Italy Packing List
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What Should I Pack For Travel to Italy?

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What to Pack for Travel To Italy

Putting together a packing list for Italy travel can feel overwhelming for a first-time visit since you don’t really know what to expect. From Milan to Palermo, Italians are fashionable – and they wear a lot of black. What to pack depends on the season, as well as the region you are traveling to. Whenever you travel, be sure everything you pack for Italy is mix and match (with black of course)  to stretch your wardrobe farther.

Here’s what to include in your packing list for Italy travel.

Essentials for your Packing List

Before we focus on clothing, we want to give you a list of items not to forget – the essentials – that should be in your bag. Pack these first to ensure you have them with you. If you have read our blog on Best Lightweight Luggage,  you will have seen some of these items listed there too. 

Non-clothing essentials for your packing list for Italy Travel

Packing Cubes



Packing cubes come in handy to separate out undergarments, socks, and clean and soiled clothing. Before I had my Sherpani roller bag with a separate shoe compartment, I used them for shoes.  I have the BAGAIL 7 Set / 8 Set Packing Cubes Luggage Packing Organizers for Travel Accessories and the set gives me a few options for separating out my clothing. Packing cubes also make your stuff fit better in your bag. The drawstring laundry bag is nice to have, so if you are looking for a set, I recommend finding one with the laundry bag included.

Foldable Tote



This is a must-have for me. You probably have one at home that you can use, but if you don’t, consider buying a foldable tote bag because you never know when you might need one. We usually carry wine, cheese, and other local treats on our day trips. Having a sturdy bag with you that doesn’t take up much space comes in handy.  I had one and it held up for years before wearing out and needing replacement. I chose this Packable Satchel Backpack bag. I like that it has an attached pouch with a clip so I can keep it secure when I am not using it.

Carabiner Clips



These really do come in handy. You probably have a couple lying around the house, but if you don’t, pick up a small pack. They don’t need to be heavy-duty and you will find that they help you keep track of multiple things. Carabiners allow you to secure almost anything to your belt or bags.  I bought a 10-pack of SWATOM Aluminum Alloy Carabiner Clips for less than $10 at the time of this writing.

Collapsible Water Bottles



These are nice to have on hand. Tap water is ok but it is a good idea to buy water in Italy. You can buy small bottles virtually anywhere but if you go to the grocery store, you can buy larger bottles for pennies to keep in your lodging and fill up your own bottles. Plus, you can fill them up with filtered water at most airports now.  I prefer the kind that roll up, rather than collapse down since they take up less room in my bag. We use these baiji bottle ll120 Silicone Water Bottles, which makes it is easy to tell which is mine and which is Dom’s.

Laundry Detergent Sheets



Love, love, love these Beyond Concentrated Laundry Detergent Sheets. I stumbled upon them by chance just before my last summer trip and now I simply cannot live without them.  For a woman, I travel light – I pack three to four days worth of clothing for a three-week trip. How am I able to travel so light? The secret is that we always try to stay in apartments that have washing machines. I do laundry often, which means I don’t have to lug around laundry soap or several sets of clothes.  I used to carry a lot of stuff. I’d buy a small bottle of liquid soap, carry it from city to city, and leave it at the last place we stayed.  It was heavy, bulky, and inconvenient. But no more. These laundry sheets are lightweight and take up almost no space. I can cut them down into smaller strips if I need to do a smaller load or opt to wash things in the sink. And unlike laundry soap, I never have to throw away unused laundry sheets. They are solid sheets (almost like dryer sheets) so I can carry them on the plane. One pack will easily get you through a two -week trip. Buy them – they are worth it.

Travel Umbrella

Not all umbrellas are the same. You will find some cheap ones in discount stores, but they don’t often hold up well.  We went through umbrellas constantly because the cheap ones would break after a few uses. I have thrown away umbrellas in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Rome, Malaga, Florence – I am sure there are more that I don’t remember. Make sure the umbrella is wind-proof and compact. I like this Goothdurs Automatic Mini Travel Windproof Umbrella. It is small and it has held up well on three trips so far. On our last trip to Sicily we experienced a couple of pretty rainy days and I never regret having my umbrella in my tote/daypack.

Universal Power Adapter

With all of our electronics, we need to have an adapter that will charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, go-pros, and whatever else you carry with you.  These do it all. The SAUNORCH Universal International Travel Power Adapter is a great option with four USB ports, plugs for EU, UK, AU, and US/MX/CA. With this adapter, you don’t have to worry about carrying multiple adapters, including your USA plugs.  

Neck Wallet

I bought this KEAFOLS Travel Pouch Neck Wallet. It is inexpensive and does the job.  I only use it for plane travel and it keeps my passport, license, credit/debit cards safe. 

Money Belt

I don’t have one of these but it might be more comfortable for some people to use a money belt. The Aikelida RFID Blocking Travel Wallet is inexpensive and should do the trick. 


I like the classic sunglasses – like these Ray-Ban Wayfair sunglasses. You can get them in every color. 

Chums or Croakies

These are handy. I use this style of Croakies for my reading glasses and sunglasses. I never lose my glasses now!

Bike Phone Mount Holder (If renting bikes)

I have one for my bike at home and one in my luggage for travel. This Bike Phone Mount Holder is a MUST HAVE if you plan on using your phone for navigation (Trust me – you will). 

More items to add to your packing list for Italy travel.

I recommend you also bring these items and keep them in your daypack/tote:

Travel-size facial tissues – For obvious reasons, it is a good idea to keep tissues handy. My allergies kicked in once while traveling in spring and I was glad I had them. 

Small ziplock bag with paper towels (about 20) – I have the pick-a-size and cut them in half. 

Small ziplock bag with toilet paper – Take enough for about five uses. I have used restrooms in cafes where nothing (I mean nothing) is provided. Eww! 

Disposable toothbrushes – I carry these with me everywhere. They are in my tote and I use them on the plane  to freshen up for long journeys. 

Hand sanitizer – Bring two or three travel-size containers. Why? See above. 

Sanitizer wipes – I’ve used these on plane trays, train seats and trays, and more. They are handy.

Travel hand soap (sheets) – These are nice to have when you have running water but no soap to wash your hands. They are similar to the laundry sheets, but held in a little travel pack. 

Sunscreen – I always keep a travel size but I have never used it.

Small ziplock bag with basic medications – For medications, you should pack about three to five days worth for each person traveling. I recommend a small first aid kit with the following:

    • Claritin
    • acetaminophen or ibuprofen
    • Dayquil and Nyquil (multi-symptom) capsules
    • hydrocortisone cream
    • Neosporin
    • bandaids

When I got sick in  Puglia, I did not have any medications with me. Over the course of three days, I ended up spending about $50 on medications because you can’t get multi-symptom OTC medications there. Every symptom required a discussion with the chemist who issued separate medication for each symptom.  Really, don’t leave home without medications.

Don't Forget Basic Toiletries

Most apartments we stay in have the basics, such as soap and shampoo, but it is always a good idea to keep a small amount on hand.  Almost all apartments or lodging will have hair-dryers so no need to lug those around any longer. Don’t forget the following: 

    • Shampoo & Conditioner
    • Hairspray
    • Soap
    • Face wash
    • Moisturizer (I use a small container of coconut oil – it is all-purpose)
    • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
    • Razor
    • Deodorant
    • Lip Balm
    • Feminine Hygiene Products
    • 1-2 hair clips
    • 3-5 rubberbands
    • Makeup (keep this to a minimum)

Always pack travel sizes for your products. Even though carry-on airplane-compliant sizes are small, you usually don’t run out in your travels.

Clothing Essentials For Your Packing List For Italy Travel

We recommend shoulder- and low season for travel, so we don’t often think about super light-weight, summer clothing. The weather in Italy tends to be similar to the U.S., with cold winters and warm summers. Most days during the shoulder season will be 50-60 degrees  Farenheit. Nights slightly cooler.

Shoulder season may be the most challenging as it could be cold, but it also could be hot. So be prepared for anything. Layering is key.  

Essential Packing List Items To Consider

Always, always, always pack an umbrella and a lightweight raincoat because rain is inevitable. No matter when I travel, I pack a puffer down jacket and a rain parka (mid-thigh). My rain parka is one-size larger so I can layer over my little down puffer for extra warmth. I carry both my raincoat and puffer in my carry-on tote at all times, unless I am wearing them. I have found that this works best in case we end up out later in the evening.  I average walking about 10 miles per day (unless we rent bikes) because there’s just so much to see!

If you plan to travel the way we do, you won’t need your finest high-end clothing, but you should look presentable. Most people will opt for jeans and sweaters, which will be just fine wherever you go. I hate jeans so I usually will pack three pairs of leggings and three to four tops/tunics (one nice one for dining out), one tank top,  one short-sleeved shirt and one pair of ¾ inch leggings in case it does get unusually warm. I also pack lightweight base layer shirts. Smartwool is my best friend.

As I stated earlier, people wear a lot of black in Italy – and I mean A LOT. I keep it simple and pack black shoes and mix/match tops with black leggings.

Italy Packing List For Women

Outer Layers and Gear To Pack for Italy

Down Puffer Jacket

Puffer’s are great – they keep you warm and take up little room.  Make sure yours has a hood. I purchased my current one at Marshalls. Amazon also has affordable options for lightweight, packable, down jackets.  




Rain Parka

Pack a parka. It will rain and you will need it. You will need the extra layer over your puffer jacket. Go for a slightly longer one. they are lightweight but it will keep you dryer and warmer.  Try the Doreyi Lightweight Raincoat.







Mornings and evenings during the shoulder season can be cold. And if you ride a bike, the wind chills your hands so don’t forget your gloves. I like Isotoners. They are warm, soft, and flexible.




Lighweight Scarf

I actually hate scarfs. They are too bulky, so I use a neck gaiter instead. I have this Smartwool Neck Gaiter and love it. I also use it for skiing so it’s dual purpose for me.




Athletic shoes

I love these Sketchers. No fussy laces so they are my go-to’s for the plane. And, I’ve walked miles in mine.

Casual Shoes or Boots

I own a lot of Jambus and JBUs . I have these Violet Wedge Pumps and can walk forever in them. 

Comfortable Sandals

I travel with these KEEN Women’s Rose Sandals. They protect my toes if I hike or bike.  And they are outdoorsy cute. 

Base Layer Bottoms

I have these 32 DEGREES Women’s Heat Plus Baselayer Leggings that I purchased from Costco.  They don’t insulate as well as my Smartwool but are thin and comfortable and work well for my winter travel. 

Four pairs of leggings and travel pants

I usually pack leggings. One is Smartwool, two are standard black leggings that you can get at Athleta or Lululemon. The fourth is my new favorite travel pants by Mountain Hardwear Womens Dynama Ankle Pants. These are not leggings but very comfortable travel pants.  I’m short so the ankle pants are just pants for me.

Three long sleeve tops 

I pack tops that are lightweight Smartwool. Smartwool refers to them as baselayers, but I just use them as long-sleeve T-shirts. I own this one in black and cranberry.

 One Dress or Tunic

I own this Kensie knit dress (in red and black). It is lightweight and I can wear it with tights or leggings. It is super cute with my Jambu boots or a simple pair of flats. If you are looking for more color, try the red version

Other essential items to add to your packing list for Italy travel.

    • 2 short sleeve t-shirts
    • 1 tank top
    • 1 sports bra
    • 1 bathing suit
    • 3 regular bras
    • 4 underwear
    • 4 socks

Italy Packing List For Men

Outer Layers and Gear To Pack for Italy

DPolar Fleece Hoodie

Polar Fleece will keep you warm and is soft and comfortable.  Make sure yours has a hood. This North Face Hoodie is a perfect choice.


Insulated Rain Parka

The insulation in this Columbia Rugged Path Rain Parka will give added warmth for colder days. Layer over your polar fleece.



Mornings and evenings are cold. And if you ride a bike, the wind chills your hands so don’t forget your gloves. These Head Winter Gloves are warm, soft, and flexible.

Lighweight Scarf

A scarf will definitely make a difference on colder days. Just make sure it isn’t too bulky and will take only a modest amount of room in your luggage. This cashmere scarf is a good choice and will go with everything.



Sturdy Walking Shoes

Merrell, Soloman, KEEN are all good choices. These Merrell hiking slip-ons work well – easy on and off. 

Evening Walking Shoe

Dom own’s these in brown and black, and he loves them. They are fashionable, comfortable, and great for a lot of walking. Because we walk so much, these  Merrell Men’s Moab Adventure Lace Waterproof Hiking Shoes are a great choice. 

Sport Sandal

Great for warmer days. These KEEN Men’s Newport Sandals are good for walking, biking and hiking.  Whatever brand you choose, always select the closed-toe style.

Baselayer Bottoms

Pack one pair of lightweight baselayer bottoms. You might only need them on one or two nights but you will be glad you packed them.

3 pairs of pants

Pack one pair of jeans, one pair of casual pants, and one pair of Mountain Headwear hiking pants. All should have lycra. It makes a difference when you are on a plane for hours, walking a lot, or riding a bike. Khaki or grey will take you into the evening when dining at your favorite trattoria.

Two pullover sweaters

Pack a lightweight v-neck sweater in burgundy, grey or black. It will go with everything. A half-zip sweater with a collar is a good idea for colder weather. Again, keep colors neutral – sticking with burgundy, grey or black. 

Other essential items to add to your packing list for Italy travel.

    • 1 short-sleeve polo shirt
    • 1 dress shirt
    • 2 short sleeve t-shirts
    • 1 bathing suit
    • 4 underwear
    • 4 socks

Electronics and gadgets

    • Laptop or Tablet – make sure you have your power cords
    • Smartphone – make sure you have your USB cords
    • Camera – pack your power cord, extra batteries and SD cards
    • Go Pro – make sure you have your USB cord
    • Headphones

Make sure you can function on a tablet if you plan to work while traveling. I have found that when I have had to jump online to do some work, it was cumbersome and difficult on my little tablet. I now use a 10-inch Surface Go with bluetooth keyboard and mouse and it is perfect. 

If your mobile plan is restrictive, I recommended traveling with an unlocked phone because it allows you to put in a foreign SIM card to use throughout your trip. I have T-Mobile on my phone and tablet and even the basic plan allows me some data usage in Europe. I do upgrade for faster speeds so I can work without finding wifi when necessary. Be sure to check with your provider before you leave to figure out your best option.

Read our 15 Travel Tips for Italy blog to find out how to prepare for your Italy vacation. 

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