what to pack for italy

Figurati! The No-stress Guide for What to Pack for Italy

I grew up listening to my grandmother speak Italian and tasting countless Italian recipes every time I went to her house.

Those visits obviously had a huge impact on my life. I recently moved to Sicily, in the south of Italy, where I’ll live for six months.

And if there’s one thing that intimidated me about that move, it was making a packing list.

Would I spend most of my time on the beach?

Or maybe I’d be walking every day.

Or going to fancy bars and restaurants on weekends.

Regardless of what kind of Italian adventure awaits us, it’s important to be prepared for what’s coming. What kind of shoes should you take? How do Italians dress? Oh, and what will the weather be like?

Don’t freak out! After learning through my move to Sicily, I’m here with the ultimate Italy packing list.
 


 

What to keep in mind before heading to Italy

When packing for your trip, don’t forget to take the time of year into consideration. Italy has four distinct seasons, so a packing list for March will look drastically different from one for July.

But there’s even more to think about!

Your packing list can also vary depending on location. If you’re going to fashion-forward cities such as Milan, your bag will be filled with different items than on a trip to Rome, where you’ll likely walk miles every day.

Also, you’re bound to do some shopping in Italian cities. So if you forget something, don’t stress out.

Try FluentU free for 15 days to study everything you should know about shopping and interacting with locals in Italian. FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, TV shows and news broadcasts—and turns them into Italian learning experiences.

You can even download FluentU files for offline use. This way, you can study your Italian shopping phrases on the plane ride and on transportation around the country.

Figurati! The No-stress Guide for What to Pack for Italy

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Clothes

what-to-pack-for-italy

Italians take care of their looks, from their hair to their shoes. You’ll feel integrated if you do so as well. Plus, then you’ll be Instagram ready at any given moment!

For example, even in the summer heat, most guys don’t wear shorts. They still sport khaki pants and closed-toed shoes. They only wear flip flops at the beach—sometimes not even there. You also won’t catch them with baseball hats or sneakers!

Italy is a diverse country with tons to see and do. Make sure to pack clothes that’ll make you feel comfortable and stylish at the same time.

  • Five t-shirts
  • Two cute shirts
  • Two nice blouses
  • Three dresses—one with sleeves to enter churches and for cooler months
  • One pair of skinny jeans
  • One heavy jacket if you’re going in winter or early spring
  • Underwear
  • Walking shoes

    This is the one time I’ll recommend you disregard fashion in Italy. I know, I miss my cute shoes while I’m traveling, too. However, in Italy, you’ll need to be able to walk. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes in slippery cobblestoned streets that could be dangerous in heels.

    Prioritize comfort. Pack a pair of good, comfortable walking shoes. If you really want something a bit sophisticated, buy a practical pair of Santoni shoes.

    If you go to Italy in summer, you should also take a pair of sandals, such as Birkenstocks or Adilettes from adidas.

  • Hiking shoes

    Italy is famous for big cities like Rome and Venice. But you should absolutely make time to explore Italy’s scenery! Walk the Tre Cime di Lavaredo or Sentiero degli Dei (The Path of the Gods). To do so, pack a pair of sturdy hiking boots from a reputable brand, such as Merrell.

    If you go in winter, don’t forget to pack heavy boots. Check out Timberland or Dr. Martens, two of my all-time favorite brands for travel boots. They might be heavy, but you’ll be wearing them during most of your trip.

  • Yoga pants

    These pants are perfect for exploring nature. Wear them in the Dolomites mountain range in northeastern Italy!

  • Swimsuit

    This is a must-have if you’re going to a warm place during spring or summer, such as Sicily. Be ready to enjoy some of the clearest waters you’ll ever see! If you’re spending a lot of time here, pack two or three swimsuits.

  • Two sweaters to layer up when the air gets chilly at night

Accessories

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  • Sunglasses

    Italians are huge fans of sunglasses. You’ll see all the different styles and shapes on locals’ faces.

  • Scarf

    If it’s cold outside, a thick scarf can protect you from wind while also making you look stylish. I love scarves because they’re versatile, don’t weight much and can improve your look easily. I absolutely recommend striking colors, such as this leopard print scarf, if you want to fit in with the locals.

  • Jewelry

    Jewelry can brighten up basic clothing. It’s definitely helpful if you don’t want to pack much clothing but still want to look stylish. Wear the same outfit on repeat, but spice it up with jewelry! I recommend taking a statement necklace such as this beauty right here from Nordstrom.

Toiletries

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  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Bandages and medicine
  • Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel
  • Makeup
  • Moisturizer
  • Perfume

Gear

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  • Camera and cell phone

    Even if you’re going to touristy places in Italy, it’s always handy to have a translator app such as Google Translate on your phone. Translation apps help you understand menus and communicate with Italians who can’t speak English.

    Also, make sure to download the offline map of the cities you’ll be visiting, just in case there’s no Wi-Fi or internet connection. You can do so with Google Maps.

Ckitze USA to Europe Round Travel Plug Adapter

  • Chargers
  • Travel adapters

    Make sure you have the right adapters to charge your electronics in Europe. It’s a huge pain in the neck to realize you can’t charge anything because your cord can’t plug into the wall!

  • Laptop

    I always take my computer on trips so I can work, write about my travels and plan the next leg of my journey.

  • Italian SIM card

    If you’re staying for a week or more in Italy, take a look at local prepaid SIM cards from TIM or other network providers. I only had to pay 10 euros (11USD) for 10 GB!

  • Travel and language guide

    Travel and language guides are major lifesavers in foreign cities. Rather than lug around phrasebooks, download some travel apps for your trip.

  • Free space

    Italian cities are some of the best for shopping in the world! If you like to shop, this is the place to go. Local Italian designers are spread across the country, so you can find unique, authentic items.

    However, some local design products can be pretty pricey. So remember that you can always peruse outdoor markets or department stores instead. Outdoor markets are lovely places to enjoy Italian sunshine and shopping all in one.

 

Follow this list, and all your needs should be covered in Italy.

All your wants, though? That’s a different story! In fact, maybe you should bring an entire second bag just for shopping.
 


 

Debbie Corrano is a digital strategist and writer. She works remotely while traveling the world full-time with her two dogs. Over the past few years, Debbie has lived in more than 10 countries, learned a few languages and worked with dozens of agencies and brands.

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