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)
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
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:
- prAna Women’s Trysten Tank Top Silver Spray
- Leggings Depot Jogger Track Pants w/Pockets
- Women’s Loose Casual Long Sleeved Open Front Breathable Cardigan
- Women’s Sleeveless Long Maxi Dresses Plus Size with Side Pocket
Our Top Recommended Men’s Clothing:
- prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Lightweight, Durable, Water Repellent Pants
- Columbia Men’s Tamiami II Short Sleeve Fishing Shirt
- Fruit of the Loom Men’s Crew Neck T-Shirt Multipack
- Eddie Bauer Men’s Guide Pro Shorts
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:
- Women’s Spring Lightweight Floral Birds Print Dress Scarf
- Fashion Cotton Scarf with Lace Design
- Cashmere-Feel Warm 2 Tone Shawl
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:
- Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll up Hat Fedora Beach Sun Hat UPF 50
- Women’s Wide Brim Sun Hat UPF 50
- Vintage Washed Distressed Adjustable Baseball Cap
Our Top Recommended Hats For Men:
- Sport Hat 40+ UPF Lightweight Baseball Cap Quick Drying
- Men’s Boonie Sun Hat UPF 50
- Levi’s Men’s Classic Fedora Summer Panama Hat
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:
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:
- Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Women’s Madison Shoe
- Skechers BOBS Women’s Bobs Plush-Peace & Love Ballet Flat
- Merrell Women’s Sandal
Our Top Recommended Men’s Shoes:
- Sperry Mens Bahama II Boat Washed Sneaker
- Skechers Men’s Relaxed Fit-Elent-Mosen Boat Shoe
- Teva Men’s Forebay Sandal
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:
- Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody Women’s
- Columbia Women’s Switchback Lined Long Jacket
- Amazon Essentials Women’s Utility Jacket
Our Top Recommended Men’s Jackets:
- Columbia Men’s Watertight II Waterproof, Breathable Rain Jacket
- Marmot Men’s Precip Jacket
- Levi’s Washed Cotton Hooded Jacket
Ultimate Italy Packing List Continued
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:
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:
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:
- Premium Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag for Women and Men
- Hanging Toiletry Bag, 6.8L Compact Travel Toiletry Bag for Men and Women
- WAYFARER SUPPLY Hanging Toiletry Bag: Pack-it-flat Travel Kit
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:
- Compression Socks for Women and Men
- Compression Socks For Men & Women-3 Pairs
- ACTINPUT 8 Pairs Compression Socks Women & Men
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:
- Jelly Comb Electronic Accessories Cable Organizer Bag (Waterproof)
- BUBM Double Layer Electronic Accessories Organizer
- BAGSMART Electronic Organizer Small Travel Cable Organizer Bag
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:
- Veken 6 Set Packing Cubes
- Bagail 6 Set Packing Cubes-Various Sizes
- AmazonBasics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set
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:
- S’well 15 oz Insulated, Double-Walled Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Nomader BPA Free Collapsible Sports Water Bottle
- CamelBak Eddy Insulated Water Bottle
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:
- Portable Charger Power Bank 25,800mAh
- Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh
- INIU Portable Charger, 10,000 mAh Power Bank
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:
- European Travel Plug Adapter
- European Plug Adapter 2 Pack
- 3-Pack-European Plug Adapter: with 2 USB Ports,2 USA Outlets
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:
- TravelPakRx–A Complete Travel Size Medicine Kit
- Pac-Kit 78 Piece Medication Triage Pack
- The Complete Medicine First Aid Kit-12 Different Medications
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!
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:
- Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector w/ 8ft Cord
- USB Wall Charger, Surge Protector, 6-Outlet Extender with 2 USB Charging Ports
- Power Strip Tower: Surge Protector with 14 Outlet Plugs and 4 USB Slots plus 6 feet Cord Wire Extension
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:
- EltaMD UV Lotion Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+
- Neutrogena Beach Defense Water Resistant Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 70
- REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
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:
- Sony RX100VA 20.1MP Digital Camera
- GoPro HERO 8 Black
- FitStill Waterproof Housing for GoPro HERO 2018/7/6/5 Black
- GoPro Performance Chest Mount (All GoPro Cameras)
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:
- Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage
- Amazon Kindle – Now with a Built-in Front Light
- Kobo Clara HD Carta E Ink Touchscreen E-Reader
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.
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.
|Highlights of Italy|
Milan to Rome
Rome to Venice
Venice to Rome
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