Updated on September 8, 2019 by Asher Fergusson
What do I really need for a trip to Italy?
Everywhere you go in Italy, you’re surrounded by history, friendly smiles, and the sights and smells of some of the most delicious food you’ll ever taste. It’s truly a destination you’ll always remember!
Many travelers don’t know what to wear in Italy and tend to over or under pack. With that in mind I’ve created a list of 17 must-have items for your Italian adventure – enjoy, and buon viaggio!
Italy Packing List – Top 17 Must-have Items
1) Homeopathic Jet Lag relief pills
2) Italy Power Adapter
4) Lipstick-sized USB charger
5) HERO Packing Cubes
Note: My wife and I personally designed these packing cubes after having subpar experiences with the low-quality ones available on Amazon. Our packing cubes come with premium YKK zippers, puncture-resistant ripstop Nylon and quality workmanship backed by our lifetime replacement guarantee. We just launched and we’re currently offering our readers an exclusive 15% discount! Use this coupon “2R574QV9” at checkout. Only available in the USA.
6) Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Italy has been known to censor parts of the Internet. This means that certain websites that you might want to visit won’t be accessible unless you have a good VPN like NordVPN.
Although, what I’ve found to be the most important feature of a VPN is the security it delivers. My family and I learned this the hard way when we were in Europe where I had my credit card number stolen after using the Internet at our Airbnb apartment.
If you go on anyone’s WiFi network while traveling such as at a restaurant, hotel or airport etc you’re potentially putting all your important information at risk of being hijacked. But with a VPN you are protecting your passwords, credit cards and identity with just one click. Plus, it works on all devices and it’s really inexpensive!
7) Pashmina Shawl Wrap
8) Italian Phrasebook and Dictionary
9) Neck Wallet
Note: My wife and I personally designed this neck wallet based on years of experience and have recently launched it on Amazon. It also comes with a helpful guide on “How to Avoid Pickpockets & Other Travel Scams”. And to celebrate our launch, we’re offering an exclusive 15% discount to our readers! Use this coupon “4EWNMVQ8” at checkout. Only available in the USA.
View on Amazon.com ➜
10) Travel Insurance for Italy
11) Filtered Water Bottle
12) Lightweight Day Pack
13) Comfortable, attractive flats
14) Windproof Travel Umbrella
15) Mosquito Repellent Bracelets
16) Travel Toilet Paper
17) Solid shampoo
Other items you shouldn’t forget when traveling to Italy:
Headphones and/or Earplugs
Soap Travel Tin
Travel First Aid Kit
Women’s and Men’s Flip Flops
Stain Remover Wipes
Italy power adapter
Women’s and Men’s Sunglasses
Travel Sheet and Travel Pillow
Journal or Notebook
What should I wear in Italy?
When going out to dinner it doesn’t hurt to dress up a little, and when you’re out for the day you’ll want to look decent and feel comfortable.
Bear in mind that the climate in most parts of the country is a mix of subtropical and warm-temperate (Mediterranean climate), and that Italy experiences seasons like much of the US.
SPRING – March, April, May:
Spring is a fantastic time in Italy – flowers are blooming, temperatures and weather are mild, and most of the winter’s chill has gone. You’re not safe from precipitation in this season, though – you will see some rain in most parts of the country, and you’ll need to pack accordingly.
Bonus tip: brightly-colored umbrellas are often carried by tour guides as beacons for their tour groups to follow, so try to choose one for yourself that’s not ostentatious, unless you feel like being mistakenly followed by a gaggle of tourists on St. Mark’s Square! Temperatures average between 60°F and 75°F (16°C and 24°C).
SUMMER – June, July, August:
Plan to bring a swim suit if you plan to spend any time near water – this is the season for beach activities, after all. If you have the opportunity for a dip in any of the seas that border Italy, you won’t want to miss it!
A sun hat, sunscreen, and light layers are very necessary regardless of where you are. Cute linen pants are ideal, as are comfortable and cute walking sandals. Temperatures average between 77°F and 86°F (25°C and 30°C).
FALL – September, October, November:
Autumn in Italy is an easy-to-love shoulder season. Vines hang heavy with ripe grapes, foliage is thick, the air is sweet, and the heat abates and gives way to soft breezes in most parts of the country. Nights are cooler, so you’ll want to bring layers and a shawl to ward off any chills.
WINTER – December, January, February:
You will absolutely need a fleece or a good jacket for warmth. Also plan to bring a hat, gloves, and scarves to keep you warm while you’re out and about. Good, warm boots and walking shoes are crucial! Temperatures average between 50°F and 55°F (10°C and 13°C).
What NOT to take to Italy
1) DON’T PACK 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) DON’T BRING hairdryers: Most hotel/hostels have them so there’s really no need to heft around the extra weight and bulk.
3) DON’T TRAVEL WITH 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.
4) DON’T BRING extremely short shorts/skirts: Italian churches don’t let people in that are improperly covered. This means that any skirts and shorts you plan on wearing must reach at least to your knees. Your shoulders likewise should be kept under wraps if you plan on visiting the country’s many religious sites. Italy tends to air on the more conservatively-dressed side anyway, so you won’t regret dressing accordingly.
5) AVOID 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.
6) DON’T PACK extremely high heels or other uncomfortable shoes: 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, and may severely limit the amount of exploring you can do.
FAQs about travel in Italy
1) What is a good, basic daily budget for Italy?
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 for Italy?
4) What is the best time of year to visit Italy?
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?
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 prices 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?
8) What are the main ferry ports in Italy and where do the ferries go?
The ones that will be of most interest to travelers leave from places on the country’s eastern coast such 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.
9) Is it safe for women to travel alone in Italy?
Absolutely! Women travel around Italy on solo trips frequently, and seldom have any issues. Most troubles can be avoided with basic travel-sense and standard precautions. Don’t walk alone at night, keep your valuables to a minimum and wear them close to you in a passport pouch. If you’re concerned about travel safety, it’s best to research current travel warnings before you finalize your plans.
Italy Travel Packing List
As a summary, here’s our recommended 10-day packing list for Italy (including what to wear):
- 1 carry-on suitcase
- 1 regular suitcase or rolling duffle
- 1 cute rain jacket
- 2 pairs of dark pants or jeans
- 2 sweaters or cardigans
- 1 killer going-out outfit
- Several modest but fashionable tops
- 4 or 5 T-shirts
- Underwear and socks
- 1 Scarf or shawl
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 swimsuit cover-up
- 1 or 2 pairs of shorts for warm weather
- 1 sundress
- Bugspray and/or mosquito wristbands
- Cute walking flats
- Boots if visiting during colder season
- 1 or 2 pairs Sunglasses
- 1 portable lipstick-sized charger
- 1 windproof umbrella
- 1 concealable passport holder
- 1 pocket Italian/English dictionary
- Packing cubes
- 1 or 2 Power Adapters for Italy
- Virtual Private Network
- Cute Daybag
- 1 RFID-blocking wallet
- 1 Water Bottle
- Solid Shampoo and Conditioner
- Personal Travel Safe
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Italy guidebook
- 1 eReader or Kindle
- 1 hanging toiletry bag
- Waterproof camera
- Flexible Tripod
- Travel insurance
- Credit cards (ideally with zero transaction fees)
- Visa (if applicable)
- Small amount of cash
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