Heading to the Italian peninsula, and wondering what to wear in Italy at all times of the year? No worries, we got you covered. Italy is one of our favorite European destinations – it is classy, is home to so many iconic landmarks, and fabulous natural landscapes, and yes it can be really hard when it comes to deciding what to pack.
In this Italy packing list, we will share styling tips, weather information from north to south, east to the west!
What to wear in Italy: Ultimate Italy Packing list
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Before we begin with our packing list, here are some important things to keep in mind as a traveler.
- Italy experiences all four seasons, and hence your packing list will differ.
- When moving from the north to the southern part of the country and the kind of activities you will be doing, your packing list will be different.
- Italy’s cities ooze a lot of style, and everything looks classy and fashionable. And this is also evident in clothing and outfits worn by locals and tourists alike.
- When visiting different landmarks especially ruins or outdoor sites, don’t carry larger bags or backpacks. And wear comfortable walking shoes (always!).
- Religious sites in Italy, particularly churches have a dress code, and you must dress modestly when you visit.
- Touristy places in Italy will be crowded, ensure you travel light – use a crossbody bag to store your daily essentials, and always beware of your surroundings!
Italian fashion clothing is chic, and brands are luxury houses with decades-long history like Gucci, Prada Milano, or Fendi Roma. I own a few bags, and a couple of ready-to-wear pieces from these fashion houses and they are of great quality!
Italy Packing List for summer, spring & fall/autumn
We will begin with our summer, spring, and fall packing list for Italy. Now, if you are planning a trip in the following months, this list applies to you,
- Spring: March to May
- Summer: June to August
- Autumn/Fall: September to November
Average temperatures in Italian cities (Milan, Rome, and Florence) hover around 10 degrees C/50 F in the spring. Springtime is great for visiting Italy, as it is blessed with balmy temperatures and little to no rain. From May onwards you can expect the weather to warm up.
Summers and fall months are varied, as you move from north to south. In the summer you can expect it to be around 23 degrees C or 73.4 °F in the north, and in the south, it reaches as high as 26–28 degrees C (78.8–82.4 °F).
In the fall, average temperatures are around 6 to 17.4 degrees C (44-64°F) in the north and 18 to 23.3 degrees C (66-74°F) in the south. September and October are great months to visit Italy – no matter where you want to go.
Italian cities and popular coastal and Tuscan towns get fewer crowds than summer, and with amazing weather and clear blue skies, it is a delight to explore the outdoors, soak in the sun or enjoy hikes!
Italy in November is a little tricky, as it slowly crawls into the winter temperatures, but for most popular destinations you can expect some bright and sunny warm days.
November is also one of the wettest months in the country, so do keep that in mind when planning or packing for Italy. Just like most of the fall, you can expect fewer crowds, so visiting museums or shopping is a treat during this month (especially when it rains).
Here is what you must pack for your trip to Italy – Women (spring to autumn),
Carry on backpack | Strolley | Daily purse
The first step is to get a nice travel bag to store all of your Italy trip items.
Pacsafe Venturesafe 45 L has served us well for the past trips to Europe, and that includes Italy. What I love about this backpack is that it opens up from the side like a suitcase and it fills a lot.
For our first Italy trip of 3 weeks, I was able to pack my dresses, tops, pants, hat, cosmetics, an extra pair of shoes, and undergarments).
I use packing cubes to organize my clothes, and the side opening makes accessing items convenient. It has nice front pockets for storing our charging cables, universal adaptor, notebook, and toiletries.
As Pacsafe is made of anti-theft and slash-proof material I was able to squeeze a lot of things in, without ruining the backpack’s shape or zippers!
Plus it kept our belongings safe when we were using public transportation, which did a lot in Italy.
We recommend packing a backpack like Pacsafe Venturesafe 45 L or Osprey unisex-adult Farpoint 40 (which my husband uses), or a carry-on approved strolley. Do not bring large bags or luggage if you are planning to use a lot of public transportation while navigating to different Italian cities.
I also carried my Longchamp LePliage tote bag in a small size – it had our camera and travel documents.
Inside the tote, I also packed my Gucci SoHo Disco bag, which is a crossbody bag, and used it to store my passport, cash, and credit cards. This is what I used when I went sightseeing, on day tours, shopping, or dining out.
Highly recommend a nice crossbody when you are out and about; avoid large totes, bucket bags that have no zipper, or a gym bag!
Tops & Blouses
For clothing, consider packing and wearing outfits in neutral colors, clean cuts, and fewer logos as possible. Carry 2-3 tops with you, depending on the duration of the trip, ideally one for every day.
I wore colors like white, light pink, and black with fitted jeans. For photos, pack cute flowy blouses in monochrome colors (one color). They look great in photos against landmarks in old towns, or landscapes with great views.
Bottoms – jeans, linen pants, shorts
On our trip to Italy, we noticed that people in cities like Rome, Milan, and Florence wore nicer fabrics and clean-cut outfits. Everything they wore looked expensive, very put together and cohesive (in terms of colors, and type of outfit).
Jeans are totally cool, as long as they are not super stone-washed, or ripped. Dark colored, fitted but comfortable jeans are great to pair up for a day of sightseeing.
I take my American Eagle jeggings with me everywhere, and they are very comfortable to wear all day long. You can easily make a style statement with your jeans – pair it up with a designer belt like Gucci, or leather boots in the late autumn/fall months.
When visiting in the summer months, pack linen pants.
If you are hiking, or at the beach/lakeside, shorts and leggings both are handy. Do pack one if you are planning to hit the hiking and hiking trails. PrAna has a great variety for you to choose from.
Lululemon leggings in neutral colors like black, olive green, deep maroon are my favorite, and I used them a lot on short hikes, and train travels.
You can wear shorts on hikes, or beaches. Clean cut and fashionable shorts can be dressed up with nice flats and a top!
Dresses, skirts & jumpsuits
When the weather is nice, I pull out my comfy, flowy, and cute dresses. Italy in the summer and spring months are great to explore in lightweight dresses.
I recommend bright, pastel colors in any length you prefer from maxi or short dresses. You can include one or two dresses in floral prints especially when you are exploring seaside towns or the coast.
But monochrome always looks great in cities and coastal towns – think whites, deep blues, yellows, etc. without any prints.
Dresses are usually lightweight, and very easily packable (by rolling them in). Plus you get to look amazing in your photos! BONUS!
In the fall months, you can switch to a jumpsuit or earthy-tone dress to match the weather! Black, taupe, and white are great. Don’t forget to carry a light cardigan.
When visiting churches ensure you are wearing long dresses with covered shoulders.
Comfortable walking shoes, hiking boots
A pair of comfortable walking shoes are a must for Italy. You will be walking a ton from wandering city centers to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and hiking in the Dolomites, so ditch heels, and opt for comfortable, and elegant shoes.
One pair of ballet flats are a must add to your packing list for Italy. You can wear it with pants, dresses or skirts. In the fall months, you can use a nice pair of stockings and wear your flats. If you are comfortable with loafers, they are a great item to carry as well.
Lightweight sneakers like these VANS are also great for pants and dresses. I like white shoes, so my VANS are in white, and it pairs effortlessly.
Hiking shoes both are good for walking, as well as hiking. Opt for waterproof material if possible. I use KEEN hiking shoes.
If you are team sandals, Teva Hurricane is a great option for walking, especially in the summertime. These are great for beach walks, especially on the Amalfi Coast where there are pebbly beaches.
Note: I would pick only 2 pairs of shoes (wear one and pack one), depending on the trip activities. When hiking, definitely hiking shoes, and maybe ballet flats for the city.
Do pack cute swimsuits to enjoy the Amalfi and the Italian Riviera. Note that swimming is allowed on many beaches in Italy, plus there are luxury resorts with pools onsite, so packing your swimwear for the trip is a must. Here is my favorite one from Amazon (I have the one in red).
And don’t forget to add a pair of flip flops.
Light trench coat or cardigan
A light cardigan is handy all year round. You can use it inflight, inside high speed trains, in the evenings (especially in northern Italy), and after hikes. A cardigan is also useful when temperatures drop after rains, or at the mountains with high altitudes.
A light trench coat is a lovely addition to the fall season. Paired with ankle boots or white sneakers, as it looks fabulous! Here is a great buy from Amazon – Trench coat in taupe.
Waterproof jacket (a must for November)
The wettest month in Italy is in November (considered a fall season). You can expect rain in different parts of the country, and so we recommend carrying a packable lightweight waterproof jacket.
When the temperature drops, you can also layer on with a cardigan or long sleeve top.
In November, you can expect rains for 9-10 days, so a lightweight packable waterproof jacket (with a hood) is a must carry item.
July in the summer is the driest month, so you can don’t need a waterproof jacket necessarily, but we always carry a rain jacket – just in case. I am wearing a Lululemon Effortless jacket in the picture above, and it has a water-repellent coating (perfect for all-year use).
Sunglasses & sunscreen
In the summertime, temperatures in various Italian cities can be as long as 28 degrees C/82.4 F. With warm weather outside, it is natural to spend time outdoors. Do apply sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful sun rays.
Also re-apply them every few hours so that you are protected! I like to carry a travel size spray or roll-on and apply it to the exposed areas.
And never leave your sunnies behind. Sunglasses not only provide protection, but they instantly light up your overall outfit! My favorite: RayBan Erika Sunglasses
Invest in a few quality accessories to elevate your outfit. I like to wear a scarf, designer belt, beret/hat to accessorize my outfits. You don’t need too many of them, just a couple of them will suffice, and they won’t take a lot of room inside your carry-on baggage.
When you are out and about exploring, go light by carrying your daily essentials inside a crossbody bag. I use them to store my credit cards, cash, IDs, cell phone, AirPods, battery backup, sunglasses, and small cosmetic items (lip balm, sunscreen, perfume).
Carry a pair (or two) of loungewear for wearing at the hotel, or resort!
What to wear in Italy for guys summer, spring and fall
Here is the packing list for Italy for men,
- Bottoms – jeans, shorts
- Walking shoes, hiking shoes (waterproof)
- Waterproof jacket
- Sunglasses & sunscreen
Italy Winter Packing List
Temperatures in Italy start getting a little cooler from mid-November onwards.
Winter: December to February
Starting in December, you can expect snow and colder temperatures in high-altitude towns and mountain peaks in northern Italy like the Dolomites. Temperatures in a city like Rome are around 4 degrees C/39.2 F, and in mountain towns, it is -11 degrees C /12 F (lowest).
Rainfall and precipitations occur in the winter months and come November showers are very common.
December is a great time to visit Italy, as the country is decked up in festive spirit. Although you won’t find traditional Bavarian-style Christkindlesmarkt, you will find Christmas Markets and beautifully decorated giant Christmas trees at cathedral piazzas.
When visiting Milan Cathedral piazza or the Vatican in the winter you can enjoy the festive spirit and also go shopping.
Italy is a great destination to ring in New Year’s.
January is the coldest month, and this is the perfect time to visit Italy for skiing-related activities in the north. Popular cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence are a little dull, as it is a low tourist season. It also rains every other day.
But don’t let rains and a little cold discourage you from visiting Italy, in fact, if you want to score a nice hotel or flight deal, January and February are great months. Plus sites and museums won’t be crowded.
Temperatures are in single digits for the most part (I would take that any day for sightseeing as compared to – 30 degrees Celsius here in Canada!)
So here are the packing items for the winter season in Italy,
Winter Parka or warm coat (waterproof)
You will need your warm coat or winter parka during your trip to Italy.
Italy’s skiing infrastructure is very good and they have efficient cable cars and chair lifts. Most of these ski resorts are in the north and west end of the country, which also means they will be colder.
If visiting ski resorts, a parka is much better than a coat. This North Face parka has a removable hood, so you can cover yourself when it’s cold and windy.
With deep pockets, this is great for keeping your hands warm and toasty inside.
Packable short puffer jackets are a good option for winters. You can opt for a jacket with bright colors to pop against the snowy backdrop (like yellow, red, blue).
If you are only exploring cities, do pack a nice wool coat – the ones that come with a waterproof coating (due to the possibility of rains, we recommend outerwear with waterproof material).
Winter boots are a must in winters. Wear tall or ankle length boots, with a warm insulated lining to keep your feet protected and toasty.
It is important to consider the outsole when purchasing a winter boot. Ensure it has a good grip so that you can walk without slipping on icy surfaces.
Do consider the weight of the boots as you will be carrying them on your flight, and not wearing it.
Carry a few pairs of warm socks, preferably those made of merino wool to keep your toes warm! Buy these merino wool socks here.
A nice scarf can brighten up your outfit, and keep you warm and cozy in the winters in Italy. Infinity and triangle scarves are my go-to in the winters. A nice designer stole is also a good add-on to a plain/neutral coat for a pop of color!
Warm gloves are a must in the winter. Carry a pair or two, depending on the duration of your trip. I like to use gloves with fingers that I can easily slide in and out of when needed.
Also when you are out and about, you will need your fingers for clicking photos, or checking your phone, etc. so gloves with ‘tech fingers’ are always a good idea!
Pack cute beanies or toques to cover your head and ears. They also add a nice color to the usual/plain winter parkas or winter wear. Use them as photo props to brighten up grey skies or white snowy backgrounds.
Thermal tops, bottoms, leggings
A pair of thermal long johns (or tops and bottoms) are a good companion for the winter season, especially in high altitudes as the cold weather can be nasty.
If you are planning a lot of time outdoors, even in the cities, you will find that thermal bottoms are super handy to keep you warm.
Thermal wear is important so that you are comfortable while sightseeing and it also allows you to show off the beautiful coat or scarf without bulky layering.
Do wear fitted thermal wear though, don’t buy or carry anything that is bulky, loose, or has ill-fitting – this will show poorly on your overall outfit and appearance.
All Items for Winter Packing List for Italy: Men & Women
Here is the entire list of packing items for a winter trip to Italy for him, and her
- Long sleeve tops, shirts
- Bottoms – jeans, leggings
- Nice sweater Dress for dinners out (her)
- Winter boots
- Sunglasses & sunscreen
- Stylish accessories
- Winter Parka, wool coat
- Warm socks
What to pack for Italy: Toiletries & medications
Our cosmetics list does not vary a lot over the course of the year, except that the moisturizers in the winters are creamier (something that stays hydrated for 48 hours+).
Here is what you must include (and in case you forget anything you will find toiletries at any grocery or drug store in Italy. They were not super expensive, so we recommend that you only pack travel sizes and buy it in case you run out)
- Moisturizers: I never travel without my Vitamin E face cream from Body Shop. I have been using it for the past 12 years and I love it. Carry the 50 ml size, which is also carry-on approved
- Lipstick/balm: Carry chapstick, and your favorite lipsticks
- Eye pencil: My au-natural make-up includes a foundation and eye pencil! My favorites – IT Cosmetics and Rimmel Eyewear Exaggerate
- Perfume: Carry a travel size perfume
- Other essentials: Travel size shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, hand sanitizer
- Don’t forget your prescriptions, and Advil, etc.
Store everything in a transparent cosmetic bag, which is carry-on and airport security approved.
What to pack for Italy: Electronics
For your trip to Italy, do add a universal adaptor, and a charging cable to your packing list. Other electronics essentials include,
- Phone: Your cellphone. We travel with our iPhones. This is where we store our passes, booking information, use it as a camera sometimes, and also to connect with friends and family.
- Sim card: This is optional, but you can get a SIM card prior to your trip to Italy.
- Charger: I love multi-charging cables, as they are handy in charging electronic appliances with different ports. We have iPhones, and our camera uses micro USB, so does our power backup. And a cable like this works like magic
- Universal Adaptor: A universal adaptor is a must for Italy. Italy uses a plug with two round pins (type C), unlike the flat ones in North America. You can buy yours here
- Power Bank: Get this power bank as well
- Camera: Don’t forget your camera. We carry our Sony Mirrorless Camera and Sony A7iii. The mirrorless is super lightweight, and it can be stored inside a small crossbody bag. The A7iii is super powerful (for gloomy, low lighting photos).
- SD Card: To back up all the photos you will be capturing in Italy.
- Laptop: Optional
Note that selfie sticks, drones, and tripods are not allowed in many touristy areas in Italy.
Checklist for travel to Italy: Packing Tips
Below you will find all the essential travel documents for your trip to Italy,
- Visa: Italy is a European Union member, and it follows the Schengen Agreement. So if you require a Schengen Visa for Europe, then you will need one for Italy as well. Ensure you apply for it prior to your trip, and receive it before flying. Citizens of US, and Canada do not require a travel visa to visit Italy for 90 days.
- Passport: Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Italy. The passport must be in good condition and not torn or tempered.
- Currency and Credit Cards: Don’t forget your credit cards, and currency. Italy uses euros for their official currency.
- Transportation: Carry EUrail Travel Pass, city passes, flight tickets and any tour confirmation.
- Hotels: Saved a screenshot of your hotel reservations.
- Travel insurance: Get free travel insurance quotes from World Nomads insurance here.
Other essentials to bring to Italy
- Reusable water bottle: Pack a reusable water bottle so that you can use it on hikes, or sightseeing. You don’t need to buy plastic water bottles, as tap water in many cities are safe for drinking. Here is my favorite bottle
- Small umbrella: Because it could rain in the later fall and winter months, a small umbrella is handy. An umbrella is also useful in the hot summer months, when you are out and about!
Things to Consider When Packing for a Trip to Italy
We have included all seasonal packing lists for Italy. Here are some additional tips to help you pack,
- Time of year: When choosing what to pack, consider the month of travel, and the season. We have included the month range for each season above, so do take a look at it.
- Off-season or crossover: When visiting during off-season, or crossover months, you should carry ‘a pair of something warm’ – scarf, sweater, light jacket, warm socks, whatever you prefer to keep you warm and toasty in the evenings.
- Where are you going: Your packing list for the cities in the north Dolomites region to the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany will be different. Most of the popular cities in Italy do not experience extremely cold weather, but it does rain in the winter months, so pack waterproof clothing, and clothing appropriate for city travel (like comfortable walking on cobblestone streets, shopping, museums, etc). If you are planning to stay in places/towns with high altitudes a pair of warm clothing is always advisable.
- What are you planning to do: Are you planning to go skiing, hiking, swimming, or visiting Christmas Markets in the winter? Your packing list should reflect that!
Pro tip: We prepare our travel capsule wardrobe by focusing on the weather, and the trip duration, and carry only that, and this allows us to maximize the 45 L backpack space we have!
Monochrome or one color outfits are always chic and classy – they are also easy to mix and match with like color palette. Plus quality fabric will always stand out – so it is worth spending on a few nicer pieces that are sustainable and look great!
What should you not wear in Italy?
We have covered a lot of information above in terms of packing, wearing, and styling for your Italy trip.
As general advice for Italy, remember to NOT wear flashy logo (mania) clothes like ‘New York I LOVE You’ or the Harvard University logo.
Also avoid baggy, loose, and ill fitted clothing (underwear, pants, or tops).
Invest in quality basics in neutral colors, and mix and match them well and keep bright-colored clothing with a lot of prints at home. A nice designer handbag, a scarf, or belt can easily elevate your outfit, and it is 100% OKAY to wear them in Italy.
When you are out and about, be mindful of unzipped bags (designer or otherwise), as pickpocketing is common in touristy areas. Avoid traditional fanny packs, but belt bags (by a designer label) are cool and trendy to wear! Money belts are fine as long as it is concealed underneath your clothing.
Carry elegant and walkable shoes, avoid running shoes (unless you are hiking). Opt for Converse, VANS, or if you are comfortable use loafers.
It is okay to carry a fancy and expensive coat, bags, ponchos, etc. – just ensure it is only a few pieces that you can mix and match and also take care of when you are traveling around in Italy.
Too many expensive items with you, and there is a risk of losing them. Like for a 2 week trip, one poncho and a designer bag are enough to elevate your outfit – don’t overdo it.
Additional Italy packing guide and travel tips
Italians are seen wearing neutral colors, mostly monochrome and clean cuts. They are seen pairing a nice bag or scarf that matches their clothes, and comfortable, and elegant shoes.
They do not wear a lot of denim, mostly pants which are well fitted. It is rare to find someone in baggy clothes, especially in bigger cities like Rome, or Milan!
Italian style and dress nicely in good quality clothes. Generally, Europeans tend to dress less casually than in North America. Avoid runners and athletic wear, instead use business casuals or semi-formals when you ensemble your outfit.
First thing is to pack light. Do not overpack, and bring items that you won’t need for a 2 week or 10 days in Italy trip. Stick to your daily clothing and toiletry needs. Excess baggage means high fees and a hassle in dragging your bags around in small alleys or in train compartments.
Other than that, avoid prohibited items (not fit for flying), or food items from home.
For your flight, make sure you have your travel documents like your passport, visa, and cash/credit cards. Ensure your hotel and train tickets are booked ahead of time and do carry copies or screenshots of the booking/reservations.
On your flight, pack noise-canceling headphones, a neck pillow, essential medications, and a small cosmetic pouch with a travel-size perfume, mouth freshener, lip balm, etc.
Stick to basic and neutral colorway for your clothes, and wear comfortable walking shoes. Avoid baggy clothes and carry well-fitted outfits.
Yes, you can wear jeans in Italy. Opt for dark wash – skinny or well-fitted jeans, and pair it with a nice belt, bag, or shoes!
We hope you found this post on what to pack for Italy and related travel tips useful in planning your trip. Have more questions? Let us know in the comments below.
Other Italy Travel Guides:
- Italy: 7 days in Italy, 10 days in Italy itinerary
- Rome: 4 days in Rome, 3 days in Rome, Visiting Colosseum in Rome
- Milan: One day in Milan itinerary
- Venice: One day in Venice itinerary, Gondola ride in Venice