Hi there! Last month, Ben and I ventured over to Rome and, honestly, I had no idea what to pack! Aside from the sweltering temperatures, there were quite a few ‘rules’ that were relayed to me and it made my packing dilemma even more challenging.
Today, I’m sharing one of the outfits I wore in Rome and a few tips on packing for Rome, and Europe in general, during the summer months! I know we’re entering the Fall season but, don’t worry … you can just bookmark this post to refer to later!
I can’t stress how HOT it is in Rome! The sun is so strong and the heat gets trapped in the alleyways in between buildings. Wearing loose, lightweight garments is just one way to stay cool.
Honestly, when I packed, I didn’t have a lot of really good ‘summer weather’ clothes to choose from because, I brought good layering options that could be worn in the cooler temp’s of London. So, I wore jeans the first day and night I was in Rome, and I was sweating through them! Definitely opt for dresses, loose tops and shorts or flowy midi skirts! Here are some options:
What I like to do is pick my garments based on whether the shoes that I have opted to bring will match them, that way you’re not bringing multiple pairs of shoes to match everything. The more basic, the better!
There are multiple items you’ll need to pack to do this well, like sun block with a high SPF, a hat, and a good pair of sunglasses! I’d also encourage you to bring a small travel umbrella for the areas, like the Roman Forum & Colosseum, where there isn’t a lot of shadow cover.
Another tip on staying cool is to make sure you’re drinking lots of water to stay hydrated! You’ll be walking a lot in this heat and you’ll be making your way through crowds, which makes it a little more unbearable, so make sure you buy a bottle of water, then fill it up at the public water fountains throughout the city. They supply fresh drinking water from ancient aqueducts!
The challenge of dressing for Rome, especially as a tourist, has to do with the fact that it is so hot and many of the destinations you will want to venture to require modest dress. Churches, such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, require shoulders and knees to be covered before entering, so you’ll need to take this into consideration when you’re planning your outfits. Some smaller churches may not make you or turn you away but, out of respect for where you are and the culture there, you should do everything you can to follow this request / rule, especially within the Vatican City. There were people wearing paper sheets over their shoulders and wrapped around their waist when we were in the Sistine Chapel because their attire was considered inappropriate, so just know that it is enforced in certain places.
The day I went to the Vatican, I wore my white jeans and a short sleeve shirt and Nike’s. While my attire was considered appropriate, I was extremely hot. So, I’d probably opt for a loose, sleeveless midi dress that covers my knees and then bring a lightweight scarf in my bag to wrap around my shoulders while you’re in the church. That’s my suggestion!
Rome is no place for heels of any kind or even sandals if you plan on doing a lot of walking! There are cobblestones and uneven walkways everywhere. You’re constantly going up and down stairs with and without your luggage and heavy bags. It’s dirty, as well. Stick to running shoes or comfortable flats. I promise – you will thank me later! I wore booties for three hours when I went to Bologna, Italy this past April and my feet hated me for DAYS after that. I might be a style blogger who wants to inspire you and your wardrobe, but I am also a girl who loves to see new places and cities so today’s outfit might not be the most glamorous but it’s certainly realistic and practical for international travel. Here are some great options:
NOTE: Sandals ARE okay for nighttime. I just think they won’t be good for your feet during the day!
As with any other large European city, it is extremely important to be very aware of your surroundings while venturing through Rome. You should be taking the proper precautions in securing your personal belongings by opting for handbags with zippers as opposed to bags that can be easily accessed with a quick grab, like open totes and front flap backpacks. Pick-pocketers are scattered throughout the city, as are people who will try and get you to give them money [i.e. don’t let anyone put a flower in your hand, help you with your luggage or get a taxi for you that doesn’t work for a hotel], so make sure you are keeping your handbag close to you and it’s ALWAYS closed. In addition, I kept my valuables in a pouch within my bag so I wasn’t rummaging through a messy tote. It allowed me to get in and out of my bag quickly, which prevents people from seeing me as a target and also seeing what’s in my bag. Here’s a photo:
Want more insight into the bags I travel with? Check out this post!
In addition to keeping an eye on your surroundings, I think it’s also really important to not draw unnecessary attention to yourself in these large cities. I love a great designer item as much as the next girl but … I would say you better off leaving the Loub’s and super big designer names at home! There’s no real need for them while you’re exploring a new city!
One last thing … this is actually something I have learned recently. When you’re traveling, it’s important to secure your passport in your hotel room safe and keep a copy of it on you. If you keep your actual passport in your bag, and it DOES get stolen, that can cause a plethora of issues you just DON’T want to deal with on your vacation. Losing credit cards and cash is frustrating enough … you don’t want to add figuring out how to get through international security and back home to the list!
I hope these packing tips help! Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear some of y’all’s tips! I am far from an expert and love learning how other people travel!
Thanks for stopping by today, y’all! All of my outfit details can be found below! I linked a dupe to my designer sunnies [which I feel are safe to wear because you can get mirrored sunnies anywhere; it’s hard to tell which ones are designer and which aren’t] and my discounted denim shorts, so don’t miss those! xo.