What to Wear in Italy: The Ultimate Italy Packing List

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Italy is the birthplace of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance so it’s not hard to see why over 58 million people visit the country every year. Whether you are headed for some beach relaxation or will be spending all your time in the cities, maybe a mix of both, we have put together our top suggestions on what to wear in Italy.

This ultimate Italy packing list will help you take the guesswork out of the essential items you will need for a fantastic trip. You can also combine this list with our Ultimate Europe Packing List, to ensure you have everything covered, no matter the season. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Italy (Travel Guide)

Italy Packing List

How to Decide What to Bring to Italy:

  • What will the weather be like: Depending on the time of year you visit you could experience varying weather. Expect summers temps to average between 75-85F°, Fall temps to average between 58-68F°, Winter temps to average between 15-55F° and Spring temps to average between 55-65F°.
  • What type of activities will you be doing: Italy has a lot to offer. Whether you will be enjoying ancient sites, the beaches along the coast or maybe some trekking in Northern Italy, deciding your itinerary ahead of time will make packing much easier on you.
  • How long am I staying: Will I need to make sure I can do laundry to repeat items or will I need to pack enough for my entire stay? Most hotels offer laundry services for a fee. You can find laundromats throughout Italy more convenient and cheaper option is to just bring some soap along and hand-wash your clothes in the sink if needed. 

What to Wear in Italy

Lina Stock in Commachio, Italy

Casual clothes 

No matter the activities on your itinerary you will want to have comfortable and casual clothing to wear. Sneakers, baseball caps, and shorts basically scream tourist to the locals, so if you want to blend in, do not wear these items. 

Bring at least a couple of church-appropriate outfits. Don’t end up being turned away from visiting a church (yes, it happens). Bring at least a couple of outfits that cover both your shoulders and knees or at the very least, outfits that cover your knees and a scarf to throw over your shoulders. 

Maxi dresses are perfect for this kind of thing. I love how comfortable and photogenic it is while also being church-appropriate.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Clothing:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Clothing:

Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

Scarves

It is always handy to have a scarf with you while traveling in Italy, especially in summer when you are more likely to wear clothing that shows your shoulders and chest.

Most church buildings or cathedrals will require you to have shoulders and chest covered. An easy solution for you is to carry a lightweight scarf or shawl.

Our Top Recommended Scarves:

Gondola in a canal in Venice

Sun Hat

Another good option for sun protection that is often overlooked is sun hats. Areas that are commonly forgotten when applying sunscreen are ears and the back of the neck. An easy solution to this is to bring a wide brim hat. You can buy them in all different sizes and brands, but we recommend a hat with at least a 3-inch brim.

If going the UPF route, you will want to buy the highest rating which is always located on the tags of the hat. The highest UPF is 40-50+, which blocks 97-99% of UV radiation. In addition to providing sun protection, UPF hats are also very lightweight and breathable so your head is not getting hot and sweaty as with normal baseball caps.

Our Top Recommended Hats For Women:

Our Top Recommended Hats For Men:

Lina Stock in the Po Delta, Italy

Sunglasses

No matter where in Italy your vacation brings you, it will most likely involve time outside in the sun. In order to protect your eyes, you should always wear a good pair of sunglasses.

You can find many options available for sunglasses but always make sure your pair have UV protection. If you can opt for a pair that are polarized. Polarized sunglasses reduce the glare from the sun making your view through the lenses more clear. However, polarization does not increase UV protection, which is very important. Pick a pair that fit you well, don’t pinch your nose and won’t easily fall off if you look down.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Sunglasses:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Sunglasses:

Pigeons in San Marco Square in Venice

Comfy shoes

If there is one item that will make or break your Italy packing list, it’s shoes. Having shoes that you’re comfortable walking around all day in is a must for your trip. Tennis shoes will be a dead give away that you are a tourist, but if you are fine with that, they are a great choice for comfort.

Italy’s towns are covered in cobblestone and uneven roads. Unless absolutely necessary avoid bringing heals. Consider bringing one pair of active sandals like Chaco, especially if your itinerary has you visiting coastal towns. No matter the type of shoe you choose, just make sure they have been thoroughly worn in to avoid blisters and sore feet.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Shoes:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Shoes:

Rain puddle reflection in Ravenna, Italy

Light jacket

Weather in Italy can be unpredictable no matter what time of year you visit. So, remember to pack a lightweight jacket to be prepared for any surprise weather.

Try to pick something that is waterproof and breathable since the weather can still be warm when a storm strikes, especially if visiting during the summer months. 

Our Top Recommended Women’s Jackets:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Jackets:


Ultimate Italy Packing List Continued

Grand Canal in Venice - Italy Packing List

Guide book

Buying a guidebook for an upcoming trip is one of my favorite things to do. Nothing like flipping through the pages and relishing in all the activities and sites you are about to experience.

Italy is generally pretty welcoming and respectful towards tourists. Even still, it’s always a good idea to buy a guidebook with a “most common phrases” section included.

You will be surrounded by Italian speakers and it never hurts to have a clue about common words and phrases.

Our Top Recommended Guide Books:

Gondola in Venice, Italy

Carry-on Luggage

We cannot stress enough that you should try to pack light! Italy is a vast country filled with a great transportation network of trains and flights. If your trip involves a multi-city itinerary then packing light should be at the top of your list.

Not only will it be easier for you to maneuver around small tourist-filled Italian towns it will be easier to travel with on trains and planes.

Our Top Recommended Carry-on Luggage:

Gondola going under the Bridge of Sighs in Italy

Hanging Toiletry Bag

This may sound like an obscure item to bring but most of the bathrooms in your hotels in Italy will be quite smaller than you are used to and most likely have much less counter space.

By bringing a fold-able hanging toiletry bag you will be able to keep everything stored and organized in the bag. Since most of these hanging toiletry bags come with a hook similar to that of a clothes hanger you can hang your toiletry bag from almost anywhere!

Our Top Recommended Hanging Toiletry Bags:

View from Refugio window in the Dolomites

Compression socks

With the amount of flying that we do, we never leave home without our compression socks. Compression socks and stockings help reduce leg swelling, discomfort, and blood clots from forming near the skin’s surface. They also help my legs to feel more refreshed after those long flights than if I do not wear them.

Our Top Recommended Compression Socks:

Venice Italy

Electronics Organizers

Odds are you will be bringing several different electronic items and chargers with you on your trip to Italy and an organizer will be very helpful in keeping everything together.

Most organizers will contain multiple elastic bands and mesh pockets for small items like slender cables, earphones, flash USB drives, SD cards or wall chargers.

Our Top Recommended Electronics Organizers:

Venice Italy

Packing cubes

It’s hard to simultaneously pack light and ensure that you have everything you need for a destination like Italy. Packing cubes make that task considerably easier.

They also provide travelers with an excellent way of compartmentalizing their travel items while still keeping them accessible. Cubes also ensure that you’ll be packing to the right dimensions of your suitcase or bag. 

We like them because if we need to pull out a certain item we already have them separated out and will know which cube exactly to pull out without leaving a pile of clothes out to repack.

Our Top Recommended Packing Cubes:

Dolomites in Italy

Water bottle

Bringing your own water bottle is a good way to save money and stay hydrated on your adventures in Italy. Tap water in Italy is potable and will say so if it is not. Beware in the more rural areas if you’re worried.

A favorite water bottle of ours is the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle which is a great space saver. Once you have emptied the bottle you can roll the base up to the lid for storage. However, water is cheap to purchase at the supermarkets if you do not want to risk it.

Our Top Recommended Travel Water Bottle:

Hiker at Lago di Barias, Italy

Battery Power Bank

Power banks are perhaps one of the best inventions for travelers ever. They are compact and have the ability to charge and even re-charge your electronic devices on the go multiple times.

The larger the mAh (milliamp hours) the better the ability it has to store power for charging devices. Opt for on with at least 10,000mAh.

Our Top Recommended Power Banks:

Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy

Universal adapter

All of Europe operates on the same 2 round prong outlets (except for Great Britain that operates on its own unique 3 pronged outlets.)

If you are traveling through Britain (including London) on your way to the rest of Europe you will need a British power point adapter for your time there as well as a European power point adapter for the rest of your tour.

Our top recommended Adapters:

Hiking in the dolomites, Italy

Basic Medication

Some people prefer to buy medication for basic headaches, fevers, and stomach aches as needed, but who wants to deal with language barriers when they’re sick? We’ve never regretted packing our own basic meds.

Even if you are a person who takes no daily medications consider that you may encounter a problem on the ship or on land that requires treatment.

It is always a good idea to pack: Allergy medicine (Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin), Imodium, Antacids (Tums or Rolaids) Tylenol, Band-aids, antibiotic ointment and hydrocortisone. Having a small medicine selection may prove quite helpful. Better to have packed them and not need them than to wish you had them.

Our Top Recommended Medication Kits:

Vespa on the street - Italy Packing List

International Driving Permit

If you’re coming from outside the EU and plan to rent a car in Italy, you’ll need to make sure to acquire an International Driving Permit in your home country, before coming to Italy.

It is required for all car rentals in Italy, and while the rental company may not ask, it’s not worth the risk of being refused a car once you arrive or getting a fine if you’re pulled over to be without one.

Play it safe and if you plan to drive during your trip, add an International Driving Permit to your Italy packing list!

Mountain Refugio in Italy

Multi-Outlet Surge Protector

It is always nice to travel with a multi-outlet surge protector. This way you won’t have to start unplugging the lamps and the alarm clock in order to find a spot for all your devices to charge.

We like to choose the ones that have both USB charging ports and regular USA outlet sockets so you can plug in several items with different chargers at the same time.

Our Top Recommended Multi-Outlet Surge Protectors:

Streets in Commachio, Italy

Sunscreen

In addition to your hat don’t forget your sunscreen for the rest of the exposed areas. The Italian sun gets quite hot throughout the day. Choose one with zinc oxide which adds a physical barrier in addition to the chemical ones normally found in sunscreens.

Our Top Recommended Sunscreens:

Lina Stock photographing Venice at sunrise

Camera gear

During your trip to Italy you will have several fantastic photo opportunities. Whether you are headed to Venice, The Vatican, Cinque Terre, Roman Forum & Colosseum or the towering Mt. Vesuvius, be sure to bring your favorite camera and accessories along to get the perfect shot.

Whichever camera you choose to bring along always pack extra batteries so you are always ready to get the best shot.

Whether you are new to photography or an experienced professional there are several different styles of cameras that may work for you. A favorite point and shoot of ours is the Sony RX100 VA. It’s compact enough to fit in a pocket but it offers some of the same features as a larger mirrorless camera.

A favorite DSLR of ours is the Canon 6D. This camera is ideal for those capturing outdoor photos. It also offers two SD card slots and an LCD screen. You also get a tough, magnesium-alloy body that’s protected against inclement weather

Another must-have camera for our travels is GoPro. We use our GoPro for a great outdoor camera and video shots. A GoPro also has multiple accessories allowing you to attach the camera to a car for driving video, water housing for underwater photos and video and mounts for the head, chest, etc. if you want to capture a more active adventure during your travels.

Our Top Recommended Camera Essentials:

David Stock hiking in the Dolomites

E-Reader

No matter where I travel, I always bring along my E-Reader for entertainment. You can find several different E-Reader options on the market today but personally, nothing beats the Kindle Paperwhite.

Not only does this E-reader have a battery life of up to 8 weeks on one single charge but it also adjusts to be easily read in the sunlight without reflection or glare and has great dim settings for easy reading at night. With 32 GB of storage for your books the Kindle Paperwhite also offers some of the largest storage capacity on the market.

The best budget E-Reader on the market is the original Amazon Kindle style. This is a good option for budget-minded readers. This kindle option includes only 4 GB of storage capacity, however, you still get the awesome anti-glare and reflection abilities.

Our Top Recommended E-Readers:

Italy is sure to be an amazing experience for you, no matter where your adventure takes you. Take it in, be in the moment, and enjoy this marvelous country and all it has to offer a traveler.

We hope this list eases even a tiny bit of stress on you while packing for your upcoming Italian adventure. 

Italy Packing List

Not finding what you are looking for? Check out our favorite places to go shopping for travel gear.

  • Shop Columbia – The industry leader in outdoor apparel and products; You can find anything from great jackets, gloves, hats, shirts and travel pants.
  • Shop REI – They offer some of the best outdoor gear around. We love REI since they have a one-year return policy. Love it or hate it no questions, guaranteed.
  • Shop Moosejaw – Has a huge selection of outdoor gear at killer prices.
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Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

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If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.


About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA



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