Table of Contents

25 Top Rome Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

rome skyline
Updated on

Ciao! Rome is a bustling metropolis in the heart of Italy. It’s an art history mecca and one of the most popular European tourist destinations.

As Italy’s legendary food and culture capital and historical landmark, packing for Rome requires bringing items that are simultaneously stylish and comfortable.

Below, you’ll also find our insider guidance on what to pack, what to wear in Rome, what NOT to bring, and other important FAQs.

25 Top Rome Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Rome – 25 Essentials

  • 1. Italy Power Adapter

    The power outlets in Italy may be different from the ones in your home country and even the rest of Europe. Bring a power adapter like this one so that you can actually charge and use the electronics you bring. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that Italy uses the same adapter as the rest of Western Europe! You don’t want to risk the safety of your phone, laptop, or other lifelines.

    Italy Power Adapter

    View on ➜

  • 2. Gorgeous Outfit

    Rome is a stylish place with exciting nightlife. Chances are, you’ll want to spend an evening out on the town or enjoy a nice dinner in the Trastevere neighborhood. Dress the part by bringing at least one gorgeous outfit on your trip. This jumpsuit is trendy, lightweight, and perfect for any occasion.

    Gorgeous Outfit

    View on ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Italy is ranked in the top 3 most targeted countries for malicious online attacks. So, one of the most important things you can do before departing for Rome is to get a VPN. You will likely be connecting to Wi-Fi in public places, like in airports, hotels, and cafes, which will leave you vulnerable to potential hackers. I learned this when my credit card number was stolen at an Airbnb that I thought was trustworthy.

    A VPN will keep your passwords, credit card numbers, and private data safe as you connect to public networks abroad. It adds a layer of encryption while also helping you access websites from your home country that may be censored in Europe (like YouTube, Facebook, or Netflix). We use NordVPN because they offer all of the services above with unlimited bandwidth at an affordable price. We even use a VPN at home to stop hackers before they can target us.


    View Options ➜

  • 4. Neck Wallet

    Rome can get crowded and very touristy, especially during the summer months. You’ll want to make sure your passport, wallet, phone, and other valuables are safe and organized. Do this by wearing a handy neck wallet, which can be worn around your neck and tucked discreetly beneath your clothes to avoid getting anything stolen by pickpockets. I had my credit card stolen out of my purse on a public bus in Rome, so now I always use this to be worn out of sight.

    neck wallet

    View on ➜

  • 5. Jet Lag Relief

    Depending on where you’re coming from, Rome can be awfully far away with time changes, layovers, and delays. You’ll want to avoid the nasty effects of jet lag by preventing and treating it with these homeopathic jet lag relief pills. We always use these when we travel overseas and they haven’t let us down yet!

    jet lag relief

    View on ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Rome

    No matter where you’re traveling, it’s essential to have reliable travel insurance before embarking on your journey. It was formerly required by the Roman Government, but now insurance is strongly recommended to cover delays, cancelations, theft, baggage loss, medivacs, and expensive international hospital bills. Since your domestic provider does not generally cover you once you leave the country (including Medicare and Medicaid), you need to protect yourself abroad.

    We always use Faye because they are the easiest insurance company we’ve come across! Reimbursements and claims are a breeze and as the first 100% digital provider, everything is handled on their mobile app. Between the ability to cover up to $250K of medical expenses, cancel your entire trip for a refund, and have a 24/7 support team in your pocket – it’s too affordable and important to forgo.

    Travel Insurance for Rome

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Packing Cubes

    If there is one thing I can’t travel without, it’s a set of packing cubes! I use them in suitcases, backpacks, and even duffel bags. They help me to stay organized and keep my clean laundry separate from my dirty laundry. You can label each cube for pajamas, socks, tops, pants, essentials, etc., and you’ll never have to tear your suitcase apart again! We bring a different color for each family member, which helps us stay even more organized.

    Packing Cubes

    View on ➜

  • 8. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Europe is known for teeny-tiny bathrooms (in the U.K., they’re literally referred to as ‘water closets’ because doing your business is about ALL there’s room for). This hanging toiletry bag creates a shelf-like system that you can hang virtually anywhere (a door, hook, shower pole, towel rack, etc.)

    It’s a real sanity saver, and we haven’t had any liquid spills in our suitcase since using this for all of our family’s toiletries. With 4 internal pockets that boast elastic straps to keep your bottles from slipping and sliding, plus 3 external pockets for items you need to easily access – it really has everything you could need. It’s one of our favorite travel discoveries in years!

    hanging toiletry bag

    View on ➜

  • 9. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    When you’re out and about exploring Rome, you don’t want to worry about your phone running out of battery and leaving you without a mode of communication, navigation, photos, music, and more. Keep this lipstick-sized portable charger in your purse or daypack so you always have a backup battery if your phone runs out. You never know when an emergency will strike!

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

    View on ➜

  • 10. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    The city is prone to a bit of rain any time throughout the year, so you’ll want to ensure you’re always prepared. Don’t let a sudden downpour ruin your day of adventures. This windproof travel umbrella is great because it’s sturdy, reliable, and can fit two people underneath it. It even comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee, so you can trust the craftsmanship.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

    View on ➜

  • 11. Motion Sickness Relief

    You’ll be driving on plenty of winding roads through chaotic traffic and this can lead to motion sickness. The trains also seat you forward and backward, so sometimes I get nauseous if my seat faces a different direction than we’re moving. For planes, trains, and automobiles, these patches will be a subtle remedy that you’ll find valuable to have on-hand. My wife field-tested a bunch of brands and this one came out on top!

    Motion Sickness Relief

    View on ➜

  • 12. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    Luggage locks take the stress out of traveling so you don’t have to worry about someone going through your luggage and stealing your belongings. This set of two TSA-approved locks is lightweight yet super durable. Use them to secure your checked luggage, day bags, and lockers.

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    View on ➜

  • 13. Discounted Tickets on Rome Tours

    We use Get Your Guide booking service to book the best discounted tours all around the world! Obviously you want to visit the iconic stops like the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, and the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill. We recommend booking the skip-the-line options for these tours and paying a few extra dollars more to not stand for hours in long lines (especially in the peak season of summer when the last thing you want to do is melt in a queue).

    While these hot spots are popular for a reason – I highly suggest getting outside of the tourist attractions and embracing the authentic experiences like a food tour in the Trastevere or a day-trip to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. The catacombs are historic and the Domus Aurea is also fascinating!

    Discounted Tickets on Rome Tours

    See all Rome attractions at ➜

  • 14. Wine Wings Packing Cushions

    Between all of the Chianti, Barolo, and Sangiovese – you’ll 100% want to bring some wine back with you. Visit Tuscany and you’ll realize how affordable the wine is in Europe (even able to find 1€ varietals at the grocery store – that doesn’t mean it’s the best, but I’ve never had a bad bottle in Italy, even at the lowest prices). These packing cushions ensure nothing breaks in transit within your suitcase. It’s double ziplock and inflatable. We use them for ANYTHING made of glass – wine, liquor, olive oils, balsamic vinegar, perfumes, and more.

    Wine wings

    View on ➜

  • 15. Cooling Towel

    Rome can get piping HOT, especially in the summer. A magical cooling towel is compact and easy to bring out with you in case you want to cool off while you’re exploring the city. All you do is wet the towel, wring it out, and it instantly becomes 20-30 degrees colder than the air temperature. It’s chemical-free and reusable so that you can cool off as many times a day as you need.

    Cooling Towel

    View on ➜

  • 16. Activated Charcoal

    As Rome is renowned throughout the world for its delicious food, it can be easy to overeat. If this happens to you or you end up eating or drinking something that doesn’t agree with you, you’ll want to take these activated charcoal tablets to absorb and expel the toxins in your system. Note that food poisoning can happen anywhere, even from foreign tap water you’re body’s not used to – this charcoal will save you some distress!

    Activated Charcoal

    View on ➜

  • 17. Anti-Theft Backpack

    Keep your hands-free as you explore Rome throughout the day with a stylish backpack like this one. This backpack is great to use during everything from cafe hopping to a night out and will help you fit in with the locals. This one is even theft preventative with the zippers on the inside, so sticky fingers can’t access your items without your knowledge.

    Anti-Theft Backpack

    View on ➜

  • 18. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A quick-dry towel is infinitely useful on any trip abroad. You’ll want to use it for day trips to the beaches of Cinque Terre and as a bath towel if your accommodation doesn’t provide one or if the one provided isn’t clean. This towel is lightweight, compact, and dries 10x faster than cotton, so you won’t have to worry about getting the rest of your stuff wet.

    travel towel

    View on ➜

  • 19. Comfortable Walking Shoes

    Rome is full of cobblestoned streets and winding alleyways. Go easy on your feet (and fit in with the locals) by bringing some comfortable but cute sneakers to wear while you roam through Rome! Whether you’re strolling through the Vatican or making a wish at the Trevi Fountain, you can’t go wrong with a comfy pair of shoes.

    Comfortable Walking Shoes

    View on ➜

  • 20. Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

    Dengue Fever is still a real thing in Italy and mosquitoes can seriously swarm this country, particularly in the summer months. These blood-suckers love warm, humid environments with stagnant water around, so you’ll find them in Rome since it’s relatively near the coast. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illness by using these bracelets that repel mosquitos with citronella and other essential oils. They’re gentle and safe for kids but add a subtle layer of protection. You can bring some extra spray-on repellent as a backup, just ensure it’s non-toxic and deet-free.

    mosquito repellent wristbands

    View on ➜

  • 21. Pashmina Shawl

    You don’t want to be denied entry to your favorite attractions, right? A light pashmina shawl is a must-have multipurpose travel item for Rome. It can be your blanket on the plane ride, an accessory during the day, or a shawl when you go out at night. But more importantly, it is useful for when you need to cover up a bit when visiting Rome’s many cathedrals or sacred places, many of which will not allow entry to those with uncovered arms and shoulders.

    Pashmina Shawl

    View on ➜

  • 22. Cute and Comfortable Flats

    Rome’s cobblestoned streets make it almost impossible to wear heels out to dinner. While tennis shoes are great to have, you’ll need a fancier pair of shoes for nicer looks. Make sure to spice up your sundress with some cute and comfortable flats, both as you walk around during the day and when you’re headed out for a night on the town. These are comfy and adorable!

    Cute and Comfortable Flats

    View on ➜

  • 23. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    The tap water in Rome is safe to drink, so it’s best to bring around a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. This one is awesome because it comes with a filtration system built into it, which works as an added layer of protection to make sure the water you’re consuming is clean and safe. If you want a higher quality filter, we recommend the Grayl.

    Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    View on ➜

  • 24. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    The shopping in Rome is basically unmatched. I always go a little crazy in the four-story Zara near the Pantheon, and you’ll want to bring home authentic souvenirs like olive oil, pasta, leather goods, wine, chocolates, and more. This “just in case” bag is a duffle material, so it compresses down to take up no space when empty, but you will want more bags for the trip home. This one counts as your personal item for the return flight, prego!

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    View on ➜

  • 25. Travel Toilet Paper

    Europe may surprise you with how under-stocked the bathrooms can be. Since you have to pay to use the bathroom on occasion, you could be shocked to find toilet paper missing at times. Bring your own TP as a backup, it can be a lifesaver for hostels, trains, buses, or public street porta-potty. Just add water and you’ve got a perfect hygienic wipe to use. Even if you’re camping or hiking the Dolomites, this brand is biodegradable.

    Travel Toilet Paper

    View on ➜

What to Wear in Rome

Rome is a casual but definitely fashion-forward city, so pack stylish but comfortable clothing. Comfortable sneakers to walk around in are a must. If you’re going in the summer, expect it to be very hot! Bear in mind that the climate is warm here and July is the hottest month. Around this time, you’ll want to opt for light sundresses, fewer layers, and comfortable sandals. However, in the Winter, it can get chilly and wet, so bring appropriate rain gear and warmer clothing if you’re headed to Rome after October.

As a hub for luxury designers, Via Condotti is a street where you’ll find iconic names like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, Hermès, Armani, and more. While you don’t have to dress to the nines, it’s fun to blend in with the locals and look a bit more polished than you may at home. You can push yourself outside of your comfort zone here since color is beyond acceptable and expressive style is the norm in a metropolitan city!

Some underground shopping to check out in Rome: Monti for vintage markets and boho finds, Campo de Fiori for cult classics, and Viale Trastevere for one-of-a-kind pieces in the coziest neighborhood. Start at the Spanish Steps and move past the luxury stores of Via Condotti for global retailers like Gap, H&M, etc. After a gorgeous 10-minute walk, I always make a point to hit the 5-story Zara on Via Del Corso (their flagship store in Rome that has options for women, men, and children).

What should WOMEN Wear in Rome? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items linked to for your convenience).

What should MEN Wear in Rome? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items linked to for your convenience).

Packing for the Seasons in Rome

SPRING – March, April, May

Spring is a stunning time to visit Rome. Not only are the flowers blooming and the heat is much more bearable than by summer – but the crowds have also thinned out. You can see the city at a slower pace and it’s nice to wait in shorter queues for the main attractions.
Dress for comfort in light shirts, breathable pants, and sundresses. You’re likely to see solid prints moreso than florals, but you can wear whatever feels comfortable!
You may hear that Romans don’t wear tennis shoes but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They are a practical people! Dressing for the unpredictable cobblestone streets that can roll an ankle in the wrong footwear. Bring a very comfy pair of shoes since you’ll be doing plenty of walking or a boot with a thicker heel. You’ll also need an umbrella and a rain jacket for the occasional shower. Temperatures average between 50°F and 73°F (10°C and 22°C).

SUMMER – June, July, August

Italy starts to warm up in mid- to late- May, and then hits its peak around July and August. You’ll find more tourists than any other part of the year and the crowds can be fairly daunting, so book your excursions in advance and consider skip-the-line options.

Summer heat can be intense in Rome. Wear light tops, opting for linen when you can because we’re here to do as the Romans do! My wife loves a casual dress or romper, and cute walking sandals are a must. Men should opt for chic linen button-downs or materials that are breathable, like cotton. Pair this with lightweight shorts, polarized shades, and comfortable shoes.
Keep in mind that holy sites like the Vatican will require both men and women to have covered arms and knees as a sign of respect. Women should dress modestly with a skirt that falls below the knee and keep a shawl on-hand to cover-up with.

Pack a swimsuit if you’re headed to the coast at any point (even for a dip at Forcene Beach near Fiumicino Airport before your flight home).
And although it doesn’t rain often in Rome, Summer rains bring the occasional thunderstorm. You should pack an umbrella, sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses (for any time of year because it’s simply a bright city!) and a sun hat since the rays can feel more powerful here. A cooling towel is a wise addition that your future self will thank you for since the humidity melds with the heat for a rough combination. Temperatures average between 65°F and 90°F (18°C and 32°C).

FALL – September, October, November

Autumn is a romantic time in Rome where you can live as the locals do. The tourists have mostly cleared out at this point, and you can experience this metropolitan city without all the hustle-and-bustle. (Rome is always hustle-and-bustle, but less-so this time of year!)
Women can opt for an oversized sweater, jeans, and comfortable boots with a thick heel for the cobblestone. Men will need a light jacket, longer pants, and a nice sweater. On the coldest nights that start to feel like Winter towards November, you’ll be thankful to have a pair of gloves and a hat.

Nights are cooler, so you’ll want to bring layers and a shawl to ward off any chills. Temperatures average between 47°F and 81°F (8°C and 27°C).

WINTER – December, January, February

As the off-season for Italy, everyone experiences their own form of hibernation in the Winter. There will be fewer activities going on, but the city can still be enjoyed and does not get as cold as other parts of Europe. Around Christmas time, the city gets lit up and twinkly, full of artisan markets. Plus, you can attend mass with the Pope at St. Peter’s Square.

You will definitely need to pack wisely with a fleece, warm jacket, gloves, a hat, scarves, and good walking boots. Men can opt for a pull-over sweater, fleece pants on a casual day, and fur-lined boots.
One of my favorite secrets is to keep a couple Hand & Foot Warmers in my pockets to hold in my hands as we explore around – it’s such a cozy delight! They can be put in your gloves, socks, or jacket for some additional insulation. Temperatures average between 37°F and 55°F (2°C and 13°C).

What NOT to Bring to Rome

  • 1.Short shorts or short skirts

    – Many Italian cathedrals require that you cover your knees and shoulders. Besides that, Italians generally tend to dress more conservatively. You will definitely stand out if you wear clothing that is too revealing – I learned that the hard way when I went jogging in short athletic shorts!

  • 2.A full suitcase

    Remember to leave space so that you can bring home lots of souvenirs from Rome’s quirky outdoor markets! Bring an adjustable luggage belt to secure all of your luggage (reinforcing the zippers of your checked bags for any rough transit, AND cinching-in your carry-ons so they fit easily in the overhead compartment).

  • 3.Too many clothes/ shoes

    – My motto is “pack lighter, go further”. Try to bring multi-purpose, neutral-colored items only.

  • 4.Books

    A Kindle will save you some serious weight. Not to mention, Lonely Planet guidebooks are free on Kindle Unlimited!

  • 5.Uncomfortable shoes

    Rome is a city made for walking. From the quaint cobblestone streets to the tourist sites, you will likely be walking more than you’re used to so comfortable shoes are crucial when touring Rome on foot. You don’t want to have to cut your ay short because of uncomfortable footwear so make sure the shoes you pack are supportive and broken-in.

FAQs About Traveling in Rome

  • 1. Is Rome expensive?

    Unfortunately, everything in Rome is pretty expensive. For example, hotel rooms cost more in Rome than in smaller Italian cities. A small cappuccino can cost upwards of 4 Euros (US$ 5.50) at a street cafe!

  • 2. How can I do Rome on a budget?

    Definitely! Rome is a must-see bucket list destination, and a tight budget shouldn’t stop you from going. Stay in hostels, eat street food instead of at restaurants, and go easy on the alcohol. Get to know the city through free (donation-based) walking tours, and take public transportation instead of cabs!

  • 3. When is the best time to visit Rome?

    April to June, and late September to October are the best months for traveling in Italy because the temperatures are usually mild, and the crowds aren’t too bad. Peak tourist season starts in mid-June, and continues through mid-September.

  • 4. Where should I stay in Rome?

    If you want to be in the real heart of the city, stay near or in one of these areas:

    • The Pantheon (the epicenter of Rome’s historic area, filled with hotels and restaurants)
    • Piazza Navona
    • The Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)
  • 5. Do people tip in Rome? What is Rome's tipping culture?

    Only tip as you see fit. As in most of Europe, tips are truly extra – servers don’t rely on them to fill out a full living wage as they do in the US. Tip a little bit extra if you feel any service was above and beyond, even if it means just leaving your change. Certainly try to tip hotel staff if they do a lot to help – it may ensure that you get prompt and positive service throughout your stay.