What to Wear in Italy

What to wear in Italy is one of the first things to consider once you plan the basics of your first trip to the country. There is no need to stress over your trip, as packing is simple if you stick with the classics. Italians generally are stylish, and we recommend dressing smart to be comfortable hanging out with locals.

Packing for Italy does come with some difficulties. Appearance is essential in Italy, but you’ll want to balance practicality with styles as the cities and towns are best explored on foot. To make it more difficult, the climate and seasons across the country vary a lot.

We have now visited Italy over ten times, always in a different season and different destination, and find that the best solution is to keep it simple with clothes and prepare for various activities and social functions. Staple items in your wardrobe can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. In Italy, we stand at the espresso bar, don’t order cappuccinos after noon, and dress to kill.


What’s The Weather Like in Italy?

Island of Favignana sicily
Wearing A Sun Dress In Sicily

Most of Italy enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild and rainy winters. Summer in Italy is sunny, hot, and dry. However, with 4,000 miles of coastline and rugged mountains, the weather varies significantly from the beaches of Sicily in the south to the Dolomites in the north.

Dolomites Superski Pass Trentino
Ski Wear For Apres Ski In The Dolomites

In the Dolomites and northern Italy, summers are hot, with temperatures in the mid-20sC (80F) on the valley floors. High altitudes and towns receive cooler weather. Winter in the mountains sees a good mix of sunshine and snow with temperatures around freezing.

Central Italy, Rome, Tuscany, and Umbria have hot summer temperatures around 30C (90F). Winter weather sees temperatures around 5-10C (40-50F) and frequent rain showers. There is also the occasional dusting of snow, mainly on mountains and hilltops.

amalfi coast - best time to visit italy
The Sun-Drenched Amalfi Coast

Southern Italy’s weather patterns are very similar to Central Italy, but everything is just a bit warmer. This means even more mild winters and hotter summers. The region rarely has snow or ice.

It’s best to check the weather a week before your trip to get an idea of what the temperatures will be like during your trip. Also, make sure to check all of the regions you plan to visit. Italy is a vast country, and the weather in the north may be much different than in the south.

Seasons in Italy

SpringSpring is a lovely time to visit Italy, but the weather can be a bit fickle with frequent rain showers. Average temperatures vary between 60°F and 75°F (16°C and 24°C).
SummerSummer in Italy is hot and humid! Although the mountains in the North can be enjoyable. The average temperatures vary between 77°F and 86°F (25°C and 30°C)
FallFall is our favorite time to visit Italy and the easiest to pack. Warm sunny days and cool evenings. Temperatures vary between 60°F and 75°F (16°C and 24°C).
WinterCentral Italy has cool days and nights in the winter. In the North, there is some beautiful skiing. However, for most of the country, rain is expected. Temperatures range between 50°F and 55°F (10°C and 13°C).

Quick Tips On Packing For Italy

Cool Weather In The Dolomites In August
  • Appearance and style are important to Italians. However, they don’t all look like the inside of a fashion magazine. Instead, staple items are what you’ll find most people wear in Italy.
  • Pack light if you plan to travel around Italy on your own. Narrow staircases, cobblestone streets, and uneven sidewalks are very common!
  • A fantastic outfit is always nice to have in Italy. Ladies can pack that gorgeous cocktail dress and men a stylish suit. Nothing beats a good night out in Italy!
  • Adventure clothes such as hiking footwear and sportswear are great for activities.
  • A conservative outfit is needed if you plan to visit churches and cathedrals. That means both men and women cover their knees and shoulders to enter.
  • Linen shirts rarely feel out of place. Men can wear these shirts every day in the summer. Perfect for the Amalfi Coast or Sicily.
  • Packing cubes help separate damp and dirty clothes from clean ones.
  • Sun protection is always a good idea, whether sunblock, hats, or UPF clothing.
  • Three pairs of shoes are the max you should pack. A dressy shoe, sandals, and athletic shoes for activities or hikes.
  • How to dress in Italy depends on where you are traveling. Italy has many different styles, and what you typically might wear in Sicily varies significantly from what you should pack for Milan. Keep your Italian destinations in mind when packing for Italy.

What Luggage To Bring To Italy?

Hardshell Suitcase

Delsey Helium Aero 25

Travel Backpack

Osprey Farpoint

I have two bag recommendations for a trip to Italy. You can opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase with four wheels or a travel backpack. Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways down the aisle of a train or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier.

We prefer hardshell as it does a better job at protection and security. Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″. Italy can measure its history in millennia, so roads and populations are naturally dense and congested. This means it can be challenging to get around with a clunky suitcase if you have plans to take public transport.

Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier may charge. Packing cubes are phenomenal at organizing and separating dirty clothes, and our favorites are from Peak Design.

If paying for taxis or car rentals makes you hesitant, you’ll want to book accommodation near public transport or have a backpack. The Osprey travel backpacks, men’s Farpoint, and women’s Fairview are our favorites. For more suggestions, read our post on the best backpacks for Europe.

Shop For Luggage
Hardside Suitcase
Travel Backpack

The Essential Documents To Pack

italy packing list
Evening spritz on Lake Maggiore – What To Wear To Italy
  • Passport – This is obvious, but you won’t make it far without a passport.
  • Credit Cards – We use several travel credit cards that offer purchase protection, rewards, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Visa – Make sure you have a visa if you need one. USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all receive a free 90-day visa on arrival to the Schengen Area.
  • Debit Cards – It’s good to carry euros in Italy. We never bother with money exchanges that provide awful exchange rates. Instead, we rely on the ATM when we arrive. Charles Schwab, Ally, and Capital One offer low or no foreign transaction fees.
  • Driving License – If you plan to rent a car, you need your driver’s license. Plus, having a second form of I.D. never hurts.
  • IDP – Besides a driving license, you may need an IDP. However, this is super subjective to the rental agency. I’ve rented a car numerous times with and without it.

What to Wear In Italy

Natasha In Cannobio On Lago Maggiore In Italy
Exploring The Lake Side Towns of Italy

You can apply some easy rules, though. Italians do not dress as casually as North Americans, but that doesn’t mean you must wear a suit or dress daily. We suggest casual clothing with comfortable footwear. The key to packing is clothes that can serve multiple purposes.

We like to pack clothes in classic, versatile colors that allow us to mix and match outfits. You can adjust to various weather and climates by throwing in some layers. A traveler should be able to dress for almost any setting or weather if done right.

What To Wear In Summer

Natasha Drinking Champagne On The lakeshore of Lake Maggiore

Dressing well in the summertime isn’t rocket science. We both choose timeless clothing items when traveling around Italy and Europe. I opt for an effortless dress with a classic cut in neutral colors.

Combine that with a small handbag, black flats, and a nice pair of sunglasses you’ve got the perfect summer outfit. Men have it easy, as Cameron loves to wear either chinos or jeans with a classic white T-shirt or dress shirt and an accessory like a nice watch.

What To Wear In Winter

Dolomitin-Superski-Trentino-Ski-Alpe-Luisa

Sticking to the classics is always the best way to tackle the winter weather. We like to bring two coats for the winter because we’re active travelers. We both pack our favorite down jackets for hiking or winter activities.

For walking around cities, we both like a classic black overcoat. Maybe it’s the New Yorker left in us. Other staples like a lovely scarf and the proper boots can make your outfit and keep you warm.


T-Shirt or V Neck

Venice Has Great Weather In Late September – Western Rise Pants With Allbirds Sneakers

A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like black, white, or grey. We recommend you keep it simple when it comes to tees. Our favorite color is a light heather grey as it’s easy to stain white. One of our favorite menswear companies, Western Rise, creates tremendous travel shirts. They utilize synthetic and natural materials for travel apparel that holds up to the rigors of travel.

The X Cotton Tee looks like a classic cotton tee, but the synthetic materials in the fabric allow it to stretch and resist odors. However, their latest wool shirt, the StrongCore Merino Tee, brings all the advantages of natural wool. Wool is a worthy investment and makes for one of the best pieces of travel clothes. Wool shirts stay fresh longer and do an excellent job at temperature management. Women should check out Unbound Merino for their wool t-shirts.


Travel Shorts

Cam And Natasha Walking In Front of Florence Duomo
Trying To Beat The Summer Heat In Florence – What To Wear In Italy

You’ll want some shorts for your trip to Italy if it’s summertime. Italians are not opposed to shorts, especially given the heatwaves in recent years. Shorts are also easy to pack as they take up less space in your luggage and can be easily washed.

I like to pack two or three pairs for versatility, such as gym, Bermuda, and technical travel shorts. Shorts are one of those items I find acceptable as cheap cotton items. We’ve tested a lot of travel shorts out and only been impressed by a handful.

Our recommendations for men’s shorts are the Western Rise Evolution, Quicksilver Amphibian, and Outlier OG Freeway. Recommendations for women include the prAna Elle Short, Lululemon Cinchable Waist Shorts, prAna Kanab, and Patagonia Baggies. We suggest whatever suits your style and recommend they do not involve cargo pockets.

Travel Short Recommendations


Activewear

Natasha Hiking The Path Of The Gods On Amalfi Coast

Many outdoor activities in Italy require some activewear to enjoy. So, when you’re wondering what to wear in Italy, consider packing at least one active outfit. Not to mention, it’s great to stay in shape while traveling. Bring a good hiking backpack or vest to hike in the Dolomites. The photo above is from the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast, so activewear is not limited to Northern Italy.

Several daypacks for travel will work nicely on a hike or in the city. As for the shoes, we’re pretty loyal to the ultra trail running Salomon Speedcross shoes, but we recommend the more versatile adidas Ultraboost for everything else. Regarding clothing, we love Outdoor Research Echo Shirts. Women won’t forget a sports bra; our favorites are from Handful (Use code TWP20 for 20% off).


Linen Shirt

What To Wear In Italy - Linen Shirt - Valley Of Temples
Cameron Wearing Linen Shirt With Wool Pants At Valley Of Temples

I love the look of linen when traveling around the Mediterranean, and it’s popular with Italians. Linen is as practical as it is stylish. It’s great as it tends to dry faster, feel lighter, and cope with sweat better than its cotton counterparts. The fabric has a long history with Italy and was even worn by the ancient Romans.

what to wear in italy

Pair a linen shirt with sandals, shorts, jeans, or shoes, or even go barefoot. It’s a versatile shirt that looks great on both sexes and works at the beach or a restaurant. They’re the perfect shirt for summer in Southern Italy. It’s tough to find decent linen shirts online, but we love the quality of Everlane’s linen shirts.

Linen Shirt Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Jeans

Lago Di Braies
Lagos Di Baies In The Dolomites — What To Wear In Italy

Jeans are a fashion staple but aren’t the best packing or most comfortable travel pants. However, travelers have options such as DU/ER jeans. The organic cotton jeans look sharp, but a subtle blend of polyester and spandex allows the jeans to stretch and resist wrinkles.

Fit is exceptional, with a slim fit throughout the leg. You can comfortably wear the jeans on long travel days without any discomfort. Thanks to the synthetic blend, they’re great for lengthy trips as there is no need to wash the jeans.

DU/ER Performance Slim Fit Jeans


Travel Pants

Natasha On Gelateria Bike In Positano

A pair of chinos or travel pants are great for traveling around Italy. Our first choice is a reliable pair of “travel pants” with synthetic materials. These pants are often stain-resistant, dry quickly, weigh less, remain fresh for multiple wears, and are more comfortable than traditional pants or chinos.

We love that these technical pants, previously only made for hiking, now resemble chinos. It’s a classic pant that goes with a sweater, dress shirt, t-shirt, or blouse. When choosing a color, try to match the destination and season. However, light tan pants tend to be the most versatile.

For women, we suggest the Kuhl Freeflex Pants for outdoor adventures and the Everlane Utility Barrel Pants for a more stylish city/town look. As for a beach look in Italy, the best we have found is the Fernie Pants from prAna. Men should check out the KUHL Renegade Rock Pants for outdoor adventures and the Western Rise Evolution 2.0 Pants for everything else, beach pants are always the staple prAna Vaha pants. Cameron spends most of his days in clothing from Western Rise, and men can not go wrong with their wardrobe staples.

Travel Pants Recommendations

Women’s Pants

Men’s Pants


swimsuit

Natasha on the beach in Positano
Positano Beach Days

Italy has some of the best beaches and seaside towns in the world. When you add the fantastic spas, hot springs, rivers, and pools, there is no shortage of places to swim in Italy. A swimsuit is an obvious addition to any packing list.

For a fantastic women’s swimsuit brand, we recommend Londre and Carve Designs. They make high-quality swimsuits for women. Many of their pieces are stylish yet supportive. So if you plan to go surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, or play beach volleyball and want to ensure your ta-tas stay intact, these swimsuits are for you.

Vuori makes fantastic lightweight Cruise Board Shorts in various prints and colors. They’re super comfortable, quickly dry, and the cut is perfect. We don’t like board shorts that are too long or loose, as they look sloppy.

Swimsuit Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Wool Sweater

wool sweater in sicily

Sweaters are a great travel outfit staple for Italy. They’re comfortable, stylish, and warm. We love to pack a comfy sweater for Italy during the fall and winter. However, leaving it at home is easy when traveling in the summer. We suggest a light sweater for the Dolomites in the summer.

I have several sweaters, but my favorites are organic materials like wool or Alpaca. It’s become my favorite travel souvenir, and I treasure my Scottish wool and Peruvian Alpaca sweaters.


Travel Jacket

Lago Sorapis
Lago Sorapis

If you plan to head to the Italian Alps, having something with a bit of warmth is never a bad idea. A light windbreaker jacket will help, especially in the summer when it can still be chilly. We suggest a hard-shell hiking jacket for the outdoors/hiking.

They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. Any rain jacket will do, but the top-dollar ones designed for the outdoors will hold up and help in inclement weather. They also do an exceptional job at blocking the wind, which can be unrelenting.

Shell Jacket Recommendations


Wool Underwear

You can never have enough underwear or socks. We love wool undergarments on the road as they dry quicker and have antimicrobial qualities. This means they stay fresh longer and keep you more comfortable. After a lot of testing, our favorites are from Icebreaker. They make several versions and cuts for men and women to match personal tastes.

What’s best about wool underwear is that they can be washed in a bathroom sink at night only to dry by morning the next day, so you could feasibly travel with only one or two pairs of underwear. They are pricey, so we can’t don’t recommend everyone replace every pair. We still travel around with several regular cotton undies, but a couple of pairs of these for dirty clothes emergencies come in handy.

Wool Underwear Recommendations


Wool Socks

We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of socks. You will want to keep your feet dry while walking around. Most importantly, wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties.

We travel with several pairs of wool socks on any trip. They make every style and cut, so finding your desired pair is easy. Our recommendations for socks are Darn Tough, Smartwool, and REI Co-op. If you still want some classic cotton socks, check out Bombas.

Our Favorite Wool Socks


Comfortable Shoes

Cameron In Colodi Tuscany
Exploring A Hilltop Town In Allbirds Shoes and Western Rise Clothing

On every packing list for Italy should be a pair of comfortable shoes. Hitting the sidewalk and letting a city unfurl around you is one of the best ways to get familiar with a beautiful European city. A comfortable pair of shoes is essential when packing your bag for Italy. However, I wouldn’t recommend packing clunky hiking shoes or athletic shoes many tourists like to bring. You’ll stand out like a sore thumb in Italy.

sciacca
Summer Wear With Air Force 1s To Explore Town

Italians are not opposed to sneakers, just trainers outside the gym, so opting for a pair of casual sneakers is excellent. Considering most towns and cities in Italy are walkable, be prepared to spend time in them. We love to wear our Allbirds, but any comfortable casual shoe will work.

Our Recommendations For Shoes


Sandals

Natasha Exploring The Lake District In Sandals
Strolling Around The Lake District

Sandals are meant for the beaches in Italy, especially for men. However, with all of the gorgeous beaches in Italy, sandals are acceptable beach attire, and they’re far more comfortable on the sand. For nights out on the town, we advise men to wear shoes. However, stylish sandals are great for women, no matter the time. We both travel with sandals from Olukai that have lasted for years.

They are sandals with leather accents and feel stylish enough. They’re super comfortable, too, and they get us around the beach. Women should also check out the Sanuk Yoga Sling for an affordable, lightweight, stylish sandal.

Sandal Recommendations


Leather Boots

Tre Cime In The Dolomites

Regarding cool temperatures in Italy, we love to wear our Blundstones. Women can wear them with chinos and a blouse, while men can pair them with just about anything from jeans to a suit.

You’ll be ready to climb the Alps, stroll through The Louvre, or eat to your heart’s content in Italy with the proper boots. Boots are seasonal, and I’ll leave mine at home for a trip to Italy in the summer. However, any other time of year, Chelsea boots are the perfect footwear.

Blundstone Chelsea Boots

Women’s

Men’s


Sunglasses

apertivo in italy

A stylish pair of sunglasses is an excellent addition to an Italian outfit. Everyone owns at least one pair of sunglasses. However, it’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes. We always travel with two pairs of sunglasses as we’re pretty active. A pair of Smith Optics for hiking and outdoor adventures and a couple of stylish sunglasses to wear at the beach or around town for the day.

As sunglass snobs, we love the classic styles of Persols and Raybans. There are no better fashion accessories that are critical to your eye health. We cannot imagine traveling anywhere without a pair of sunglasses.

Sunglass Recommendations


What Women Should Wear In Italy


Versatile Dress

Natasha Walking through the streets of Sorrento To Marina Grande

For those hot Italian summers, a comfortable sundress is a tremendous idea. Not only is it more comfortable, but it’s also cute. Ladies, it’s the perfect time to bust out your favorite summer dress. My favorite sites for dress shopping are Salty Crush and Free People.

what to wear in italy

My only recommendation is to avoid the ridiculous gowns that you see on social media. Another great option is a black dress for nights out. Dresses are a travel staple and occupy almost no room in your suitcase.

Dress Recommendations


Romper/Overalls

Tasha Enjoying Lake Como
Enjoying Lake Como

Rompers are our favorite travel outfits for women because they’re stylish, comfortable, and practical. You can’t go wrong here, and we suggest throwing at least one or two rompers in your suitcase for Italy. They’re great for a night and super cute for casual days. We love Patagonia’s Fleetwith Romper and prAna Railay for travel, but you can shop on Free People for more great options.

Romper/Jumpsuit Recommendations


Tank Tops

tank tops in italy

A few comfortable tank tops or camis are perfect for summer. Pack solid colors so that they can work with everything. They’re super functional clothes worn under a blouse or alone with jeans or capris. Recently, Tasha has started traveling with Honeylove bodysuits and loves them for travel. Classic colors like black and white go with any bottom – pant, skirt, or shorts and look sleek when abroad!

Tank Top Recommendations


Sunhat

Summer days on Lake Como
Summer days on Lake Como

It gets sunny in Italy; unless you’re walking around museums, you will be outside most of the day. Make sure to protect your face with a nice sun hat. Try to keep it in a suitable size that travels well. If you pack a large hat, it will always be in your way, and you’ll likely ditch it by the end of your trip.

Sunhat Recommendations


Black Flats

A pair of black flats is always great to have in a suitcase. They’re stylish and comfortable and take up minimal luggage space. Stay away from heels; many towns in Italy have uneven streets, and you don’t want to break an ankle trying to look good. Just let the locals impress you with their skills of walking in heels.

See Our Recommendations


Handbag

Sienna

Italians love their accessories, and that does not stop with the handbag. It’s a good idea to bring a medium-sized bag that can hold a few essentials and still have a little room for souvenirs. The Le Pilage is an iconic travel tote from the luxury bag brand Longchamp. It’s a classic carry that offers as much function as it does style. Thanks to its use of nylon and structure, the bag can fold to the size of a paperback book.

Handbag Recommendation


A Shawl

There are many churches in Italy, so a shawl is a great item to cover your shoulders when entering a cathedral or church. This is important if you visit the Vatican or Italy’s religious sites. Shawls or scarves are fabulous for travelers. They can spice up an outfit you’ve already worn three days in a row and can be thrown into a bag or purse to pull out when the sun sets and the weather gets chilly.

Scarf/Shawls


What Men Should Wear In Italy


Dress Shirt & Chinos

Italian men are often just as well dressed as women—pack at least one dress shirt for a trip to Italy. Wear these in conjunction with linen shirts. A solid dress shirt has more structure and feels more appropriate for nice evenings and restaurants. The type or age of the travelers doesn’t matter either, as almost everyone will find use in a dress shirt.

Bluffworks makes travel dress shirts that resist wrinkles but lack a cotton shirt’s structure. A classic cotton dress shirt works since they aren’t worn during the day’s heat. Spier & Mackay, Taylor Stitch, and Banana Republic dress shirts offer great value and look sharp. If you’re worried about that heat, try a Liberty print dress shirt for a comfortable summer look.

Shop For A Dress Shirt


Suit

Cameron In A Suit On Paros

If there ever were a destination that demands a suit, it would be Italy. Whether standing at a cafe bar, tasting Sangiovese, sitting down for a fantastic meal, or catching a show at the Teatro Alla Scala, there is no denying it’s best done in a suit. Just like out of an old Italian film, having a suit for those special evenings or days in Italy is a must.

For Italian summer fashion, linen suits are loved by locals, and you’ll look right at home in one. However, it’s well known that blue is the most versatile suit color. Just make sure it is well-fitted. Of course, you won’t fit a suit in a backpack.

Consider this an essential for travelers in a proper suitcase. I wouldn’t say it’s the finest suit in the world, but Bluffworks makes a pretty sharp-looking travel suit that can admirably survive travel demands. I buy my real suits from Spier & Mackay for a half-canvas or full-canvas construction that falls wonderfully.

Travel Suit Recommendations


Italy Packing List for Summer


Travel Towel

sicilian coast

We always recommend bringing a travel towel when you’re on the road. Italy is no exception. Backpackers will need one if they plan to stay in hostels. Also, if you head to the beach or on a hike, having a towel in your day bag never hurts. Consider a towel one of your necessities for backpacking Italy.

The biggest complaint about travel towels is that they often feel nothing like the plush cotton ones we are accustomed to at home and in hotels. However, with the PackTowl, you can forget about all of that because they set out to create a towel that mimics its cotton counterparts with the technical features of a travel towel.

Travel Towel Recommendations


Sunscreen

Beach Days in Sorrento / what to wear i italy
Beach Days in Sorrento

Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF during the summer. Order some online before leaving the house, as you need it underneath the sun. Sunscreen is one of those things to remember to pack when traveling to Italy, as it’s easy to forget.

We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream; Sun Bum is our favorite and does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans. If you’re not swimming in the ocean or lakes, go with a reliable name brand. You can learn more about eco-friendly travel products here!

Sunscreen Recommendation


Canvas Beach Tote

beach days on Lake Como - what to wear in italy
Beach Day On Lake Como

No matter what, you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, books, speakers, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a travel tote is unnecessary.

However, it’s tough to beat a standard canvas tote as they travel well and can fold flat/lie in your luggage. They aren’t just great for the beach but tremendous for local markets and shopping. As more travelers stay in Airbnb rentals, they cook and visit local markets on the road.

See Our Recommendations


Winter Italy Packing List Items


Overcoat

A Classic Cafe In Rome

It depends on where you’re traveling, but most of Italy’s cities are stylish. Overcoats are great jackets to wear in Italy. They provide warmth and look fabulous. While we love our down jackets and parkas for their warmth and convenience, they aren’t the best looking, and you’d look pretty silly wearing one with a dress or suit.

Overcoat Recommendations


Thermal Layers

Dolomites Superski Pass Trentino

Thermal underwear is essential to remain warm and dry. Your base layer is the first key to wicking away moisture and keeping your body heat from escaping. We always wear quality base layers when active in cold temperatures like hiking, snowboarding, scrambling, or camping.

For the base layer, we recommend they fit snugly and are made from a noncotton material like nylon or wool. We wear wool thermals from Helly Hansen, Smartwool, and yak wool from Kora. When not traveling, we snowboard around 75 days every season, so we know thermals well. Helly Hansen’s Lifa Base Layers are the best bang for your buck and will last forever.

Base Layer Recommendations


Scarf, Hat, Gloves

Exploring italy in Winter

This is a travel staple and a great wardrobe choice for women and men traveling in Italy. They act as an accessory to your outfit and are super comfortable, giving you an added layer of warmth. Regarding fashion and comfort, cool weather in Italy is all about layering.

With such a varied climate, you must consider your itinerary and time of year. In most of Italy’s cities, I’d suggest a stylish pair of gloves with e-tips. If you get lost, the e-tips or e-touch is essential as you’ll often have to look at your phone when exploring a new city for directions.

Scarf, Hat, or Gloves


Accessories For Italy


Italian Guidebook

fun facts about italy

We spend enough time attached to our phones in everyday life and planning our trips. Once we reach a destination like Italy, we put the phone away and pick up a guidebook to help with our trip.

Italy Guidebooks


Daypack

You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else for a full day out when traveling. We’ve tested out a ton of daypacks and backpacks over the years, and our favorite is from Peak Design.

Granted, the most Italian way of doing things is not to carry a backpack. As photographers, we always need a daypack for travel, but we leave it in the hotel room most days when exploring Italy.

Our Recommendations For Backpacks


Toiletry Bag

We suggest you keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. It almost feels like a toiletry bag is essential for any trip. Plus, it’s not uncommon to find small or cramped bathrooms in Italy.

Buying a hanging toiletry bag is an excellent option if you are limited on counter space. This bag style tends to have a better organization system with various sections for storage than the traditional option. We love the Peak Design Wash Pouch. It contains a hidden hook to hang and features terrific organization.


Water bottle

It is important to travel with fresh water in hand as it is easy to get dehydrated when out. We like to use insulated stainless steel water bottles because they keep drinks cool. Carrying a water bottle is great for the environment as it reduces plastic waste.

Our favorite is the Grayl GeoPress purifier bottle. A purifier helps save money, reduces plastic waste, and guarantees that our water is safe and free of viruses and other waterborne illnesses. Purification is unnecessary in most of Italy, but we always have it for an impromptu trip to somewhere more remote, and they’re great for hiking.

See Our Recommendations


Leaf Shave Safety Razor

Alright, alright, I know this is not a clothing item but I wanted to mention it as I love this travel razor and bring it with me on literally all my trips!

Leaf Shave razors are an excellent option for the bathroom to help reduce waste. Never buy those cheap plastic razors again; invest in a lifelong earth-friendly product good for trips – or when you travel! Leaf Shave razors use recyclable steel razors that are compact and far more affordable than disposable razors.

Not only are the razors far more attractive in your bathroom, but they perform much better. They can achieve a far closer shave which means less razor burn. The one downside is they are far easier to cause a knick, but with some care and practice, they’re easy to use.


Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are phenomenal for the organization of any backpack or suitcase. They are one of those packing essentials that should be in every bag as they keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. Cubes also keep clothes folded and protect them from wrinkles.

Our favorite packing cubes are currently from Peak Design. It’s a slick design, and each cube has a divider to separate clean from dirty clothes. This saves the need for additional cubes and makes organization easier.

Shop For Packing Cubes


Jewelry Case

We don’t travel with all our best jewelry for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t mean we don’t travel with any jewelry in Italy. We love having necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings when we dress up on the road. A travel jewelry box is the best way to keep this jewelry safe and organized!


Passport Wallet

A travel passport wallet is an affordable travel essential. Your passport is a vital travel document you must carry for a decade. Protect your passport in a wallet to ensure its longevity and save the headache of replacing it. Several options can protect the passport or replace your wallet. We recommend a great wallet from Herschel Supply Co.

Passport Wallet Recommendations


Earplugs

These are small but essential travel necessities for Italy as they can be crucial to your sleep. Whether flying in business class or in a hostel, a good pair of earplugs will help you sleep. You also never know if you may have noisy neighbors or have a room on the ground. When you need them, they are a lifesaver.


Electronics To Pack For Italy


Travel Adaptor

Tasha traveling around Venice

A universal power adaptor is essential for any trip to Italy. We recommend picking up one before arriving in the country. Once in Italy, finding one that is not overpriced or poor quality can be challenging.

Also, I never want to be searching for an adaptor when I have just come off a long travel day and need to plug in my computer. I want to have it with me and ready to go. We’ve tried a bunch of adapters, but this one from Ceptics has to be our favorite in our travels. It has multiple plugs and USB ports. It also works as a surge protector.

Travel Power Adapter Recommendation


Kindle Paperwhite

While I love having a good real book when I travel, sometimes it’s just not practical because of the weight — keep them at home. If you plan to island-hop, you’ll want to pack fairly light. A Kindle is an essential travel accessory for travelers who love to read. As much as we love an actual book, they are too heavy and take up too much room in my suitcase. We love the Kindle Paperwhite as it’s small and has a backlight to read at night without a harsh glare.

Kindle Paperwhite


Anker Power Bank

I love traveling with a power bank to ensure my electronics never die. I usually don’t need to use it on long flights as some new international flights provide entertainment systems with USB ports! Always make sure your charging cable is handy when boarding the plane.

We also find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a significant pain. I recommend purchasing this power bank because it’s a great value with solid reviews.

Anker Power Bank


You Need This To Travel in Italy!


Travel Insurance

Climbing In The Dolomites
Climbing In The Dolomites

We never travel without travel insurance with Heymondo. With all the risks of travel in a foreign country and insurance coverage, we never have to worry about a good health plan. Heymondo offers incredible flexibility and great plans!

You never know if the worst could happen while you’re abroad, and your insurance plan at home often will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having peace of mind with a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.

Get A Travel Insurance Quote


What Not to Pack For Italy

on the cinque terre

You’ll likely be spotted as a tourist anyway, so don’t stress over how to dress in Italy. It’s also worth noting there are many regional differences as the country is culturally diverse. You won’t know the cultural norms unless you’re a repeat visitor.

There aren’t any rules on clothing in Italy, and we’ve rarely felt out of place. The idea of being treated as an “Ugly American” tourist has much to do with the individual travelers and their attitudes. Approach Italy open-mindedly, and you’ll receive the same treatment no matter what you wear.


Tons of Cash

If I can give you just one packing tip for Italy, it would be to chill out on the cashTravel to Italy with enough money to get you by for a day or so. We don’t recommend you travel with excessive cash in your luggage.

ATMs are prevalent everywhere and often give a flat exchange rate. Also, avoid ATMs that official banks do not operate as they utilize shady menus and practices to provide garbage exchange rates. This saves you the liability of walking around with tons of cash.


Bright Neon Colors

Before I left for my first trip worldwide, I colored my hair brown to “blend in.” While I wanted to blend in, I still brought hot pink and lime green shirts to Denmark, Germany, and Holland. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Neutral colors work best. And don’t color your hair darker, like twenty-year-old me!


Flashy Jewelry

When you travel anywhere, we suggest leaving valuable jewelry at home. When you travel with expensive items, save them for special occasions and store them in the hotel safe. Sometimes, we store large sums of cash or expensive items in the hotel’s master safe.


White Athletic Socks

Italians do not wear tall white socks or mid-calf socks with shorts. Try to wear patterns and black socks, or match your socks to your pants and shoes.


What To Pack for Italy

What to Wear in Italy
What to Wear in Italy

You don’t need to pack everything on this list! There are no hard rules here, and packing doesn’t need to be stressful, nor do you need to buy all new stuff. We have a lot of suggestions, and we’re certain you’ve got similar items in your closet at home. Many obvious things are missing, like a toothbrush, cosmetics, or your passport!

I advise packing a few wardrobe staples and going easy on the luggage. It will keep your luggage light while having a multitude of outfits for different occasions. The key is finding versatile items and having an idea of the season/climate of your trip. Everyone has a different style and plans!


Tips For Visting Italy

Exploring Florence - What to wear in Italy

Check out a handful of tips for your first trip to Italy, or you can catch more on our full blog post for more great tips.


About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

8 thoughts on “What to Wear in Italy”

  1. Is this some sort of joke? A tee shirt? Really? With tons of articles out there, this is just a waste of time.

  2. My wife and I will be touring Italy for 3 months (September – November 2021) and sincerely appreciate your insight and advice!

    Recommend that you ignore Margo’s comment – – she/it is just another keyboard warrior with nothing better to do than annoy both you and me!

    Keep up the great job!

    Peter

  3. Great article! Very helpful content. Question- I absolutely love that light pink/beige dress you are wearing. Where did you get it?

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