10 Top Italy Packing List Items + What NOT to Bring (2017 Update)

What to bring to Italy

1) Stylishly casual clothes: Women and Men – Take along enough for a week since you can always wash them later. Italians tend to go for neutral (khaki, beige, white) or dark colored garments. Given that the country is one the world’s top food destinations, you might also want to opt for clothes with a little extra space in the waist, just in case the calories start to catch up to you. Even so, don’t forget to bring along something to dress up your overall look when the occasion calls for it. Ladies might want to consider bringing cheap but tasteful jewelry, makeup, and/or a scarf for this purpose. Men might want to drag along a nice leather belt, khaki pants, and/or a button down shirt for the same reason.

2) Cellphone and Supplies – In our overly connected modern world, keeping your cellphone handy at all times is pretty much a no-brainer. You’ll also want to be sure that you remember to bring along a phone charger, an extra battery, and a memory card. You might even want to load up your phone with helpful apps before your departure. It’s likewise a good idea to make sure that your phone will be fully operational when you leave. I advise either purchasing a cellphone plan from your regular provider or opting to buy a local SIMs card when you arrive. Just do the math and figure out which one is the cheaper option before you go.
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3) Comfortable, dark colored shoes: Men and Women – These should be stylish enough to wear in restaurants so that you don’t end up with another pair taking up valuable luggage space. Just make sure that the shoes in question have already been well worn in before you depart. Otherwise, your feet could easily suffer the consequences.
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4) Toiletries: Toilet paper, tissues, or baby wipes and hand sanitizer – are good things to have on hand since the Italian bathrooms might not be as well-equipped as the ones at home. Other personal hygiene supplies that you’ll probably want to bring along for the ride include washcloths/loofas, bar soap, hand lotion, deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush dental floss, and so on. Make sure you bring along whatever you need to stay squeaky clean and presentable during your travels.

5) First Aid Supplies – I’ve survived entire vacations without towels and swimwear but I never leave home without at least a basic set of first aid supplies. Having to waste several hours on vacation hunting for a store that sells Band-Aids, when I typically buy them in bulk at home, is a waste of both time and money. The same can be said of things like antihistamine tablets, antibiotic cream, nausea medicines, and so on. Whatever you need to stay healthy and happy on the road is well worth the luggage space it’s going to take up. Just make sure that all of your gels, creams, and liquid medicines arestored in accordance with current TSA regulations.
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6) Lightweight Blanket and Pillow – These items are great for long rides, particularly if you’ll end up sleeping on the night train or you’ll betrying to get some rest on a long haul flight from the States. Bringing your own small pillow and blanket also means that you don’t have to worry about when the ones you’re given were last washed. Even if you’re not germophobic, you still might want to sprinkle some essential oils (like lavender) on your pillow to help you sleep in an unfamiliar place. But that’s probably not something you want to have to explain to your flight attendant
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7) Flashlight and extra batteries – While I’m sure there’s a flashlight app for your phone, it’s also true that the battery for it won’t last forever. If your phone is anything like mine, it’s always dying at the absolute worst moment. And there are certain places that you just don’t want to be left in the dark. Taking along your own flashlight and some extra batteries won’t use up much space in your luggage. But it can nonetheless prevent you from having to hike up a hill in the dark using an alarm clock that rotates through every color in the rainbow as a guide. (I speak from experience.)
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8) Money – Cash is king in Italyso be sure that you have an ATM card or a credit/debit card that works in the same fashion. It’s likewise a good idea to have some actual euros on hand so that you don’t have to change money as soon as you arrive. Of course, you’ll also need to let your bank know that you’ll be visiting Italy so they don’t decide to curtail your fun in the interest of protecting you from fraudsters.

9) Picnic Supplies – Forks, spoons, knives, corkscrews and possibly even plates will all come in handy in this spot. It’s probably best to simply bring your own rather than buying them after you land. Of course, it might be in your best interest to bring plastic cutlery instead of actual silverware. Even so, some travelers have reported being able to successfully carry small knives and corkscrews in their checked bags.

10) Small Tote – This itemworks great for holding important documents, money, credit cards, passports, tickets, snacks, and perhaps even your water bottle if it’s large enough. The tote in question gets bonus points for being big enough to hold anything you purchase when you’re shopping. After all, most places in Europe charge a small fee for giving customers the plastic bags that we take for granted in America.

Other possible packing list items for Italy

What to wear in Italy

1) Seasonally appropriate clothes that are both stylish and comfortable. When going out to dinner it doesn’t hurt to dress up a little so take a few items to cover this contingency. You’ll want to opt for lightweight clothes in summer, heavier gear in the winter, and layers during the months in between.

2) Comfortable walking shoes that have good traction and are suitable as restaurant wear. Leather boots or nice sandals are a good choice.The objective here is to wear flat shoes whenever possible. However, selecting shoes with a low heel might be your best bet if you want to go somewhere nice for dinner since flats might not work otherwise. However, you’ll only want to wear flip-flops in places like the hostel showers or to the hotel swimming pool.

3) A cover-up of some sort. Travelers who don’t follow the standards of modest dress have been turned away at some religious sites. Having a lightweight sweater or a shawl on hand during the warmer months will prevent this from happening. These items also double as a way to for you to keep if the temperature drops. In the winter, jackets and heavier sweaters naturally work quite well for both keeping you warm and completely under wraps.

4) Swimwear is a must if you plan on heading to the beach or spending time at the hotel pool. Just be aware that one-piece bathing suits aren’t seen on the local beaches so ladies may want to pack a bikini instead. Beachgoers will probably want to bring along their own bottle of sunscreen, since it tends to be more costly in Europe.

What NOT to take to Italy

1) 🚫 An overly full suitcase: If you plan on bringing home any souvenirs, you’ll definitely need to leave space for them in your bags. There’s also the fact that a packed suitcase tends to be a heavy one. This can lead to fatigue from carting the bags around and it can cause problems with picky airline officials. Just leave the extra stuff like shoes, clothes, heavy books, computers, and guitars at home. Your wallet and your back/arms will thank you.

2) 🚫 Expensive or Irreplaceable Items: It’s never a good idea to bring expensive belongings along for the ride. These things tend to either be lost or stolen with alarming regularity, but most travel insurance has a limit on how much you can claim in personal damages if they will even allow you to do that. The best way to avoid a hassle is to simply leave anything at home that can’t be replaced.

3) 🚫 Typical “Tourist” Wear: If you want to blend in with the locals avoid filling your suitcase with questionable fashion choices like fanny packs, white sneakers,camouflage clothes, Hawaiian print garments,and so on. After all, people who look like tourists tend to be among the favorite targets of pickpockets everywhere.

4) 🚫 Extremely short shorts or skirts: Italian churches don’t let people in that are properly covered up. This means that any skirts and shorts you plan on wearing must reach at least your knees. Your shoulders likewise should be kept under wraps if you plan on visiting the country’s many religious sites.

5) 🚫 Hairdryers: Most hotel/hostels have them so there’s no any need to drag them along for the ride.

6) 🚫 Extremely High Heels: These aren’t going to mix well with the cobblestone streets that can be found in many Italian cities, particularly if you are a clumsy individual.

FAQs about travel in Italy

1) What is a good, basic daily budget for Italy?

Travelers who don’t mind staying in hostel dorms, doing some self-catering, seeing a few paid attractions, and taking public transport should be able to get by on a basic daily budget of $75 in most spots. However, you might nonetheless want to add a bit more money to that tally if you plan on visiting Venice because the city is not known for its affordability. Your money naturally will go further in smaller towns than it will in large metropolises. Even so, it’s always a good idea to have a monetary buffer of a few hundred dollars or a decent percentage of the overall trip budget set aside in case of emergencies.

2) Do I need to tip in restaurants in Italy?

No. Most places will include a service charge on the bill anyway. While leaving up to 2 euros in change will certainly be appreciated by the wait staff, it’s not required at all.

3) What are some interesting places that I might want to add to my itinerary of Italy?

Places that everyone probably has already heard about and no doubt made you plan a trip might have included fan favorites like the Vatican Museums, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Amalfi Coast, the Coliseum, Pompeii, Venice, Tuscany, the Cinque Terre, and the island of Capri.

However, towns that are less popular with tourists such as Bologna, Siena,San Gimignano, Milan, Ravenna, Naples, Padua, and Lucca are all well worth a stop. Intriguing sites like the Castel de Monte near Bari and the geothermal waterfalls near Saturniaare likewise great places to spend some time. Travelers to Rome should certainly check out less popular sites nearby such as the Villa d’Este, Herculaneum,and Ponza Island along with obligatory stops like the Coliseum and the Vatican Museums. Other places that travelers might want to investigate further include the many islands in the Venetian lagoon, the Lake Cosmo area, the Ligurian coast, the Italian Alps (the Dolomites), and Sicily.

4) What is the best time of year to visit Italy?

The early spring and late fall are widely considered the best time of the year to stop by since they provide travelers with a good compromise when it comes to important factors like crowds, weather, and overall prices. During these months, most attractions aren’t operating at max capacity, hotels prices are reasonable, and the Italian weather tends to be reliable pleasant.

Of course, rain is likely at any time of the year so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Chilly evenings are certainly possible during the shoulder season and, as a result, these months might not be your best option if you’re looking to spend a lot of time at the beach.

The country is naturally at its coldest and wettest during the winter. However, it is almost always slightly warmer in the southernmost portions of Italy than it is in the far north. Even so, the low season can be a godsend for budget travelers who don’t mind bad weather or working around attractions with reduced hours.

5) What’s the best way to get from Rome to Venice and vice versa?

The train is probably your best bet. It’s not much more expensive than the bus but it’sa whole lot faster. In fact, it should save you several hours. There is even an overnight train that runs between the two cities. This could be a good way to maximize your time at both places and likely save some money. But you should probably only consider this option if you don’t mind arriving very early in the morning, you can live without air conditioning, and you’re able to sleep on moving trains. Low-priced, direct flights between the two cities might be a viable option for some travelers. However, getting to the airport and back from either place will take additional time and money so be sure to factor that into your calculations before making your choice.

6) How much will a traditional cooking class cost me in Italy?

Naturally, it varies. The cost is usually dependent on how long the class lasts and what’s included. You may nonetheless luck out and find a highly rated experience that runs between $30 and $50 per person. These classes typically cover one or two basic dishes and don’t last very long, which is probably just fine for some travelers. However, most lesson price start around $80 and go up to about $160. These normally last longer and cover more dishes.Just be sure to adjust your trip budget accordingly if this is an activity that you plan on doing during your stay.

7) What are Italy’s major airports?

The airports that international travelers will probably be arriving are the ones near major cities like Rome (FCO and CIA), Venice (VCE), and Milan (MXP, LIN, and BGY). Other important airports can be found near Bologna (BLQ), Naples (NAP), Pisa (PSA), and Bari (BRI). There are also ones at Palermo (PMO) and Catania (CIA) on the island of Sicily. Some these are very busy during the tourist season but are relatively quiet at other times of the year.

8) What are the main ferry ports in Italy and where do the ferries go?

The ones that travelers will be interested in leave from places on the country’s eastern coastsuch as Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, and Venice. These boats typically head across the Adriatic Sea to countries on the other side like Greece, Croatia, Albania, and Montenegro. Ferries also leave from places on the Tyrrhenian Coast such as Genoa, Civitavecchia, and Livorno. They head for destinations such as Barcelona and Naples as well as nearby islands like Corsica and Sicily. Of course, there are far more ferry services available than just those listed here.

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