Last week, while perusing the Ask Alyson Haley question submissions, I came across a question about traveling to Italy in August:
‘I’ve heard traveling to Italy in August is tough. What has been your experience?’
I’ll be really honest … traveling to Italy in the Summer, especially in August, can be tough. It gets really, really hot. My first trip to Rome was in August of 2016 and there were times during that trip where I questioned whether or not I liked the city because the heat made exploring so uncomfortable. But, the weather is always something you’re going to have to combat when you set out on an adventure so don’t let it stop you from going to your bucket list destinations! I’d say plan and pack accordingly and you’ll do just fine! Here are some tips I’d recommend keeping top of mind for traveling to Italy in the Summer:
Slow down! One of the mistakes I think a lot of people make when going to Italy is trying to do too many large, historical destinations in one trip. Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand the allure, especially with the limited amount of time off we are afforded in the States, you want to tick off as much as possible because it was expensive and quite the feat to get there in the first place. However, having made this mistake many times before myself, I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable it is to pick fewer destinations and allow yourself to really soak up those locations. Otherwise, you’re constantly going going going and you’ll get home wishing you had time to recover from your exhausting vacation. Treat travel like a marathon, not a sprint. You have your WHOLE life to make it to all of the places you want to see so, when you’re planning, don’t see this ONE trip as the only time you’ll ever go. Instead, continue to make travel a priority in your life. Put money away consistently and plan these trips out well enough in advance to make travel less cumbersome.
For Italy in the summer, I’d recommend exploring a large city, like Rome, for a few days and then choosing to spend some time along the coast. Whether it’s the Italian Riviera, where I spent a lot of my last trip, or the Amalfi Coast, you’re bound to be happy that you chose to slow things down.
Make sure you plan some time by the water! I made sure to pack some of the swimsuits I purchased from Backcountry recently because I knew the girls’ and I would be spending some time on the water whilst staying along the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre. Those days spent channeling our inner mermaid after having had some long, hot travel days on the train and trekking up steep cobblestone walkways were some I look back on most fondly. How cute is this swimsuit I wore in Santa Margherita on one of those days? The bikini bottoms are currently on sale and the bikini top is available in multiple colors. I’m wearing an XS in both! Another little tip – do not forget a water bottle! You’ll want to keep yourself really, really hydrated! This one has been a lifesaver on this trip! Here are some others that I looked at or brought with me
If you plan on touring cathedrals during your trip, like St. Paul’s in Vatican City or the Duomo in Florence, make sure you pack accordingly. It is seen as disrespectful to show your knees and shoulders whilst inside, which makes figuring out what to wear on those days really difficult when taking the heat into account, as well. My suggestion would be to wear a lightweight jumpsuit and bring a lightweight scarf in your tote bag to throw on when appropriate.
Pack light, especially if you’re traveling between cities on the train. There’s not always a place to store your large luggage so you rely on the hope that the train won’t be full and you can bring it into the seating area with you. There’s also no air conditioning and not every train station has elevators / lifts to make getting to different platforms easy. Packing light will make these days much easier to tolerate.
Go the extra mile to catch a good view! There are so many good hikes along the popular rugged coastlines in Italy, like Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. I hiked the Path of the Gods hike in Positano and the views were UN.REAL. You feel like you’re floating and you can’t tell where the sky and the ocean meet. Don’t forget to pack your hiking gear! Backcountry is where I go to get a lot of mine like this sports bra, this sports tank, these hiking shorts, and hiking shoes. They also have an extensive selection of running shoes if those are more your style. I swear they never let me down when it comes to planning outdoor adventures!
I’m so sad that my last adventure of the Summer is over now that I’m back in London. Italy is truly a magical place and a Summer adventure there is one you’ll never forget! If you have any questions I can help with, leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to them.
And, don’t forget to head to Backcountry when you’re planning for all of your packing needs! They are the best place to go to get you all set for your next outdoor adventure! They are excited to offer you guys 15% off your purchase with code ALYSONH15! Enjoy! xo.