Top style tips for Italy
- When planning what to wear in Italy, keep in mind that Italians like to dress up. Therefore, you will feel more comfortable in smart casual clothing, particularly away from the tourist hotspots or when dining out.
- This is definitely a location to show off your designer labels (if that's how you roll).
- Leave your swimsuit at home when visiting big cities because it is unlikely that you will find facilities to use it (unless your accommodation has a pool).
- If you are looking for a highly versatile travel jacket to bring along we recommend the SCOTTeVEST range. Their jackets have been specifically designed for travel and include RFID security (to protect your passport information), 23 secure pockets and personal connectivity integration.
Italy is renowned for being one of the top fashion destinations in the world. Feel free to glam up and bring out your favorite accessories
Shoes to pack for Italy
- Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime as there are loads of cobbled streets throughout Italy. We like Hotter shoes, they provide total comfort and look great too.
- Save your high heels for the evenings. You are likely to do a lot of exploring and your feet will be killing you from walking around on the uneven surfaces. High heels are also not ideal for religious sites and museums with wooden floors.
- When visiting restaurants our advice would be no sneakers. This is the 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.
- Also, opt for smart shoes when visiting the opera, theaters and other more glamorous venues.
Clothing tips for women
- Feel free to be glamorous and stylish (after all when in Rome….)
- And a few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will also transform any outfit. Choose jewelry that matches a number of your dressier outfits, this will help you pack less (and avoid the dreaded tangled necklace situation).
- If you are planning on visiting any religious sites then be sure to dress conservatively and take a pashmina or lightweight cardigan to cover your shoulders and bare legs. It can also be very chilly inside the churches, even when it's hot outside.
- A loose cotton shirt is a stylish way to cover up whilst keeping comfortable.
Italian women are stylish and fashionable. They take great pride in their appearance. You will feel best in smart casual attire.
Clothing tips for men
- Italian men are incredibly well-groomed, immaculately stylish and love to accessorize. If that is your thing, you will fit right in. If not, just keep in mind to wear neat and well-maintained clothing.
- Some relaxed cotton chinos or a smart oxford shirt will come in handy, particularly if planning to dine out.
- 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.
Italian men are uber stylish and well groomed, leave your ratty clothing at home. You don't have to dress like a runway model, just keep yourself well groomed and pack some smarter options for restaurants.
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.
- We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂 Download for iPad/iPhone or Android
Regions of Italy
- If you're heading to Pisa and want to climb the famous leaning tower, you'll definitely want comfy flat shoes to negotiate the 300 spiraling steps (which can be slippery). Some people find it strenuous and you may get dizzy. No bags or backpacks of any size are allowed in the tower – you'll need to leave them at the free bag drop point. Entrance is by ticket only and strictly time-controlled, so you may wish to book your slot in advance to guarantee entry – don't forget some photo ID for picking your ticket up when you arrive.
- Pompeii is a popular day trip from Naples or Sorrento. It's well worth a visit, but be warned the site is vast and has almost no shelter or shade. In summer it's roasting (take a sunhat and cover up) and if it rains you will get wet (pack a hat and waterproof)! The terrain underfoot is dusty and uneven, with some large cobblestones which are quite hard to walk on and will be slippery if wet; comfy flat shoes are essential, and we'd suggest closed shoes are preferable to sandals. There is only one cafe near the entrance, but a few drinking water fountains are available at various points. You won't be allowed in with large backpacks or luggage, and if you want to hire an audio guide be prepared to leave some ID.
Find out what to wear in different regions of Italy:
Other things to pack
- Be sure to pack your deodorant, as this can be hard to buy in Italy.
- Take good insect/mosquito repellent to protect against mosquitoes by the sea.
- Remember it is a legal requirement in Italy to carry some form of photo ID at all times.
- To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for European voltage (230V).
- 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 LifeStraw Filtration Water Bottle – fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
- 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.
Community photos of Italy
Here are some fun photos sent to us by our community. Share your photos with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Instagram use @whattowearonvacation or #whattowearonvacation