You’ve planned and booked the ultimate vacation to Italy and you are ready to start packing right away but before you take off for Italy you need to figure out what to wear in Italy.
This Italy packing list will guide you through what to pack for Italy plus give you some tips on how to dress in Italy, so you won’t look like a total tourist and there is nothing wrong with looking like a tourist.
My packing list will not be a one size fits all but it will help every traveler with the basics of what to pack for traveling to Italy.
After traveling to Italy several times I have come up with a list of Do’s and Dont’s that is essential for every woman that is traveling to Italy in hopes you that my Italy travel tips you will help you NOT make the same mistakes I did as a novice traveler.
I want you to have a stress free travel experience while exploring Italy, the goal if this article is to help you plan what to pack for Italy so you will not be unprepared for your vacation to Italy.
You will know how to dress, what to pack and what to leave at home so you can save room in luggage for souvenirs.
You will find helpful tips on Italian style, examples of what to wear depending on the time of the year and weather in Italy for your travel dates.
In addition to the packing tips for Italy, I will also provide safety tips to help you feel more secure while traveling.
Here are some of my top suggestions for what to pack when vacationing in Italy.
Top tips for packing for Italy
I have broken this Italy packing list up into the categories: Travel documents/cash, luggage, inflight essentials, clothes, shoes, toiletries, makeup, bags, gadgets, and accessories. You need to think about these four major things when considering packing for your trip to Italy.
- The time of year you are visiting and the weather
- How much walking you will do
- How much luggage you want to take
- Your personal style
“Must-Pack” Essentials before you depart for Italy
These items are the ones you absolutely must pack for your trip to Italy.
Passport – Is good practice to have at least 6 months validity on your passport. Make sure you make copies of your passport and I also take a picture of my passport and store the image on my phone as well.
Visa(s) – make sure you have read and understood the visa requirements for your nationality. 3 month (90 days) visitor visas are issued on arrival to nationals of the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Insurance – do not forget to organize insurance for your trip. It’s one of those things that you probably won’t use but is essential if something goes wrong on your travels like when I got extremely sick in the Czech Republic which was the one time I didn’t purchase insurance. Lesson learned!
Money — I recommend bringing two credit cards (one to use, and one to keep as a backup), and your debit card. Make sure you use credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
What to Pack for Italy: The Suitcase
Reyleo Hard luggage with USB Port: This carry-on suitcase is perfect for a trip to Italy thanks to its size and material. It has some give for extra souvenirs and most importantly the two USB ports for charging your electronics.
What to Pack for Italy: In-Flight Essentials
- Bang & Olufsen Noise-Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones and Airplane Adapter: These are a great pair of affordable, yet durable headphones for the airplane.
- Travel Pillow.
- Sleeping Mask.
- A pair of socks.
- Hand sanitizer
What to Pack for Italy: Clothing
Comfort is paramount on vacation, but that also means avoiding disapproving stares because you are dressed inappropriately while visiting a cathedral or the Vatican in Rome.
Italians favor stylish clothes with simple lines so follow their lead and pack clothes with clean lines, neutral colors and easy-to-care-for fabrics.
Have you heard the term when in Rome do as the Romans do? Both churches and museums require you to cover your shoulders and there will be signs outside many churches detailing which clothing articles are not permitted.
Usually shorts, bare arms, low-cut dresses and short skirts for women; and shorts, bare arms and tank tops for men. Men should remove their hats as they enter a church.
Please Make sure you address appropriately when visiting churches.
- 3 Basic Tank Tops
- 3 Basic T-Shirts
- 3 Blouses — Nice Dress up blouses for dinner
- 3 Dresses — You need sleeves to go into churches.
- 2 Pairs of Skinny Jeans
- 1 Lightweight Jacket — For spring, summer or fall.
- 5 Pairs of Panties — You can wash out easily.
- 2 Yoga Pants — hiking or lounging around.
- 2 Swimsuit — The Amalfi Coast is amazing!
- 1 travel wrap — Double as a wrap for churches and when it gets cool at night.
- 3 Sweaters — For early spring or late fall. (Gets pretty chilly in the spring)
What to Pack for Italy: Shoes
Flats or Low-heeled, stylish, leather walking shoes are a great option and can easily transition from exploring the Roman ruins to a lovely Italian restaurant.
Leave the boots at home as they are too heavy to pack but I will say the cobblestones in Italy are brutal to your feet so please don’t try to wear high heels or flip flops while exploring the ruins.
Italians produce some of the world’s most fashionable shoes and remember if you are buying local leather shoes to negotiate!
- Tory Burch Napa Leather Sandal: Great for dinner or casually strolling through Italian towns
- Women’s Gazelle sneakers: Comfortable sneakers are a must if you’re packing for a trip to Italy. Between snorkeling. hiking or walking on cobblestones at Pompeii, you’ll need a sturdy and comfortable pair.
- Calvin Klein Ballet Flats: These casual yet stylish ballet flats will do the trick for dinner or a night out on the town.
- Tory Burch Espadrilles: Pack your favorite pair of flip-flops for the beach, of course.
- New Balance Sneaker: These breathable sneakers are great for any day excursions that might be on your itinerary and for days when you’ll be walking a lot.
What to pack for Italy: Beach Essentials
Italian beaches are very crowded in the summer so make sure you have all the beach essentials needed when packing for Italy.
If you’re planning on staying near Amalfi or Cinque Terre in July or August, you should know the beaches and hotels are packed so please book your hotel well in advance because rooms fill up quickly.
Swim Cover Up or Caftan
A swimsuit cover is perfect for the beach or taking a yacht tour to explore the grottos. While the Italians are not shy about their bodies I need mine covered up because I am not that fione!
The beaches on the coast can have a ton of rocks and coral so make sure you pack a pair of slip-on mesh beach shoes which will protect your feet if they are sensitive.
These shoes pictured come in a range of great colors – .
I recommend packing a light beach towel that will not take up lots of space and one that dries fast. Check out this cute and chic beach towel.
My husband loves to go snorkeling and if you are on the coast the Grottos are a must so don’t forget you will need a good quality snorkel kit. We have our own and packs in our luggage perfectly. Check out these bestseller snorkel set from Amazon here.
Who doesn’t want to be Instagram famous? Bring along one of these super cute gold Pegasus Float. Check out this one from Amazon here.
You will need a beach bag to put all your sunscreen, shades, beach towel and other items in. Check out the KEHO Canvas Beach Bag here.
If you’re heading to the coast, take an underwater camera for those underwater shots especially if you are going snorkeling or visiting the Grottos Click here to check out the GoPro Hero 7 Camera.
Waterproof Phone Pouch
iPhones take excellent videos and photos and if don’t want to spend money on a GoPro just use your mobile phone. Check out this best seller phone pouch here.
What to Pack for Italy: Toiletries
- Mosquito-Repellent Bracelet: Yes, Italy has mosquitos so you will need a repellent – Avoid chemicals and the smell of DEET bug spray by just wearing a bracelet.
- Good Vibes Only Sun Kit: Sunscreen, after-sun lotion, lip balm, and face sunscreen all in one convenient, travel-sized kit. If you travel to Italy during the summer months please remember the sun is brutal!
- Hand Sanitizer: I am not a germaphobe but I prefer not to be sick while traveling so please use hand sanitizer as often as possible.
Makeup essentials for Italy
- Eye Pencil
- Makeup brushes
- Face Cleanser
- Hair styling products
- Hair bands
- Toothpaste / floss
- Feminine hygiene products
- Nail file / scissors
What to Pack for Italy: The Purse
- Tory Burch Canvas Crossbody Bag: This chic anti-theft bag is perfect to dress up or down when you’re in Italy.
What to Pack for Italy: Gadgets
- Universal Adapter: If you are traveling out of the country, this item is very helpful to have to ensure that you can properly charge all of your devices, as it has multiple power adapter options all in one unit.
- GoPro Hero 7: This camera is great to take on your travels, as it’s small, durable, and allows you to capture pictures and videos of your entire journey, both in the water and out.
- Anker Portable Phone Charger: Pack a portable charger to keep your phone charged after taking all those amazing Italy Instagramable photos.
- Selfie Stick with Tripod: For what to pack for Italy for your phone, you should make sure you have a selfie stick with a tripod to take all of those awesome selfies.
What to Pack for Italy: Accessories
- Caftan: A caftan does double duty on a trip to Italy. Use it as a blanket or shawl on a yacht excursion or at dinner, and use it as a bathing suit cover up at the beach or poolside.
- Chloe Sunglasses: This pair is both stylish, practical and fashionable.
- Fedora Hat: This is essential for sun protection. A crushable style means you don’t have to worry about it when stuffing it into your suitcase.
- Zippered Canvas Reusable Tote: I was happy to have a reusable tote on my Italy packing list for the beach to store my things.
What Not To Forget To Pack For Italy
- Pain Relief: you know what works best for you, bring your favorite products from home for headaches, joint, and muscle pain
- Constipation Relief: Travelers constipation is real and you don’t want to be uncomfortable while on vacation.
- Pancho: Any sort of thin layering piece is ideal for mild nights in Italy.
- Laundry detergent Sheets – Keep your clothes smelling fresh and you will be able to wear certain items more than once.
- Sea Bands & Non-Drowsy Dramamine — If you’re prone to motion sickness I strongly recommend adding Sea Bands to your Italy packing list especially if you are taking excursions to see the grottos or taking a day trip to Capri. Take some Non-Drowsy Dramamine and wear the sea band so you will not become seasick.
What Not to Pack for Italy
I am not one of those people who can pack for two weeks in a carry on but after years of traveling, I have learned to leave somethings behind.
Leave items you will probably not use will be extra heavy or can be found easily at your destination.
- Valuables: Leave anything that’s flashy at home to avoid being a target for pickpockets.
- Warm Clothing: This one’s a given, but you don’t really need any warm clothing items for Italy unless you are traveling in the winter months.
- Full-sized shampoo and conditioner – too heavy and take up too much room and will weigh your luggage down.
- Guidebooks – You don’t need to walk around with a guide book in your hand. Read them before you go or download Rick Steves Best of Italy ebook
- Hairdryer – most hotels provide hair dryers
- Books– I am on the fence on books because I am old school and I love to hold books or magazines in my hand but some are extremely heavy so you can invest in a Kindle or download the books to your iPad or phone
Packing For Italy – Weather
Always, always check the weather forecast a week before your trip to see what is in store when planning what to wear in Italy.
Nothing will ruin your trip quicker than not being prepared for rain in Florence or the blistering heat of Pompeii.
After you have researched the weather then you begin to focus on creating an Instagram worthy travel wardrobe which will fit easily in your suitcase.
I suggest using packing cubes to store outfits by the day of the week.
Here is a guide to the average conditions – do check the forecast for the different regions you are visiting.
Summer [June/July/August] – The Amalfi Coast
Italian summers are warm to very hot and humidity is high. Expect temperatures between 77°F and 86°F.
August is typically Italy’s hottest month, and that’s coupled with high humidity in many parts of the country.
This is one of the main reasons August is the vacation month for most Italians and just remember the Italians love the beach just like Americans so expect crowds.
You might think hot weather is no big deal, but remember that even on hot days in the U.S. you are usually sitting inside an air-conditioned house instead of trying to make sure you have not missed important historical sites.
Make sure you take time to relax because this is your vacation.
And, as always, check the current extended forecast for where you’re actually going just before you leave so you can find out in advance if it’s unseasonably cold and you will need a light jacket or a trench coat.
Fall/Autumn [September/October/November] – Amalfi Coast
Temperatures in fall are ideal for sightseeing with generally warm sunny days and cooler nights. Top temperatures range between 65°F and 75°F.
I’m defining fall as the months of September, October, and November in Italy, but that doesn’t mean that temperatures cool off and leaves will start turn on September 1.
September is often as warm as August, though the evenings tend will begin to cool off just a little.
By October, it’s really starting to feel like fall in Italy and November is Italy’s rainiest month so make sure pack an umbrella.
Like spring, fall is a transitional season, which means you’ve got to be prepared for some weather variations so make sure you check and double check the weather the week prior to your departure.
Autumn temperatures will differ depending on what month you’re visiting and where in the country you’ll be (the northern parts are nearly always much cooler than the southern parts).
Winter [December/January/February] – Amalfi Coast
Italy has cool to cold days and nights in winter with snow and sub-zero temperatures in the Alpine regions. You will get some rainy days. High temperatures range between 50°F and 55°F.
December isn’t always Italy’s coldest month, but it’s close. Snow is common in many parts of the country, particularly in the mountains and at higher elevations, and even sometimes at sea level.
Snow falling in Venice is one of the most beautiful winter scenes you’ll see in Italy and where it’s not snowing, it’s likely to be raining.
December/January/February is an odd mix of travelers because of the thin crowds and many visitors want to spend Christmas in Italy to specifically see Vatican City.
Just remember that while the crowds are not as congested as the summer months lots of people from all over the world have the same lifelong dream to spend Christmas in Italy.
In order to get the best deal on a hotel room, you should plan and book your trip well in advance.
Spring – [March/April/May] – Amalfi Coast
Spring in Italy is lovely Temperatures at this time of year average between 60°F and 75°F. It is also the season when you are most likely to experience rain.
Early May tends to be more temperate, though remember that the weather gets warmer as you go south.
The Mediterranean was still too cold for me in May but I saw plenty of people jumping right in so if you can stand cooler temperatures make sure you pack a swimsuit just in case you decide to hit the beach.
Do keep in mind that even if the days are warm, the nights might cool off enough that you’ll want a light layer for your walk back from your late-night dinner.
Rain isn’t unheard of, either, so keep an eye on the forecast to see whether you’ll need to pack a small umbrella or rain jacket.
May is absolutely the start of high season in Italy and with high season come higher prices and bigger crowds.
Crowds still seem to get larger in June and July in the main tourist cities so make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes.
Safety Tips While Traveling To Italy
Make sure you take extra precautions while traveling in Rome because pickpocketers and scammers are at an all-time high in Rome. Professional thieves can pick tourist out in their sleep.
If you don’t want to look like a tourist I suggest packing a sturdy leather purse that hangs in the front of your body and not on the sides or back.
I wasn’t a big fan of Fanny packs initially but they are starting to grow on me so fanny packs and travel scarfs are an option to keep your money and credit cards safe.
Keep important documents like passports, visas, money and credit cards in a money belt or try an anti theft diversion kit. Keep thieves at bay with hair brushes, deodorant, hair spray or other items that look like the real deal!
Conclusion of what to wear in Italy:
Visiting sights, walking the cobbled streets and climbing up and down stairs to get those incredible views means you need to be practical about clothing and footwear.
While style is important when packing for Italy you need to think about comfort as well. Take it from me you DO NOT want to end up walking around Rome in the scorching sun on cobblestones all day.
You will be barely able to walk to dinner because your feet hurt so bad! That was not fun at all.
In Italy, you need and want comfortable and sturdy footwear for both the winter and summer.
Now that you know what to pack for Italy download my free vacation planner and you also might like to read my articles on the Best Airline travel credit cards and 21 Travel hacking tips as you plan your next vacation.
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