anything in your suitcase. That little bit of structure will elevate anything else that you pair with it. This allows you to be super comfortable while looking pulled together for walking around during the day sightseeing, and can easily be dressed up with accessories for a night on the town!. Current favs are these wide leg pleated pants from Uniqlo (can’t beat the price for the quality), and these from Amazon. If you’re looking for a worthy splurge, the Effortless Pants from Aritzia are gorgeous.
I love a one-piece wonder for traveling, so you will always find a dress in my bag. I tend to lean towards athletic companies for any dresses that I’m going to bring on vacation. They’ve made leaps and bounds in making chic dresses in technical fabrics that keep you cool and wick the moisture away. You’ll almost always find a good black skirt in my suitcase as well. Again, they can be super versatile from day to night and be quite comfortable.I’ve had incredible luck with Athleta’s dresses and rompers. They can be on the more expensive side, but they tend to be fairly classic silhouettes and are built incredibly well. I have some that have been dragged around the globe for dang near a decade and they still look brand new. For skirts, A classic silky midi skirt goes easily from day to night. This Mulberry silk skirt from Quince is a real touch of luxury, and will stay in your wardrobe for the rest of your life. If you’re on a budget, this dupe from Amazon will give you the same look.
4. Lightweight Jacket, Blazer or Cardigan
Now, I’m a devotee of a great blazer. You will never see me traveling without one. I love Zara for a, frankly, insane selection of blazers. You’ll find something for every style and every budget there. Whichever blazer you end up choosing, you’ll find that it has a way of pulling every outfit together, even when thrown over your joggers and T-shirt for your flight.
If you’re traveling in the winter or spring, you’re going to need to deal with some cold and likely, some rain. I highly recommend having a warm coat with some level of water resistance, or at least a very sturdy umbrella.
Depending on where in the country you are going, you might want to consider bringing at least a blazer or cardigan or light jacket all months of the year, as the north of the country will still get a little chilly at night even in the dead of summer.
This goes without saying, pack a few extras, just in case. Also, take it from me, pack a fresh set in your carry-on, just in case you get separated from your luggage. This happened to me recently and, well, let’s just say that the selection available for purchase in the airport was NOT ideal for a long-haul flight.
One thing to note, if you plan on bringing skirts or dresses and plan on doing some daytime sightseeing in them, I strongly recommend picking up some slip shorts. They’ll keep you comfy and chafe-free all day. These are the ones I use from Amazon, but there are plenty of options for all shapes and sizes available. They’re total life-savers.
You’ll want to make sure sure you have a few pairs of shoes that will cover all your bases. Above all, be sure you have a pair of shoes that are comfortable to walk long distances in. Italy is best experienced on foot, so those walking shoes will be key. Though you may be tempted to pack your fanciest heels, when it comes to Italy, it’s best to leave those at home. Most of the sidewalks around the country are cobbled, so high heels may prove dangerous for even the most seasoned shoe lovers.
Itinerary dependent, of course.
Accessories to Pack for Italy
2. Sun Hats
Consider picking up a fairly large scarf that can do triple duty as a scarf for style, a shawl for shoulder coverage if you’re going into a religious institution, or a blanket for a little warmth if needed. My go-to is this scarf from Amazon – it’s even got SPF 50+ protection in case you find yourself without sunscreen!
4. Crossbody Purse or Backpack
For a little extra protection from pickpockets, which can be a problem, especially in touristy areas, ESPECIALLY in the high season, consider a crossbody with a secure zipper closure.
5. Power Bank
Be sure to have a power bank on you if you’re using your phone to get around. This Anker 10,000 mAh power bank is slim, relatively lightweight, reasonably priced, and can provide three full charges for most phones, so great if you’re on the go with multiple devices or several people.
Italy is flanked by seas on both sides. Rain happens pretty frequently all across the country. This Repel Umbrella is my old faithful from Amazon. Inexpensive enough to not be SUPER upset if I lose it, but sturdy enough to handle pretty much any wind gusts thrown at you, and it’s going on several years now.
Toiletries to Pack for Italy
4. Soap or Body Wash
7. Bug Spray
8. Razor/Shaving Cream
9. Feminine Products (if needed)
10. Medications/First-Aid Kit
11. Hand Sanitizer
Technology to Pack for Italy
1. Charging Cables
For: Phone, Laptop, Camera, any other ancillary tech you’re bringing along
3. Adapter/Converter (if necessary)
Italy has 220v power, so you’ll want to be sure you’re only using dual voltage devices. Luckily, most phone and laptop bricks today are dual voltage. Don’t bring along any hair tools unless you are absolutely positive that they’re dual voltage. I’ve traveled and used GHD tools for years, and they’ve held up beautifully, and have never given me trouble in any outlets around the world. I’ve done a full breakdown on travel converters and adapters – be sure to give it a read so you know what you’re working with
4. GPS Device or a Navigation App
1. Travel Documents
Always have a them on you, and be sure to leave an digital copy with someone back home, just in case you happen to lose your documents. Having easy access to an email backup will make that process much, much easier.
2. Cash/Credit Cards
Be sure to call your bank and card companies before you go to let them know you’re traveling. The last thing you want is for your card to be frozen when you’re attempting to buy a train ticket. If you’re traveling out of the city, or in any non-touristy areas of the cities, be sure to have some cash on you. I’ve done a full breakdown of using cash in Italy that should help you find the most convenient way to get local currency at the best exchange rate.
3. Travel Pillow/Blanket (for long flights or train rides)
4. Earplugs/Noise-Canceling Headphones
5. Travel-Sized Laundry Detergent (to wash clothes in hotel sink).
Remember, this packing list is just a guide and may vary depending on your itinerary, personal preferences, and the season you are traveling in. Be sure to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Additionally, always double-check any airline or transportation restrictions on luggage size and weight to avoid any fees or issues during your travels. Happy Travels!
*Suitcase Daze is reader supported. We may earn a small affiliate commission on any purchase made through the links on the page at no cost to you. The opinions remain my own, and I only recommend products I would use myself.
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