If you have a trip to the biggest travel destinations in Italy this summer, I have to say … I’M SO JEALOUS! I miss Italy so much! If you’ve never been there before, you may share my excitement but you may be experiencing some nerves. I know the thought of traveling abroad, in general, can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t ever done it before. And then, you throw in your thoughts about not knowing exactly what it’s going to feel like or be like over there and it can elevate that anxiety a little bit.
I definitely have a lot more ground to cover in Italy, and throughout Europe, but I have been to the three major cities that tourists gravitate to: Rome, Florence and Venice – a couple of them more than once – so I have a little bit of experience that I’m happy to share with you to make the packing process just a little bit easier! This packing list focuses more on what to pack for exploring THOSE cities as opposed to some other destinations in Italy, like the Amalfi Coast or Puglia. You’d pack completely differently for those destinations … just FYI!
When it comes to Rome, Florence or Venice, packing lightweight options that are easily mixed and matched is key! Here are some of my items I’d recommend packing, in particular!
• LIGHTWEIGHT DRESSES – The heat is really intense so a breathable dress is going to keep you the coolest in my opinion! I would recommend bringing at least one maxi dress to wear on the day you go on your tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Duomo in Florence or if you just plan on popping in lots of the churches that keep their doors open each day to visitors. The reason why you need a maxi dress on those days is because it is customary to cover your shoulders and knees in churches and cathedrals, and it’s tough to cover both during the summer without almost having a heat stroke! So, you’ll want to keep a lightweight scarf or shawl in your bag so you can easily put it around your shoulders out of respect.
• BASIC TEE’S & DENIM SHORTS – On the other days of exploring Boboli Gardens in Florence, meandering through the small island of Burano off the coast of Venice, or touring the Colosseum, throwing on a simple basic tee and a pair of denim shorts is just the easiest thing to do! You’re not there to impress. Just dress comfortably! I’d recommend making sure your shorts aren’t too short. Italian men aren’t shy in the least and it’ll keep their heckling to a minimum!
• SUN PROTECTION & ACCESSORIES – Do not forget the sunscreen, a wide-brim hat and sunglasses! You’re going to be hot no matter what but forgetting these items will definitely make your vacation a little more uncomfortable! Be sure to drink lots of water, as well!
• TOTE WITH A ZIPPER – I’ve mentioned this in quite a few other posts on here but I can’t recommend this enough, especially for new travelers. I included the tote above because it’s SO deep. It really would be hard for someone to reach that far down into your tote without you knowing but you would definitely need to keep a close eye on it when you’re sitting down eating somewhere. Longchamp is a great brand to look into for a great tote with a zipper. There are lots of size options! I’d also recommend securing all your items within pouches in your tote, as well! Here are some pouches to give you some options!
• COMFORTABLE SHOES – What shoes to bring along on a trip abroad, and specifically Italy, is my most commonly asked question when it comes to travel. The answer is … whatever shoe is most comfortable FOR YOU. Everyone is different. If that is a pair of flats or tennis shoes is completely up to you but make sure it’s a pair you have experience walking in! Don’t go buy a new pair of shoes thinking they’ll be great and throw them in your suitcase thinking you’ll be good. Personally, my favorite pairs of shoes to wear while traveling are Tory Burch Minnie Flats or Nike Juvenate Sneakers. Those may not work for you. Another thing to remember is no matter what shoe you find to be the most comfortable DOES NOT mean your feet won’t be sore or hurt at the end of the day. The best goal to have in my opinion is to find a shoe that doesn’t cause blisters. If you have a comfortable shoe that doesn’t rub your foot the wrong way, you’ve found a good one! One things about sandals – go for it if you want to! I’ve done it before but just know that cobblestones are tough to walk on and causes your feet to easily slip off of your sandal so I’d recommend shoes that actually incase your foot like flats or tennis shoes.
I’d say leave your athleisure and designer items at home. You’ll likely already look American, but wearing those items will just make you more of a target for pick pocketers. You may also want to bring a couple of nice outfits to wear to a few of your nicer restaurants. Be careful with heels on the cobblestones, though!
Aside from all of these items, you’ll also want to be sure to pack the items that I outlined in THIS post [focusing on items you need to pack for international travel] and THIS post [about what to pack for a trip to Rome] that I’ve put together in the past. I hope all of them are helpful for you and please let me know if you have anything to add or any questions for me!
Thanks for stopping by and happy travels! xo.