Italians like to dress up and you will feel more comfortable in smart casual dress.
This is definitely a location to show off your designer labels if you wish.
Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime as there are loads of cobbled streets, plus religious sites and museums with wooden floors (try Hotter shoes, they provide total comfort and look great too).
If you are visiting the big cities leave your swimsuit at home it's very unlikely that you will find facilities to use it.
Clothing Tips for Women
Feel free to be glamorous and stylish.
A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit.
And a few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will also transform any outfit.
Save your high heels for the evenings.
When visiting restaurants our advice would be no sneakers; this is a time to get those glamorous sandals or shoes on. We love the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.
If you are planning on visiting any religious sites then be sure to dress conservatively and take a pashmina to cover your shoulders and bare legs. It can also be very chilly inside the churches, even when it's hot outside.
Clothing Tips for Men
Feel free to be stylish.
When eating out or visiting the opera etc, opt for smart shoes.
If visiting churches it can be cold inside, even in the hot summer months - you may like to carry a light sweater or jacket to put round you.
Pack for the Weather
It can rain at any time and our advice would be to pack a lightweight raincoat and travel umbrella even in the summer.
During May, June, July, August and September the sun is fierce, so be sure to pack sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunhat and sunglasses.
In winter (December, January, February) dress up warmly, with layers and take a warm smart coat and warm scarf.
Clever layering is the key to dressing for changeable weather.
Regions of Italy
In Venice in the winter, loud sirens sound to warn the locals of particularly high tides - at night this can make sleeping difficult, so you may want to take some earplugs!
St Peter's Basilica and the Vatican City in Rome have a strictly enforced dress code - everyone must cover bare legs and shoulders, or you will find yourself buying paper pants!
If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMaxsoft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized.
And a lightweight shoulder bag or day sack will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials. Note that some museums and galleries do not permit entry with large bags or backpacks, and there is not always a cloakroom facility.
If you tend to buy bottled water, consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
Keep your mobile phone safe with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Lace and glassware are popular buys from Venice, look for leather goods in Florence and fashion from Milan. If you choose to bring back Italian wine remember liquids need to be packed in your checked-in luggage, unless you buy at the airport.
Last updated 01 September 2015.
Get a Full Packing List for Italy
Our Members can download a suggested packing list for Italy which covers ladies' and men's clothes for all seasons, plus a checklist for must-take items. Sign up or log in below.