An Italy packing list is essential to compile before you travel to this beautiful country.
Contrary to popular belief, the climate in Italy can vary depending on where you are.
If you visit the north of the country, you could encounter grey skies and rain, while further south, you are more likely to encounter the sun.
If you plan on travelling through Italy for a while, you must take these factors into consideration when packing for Italy!
It can be hard to know what to pack at times, and a lot of travellers worry about what to wear in Italy.
That’s why I’ve come up with a handy list of items you should take on your trip to Italy!
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Table of Contents
Italy Packing List
What to Wear in Italy
Going to Italy is similar to travelling in Spain when it comes to clothes, Italians are very fashionable.
If you are wearing t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops or trainers, you will stand out in Italy.
While there is nothing wrong with this, it does signal to everyone else that you are a tourist. This will also attract the attention of pickpockets, who are a problem in big cities throughout the country.
Knowing what to wear in Italy can be tricky, but you should try and blend and not make it obvious you are a tourist.
There are also several items you should take depending on what part of the country you are visiting.
If you are in the north of Italy, you will need a jacket more than you need a pair of flip-flops. While the opposite is true if you’re on the coast and visiting the south of the country.
Below, I list a few items of clothing that you should consider taking depending on where you are going to Italy and what you plan on doing.
It can get hot in Italy, and hot weather means more exposure to the sun.
To protect against those pesky UV rays, it’s a good idea to include a hat when packing for Italy.
You don’t realise how useful a hat is until you are hot in the open when it’s boiling.
If you’re in the sun for long periods, it’s not good to have the sun on your face for an extended length of time. It can lead to sunstroke if you’re not careful.
Buying a hat will keep your face protected from the sun, and help you feel cooler during a hot Italian summer!
If you want to go hiking, Italy is one of the best countries in Europe to do so.
There are multiple hikes to do all across the country, and you will be rewarded with some spectacular views if you choose to do so.
While you can do these hikes in ordinary shoes, your feet will pay the price eventually.
Investing in a good pair of hiking shoes is a good idea if you plan on walking around a lot.
They will support your feet better than normal ones, and last you well beyond your trip to Italy!
Italy is a fashionable country, even when people are just gathering casually, Italian like to dress up.
If you’re travelling to Italy and packing running shoes, you will give yourself away as a tourist.
Flats offer a nice balance between being fashionable and comfortable, and there isn’t an obvious giveaway you’re a tourist either.
Including these on your Italian packing list is a good option if you plan on doing a lot of walking!
Italian beaches are some of the best in the world. If your trip takes you to one of these numerous patches of golden sand, you’ll need some swimwear.
The good thing about swimwear is that it can double up as shorts.
You can use them on days you don’t go to the beach too.
Swimwear is an essential item to pack for Italy, especially if you’re going to the beach!
Make sure you buy some, otherwise you’ll regret it when you see the beaches in person!
While a jacket may seem like an odd item to pack for Italy, depending on when you go, it could come in handy.
Italy does receive a lot of rainfall, this is especially during the cooler months in autumn and winter. This is especially true in the many places to visit in Northern Italy.
There is a high likelihood it will rain if you visit during these months. Thunderstorms are also common during the warmer months too!
Packing a waterproof jacket will keep your clothes dry during any potential downpour.
A jacket can fit easily in your bag, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I speak from experience in that regard!
Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack
Pickpocketing is rife in Europe, and Italy is no exception. When I was living in Barcelona, I nearly got my backpack pickpocketed twice when I was walking down the street!
Because there were zips on the outside of the bag, making it an easy target.
The Bobby Anti-Theft Backpack solves this problem by having the zips on the inside instead. That way no pickpocketer can get into your backpack and steal your valuables as you’re walking along!
This is an ideal backpack to have if you’re spending 3 days in Rome. The city is renowned for pickpockets and keeping your valuables in this backpack will mean they are safe.
If you plan on spending a lot of time in Europe, I recommend getting one. It will take a weight off your mind and protect your valuables against the continent’s many thieves!
40 L Backpack
The Osprey Farpoint 40 L bag is a fantastic travelling backpack you need to pack for Italy!
What I like about the Osprey 40 L backpack is that it’s front-loading, as opposed to top-loading.
This means you can easily access items instead of rummaging through your bag trying to get to something that’s at the bottom.
40 litres is the ideal size for travelling around Europe. It’s best to adhere to the pack light mantra instead of packing too much and having a 40 L backpack will help you do this.
You don’t want to pack more than you have to, otherwise, you’ll be cursing yourself the whole trip!
Hanging Toiletry Bag
A hanging toiletry bag is one of the most underrated items to pack for Italy.
Back in my early days of travelling, I used to keep all my toiletries in one bag. It was hard to find what I wanted, as I had to rummage through the whole bag.
While staying in hostels, I noticed a lot of travellers had these hanging toiletry bags that looked very well organised.
The reason they looked organised? Well, because they are organised!
You have multiple compartments which you can use to store your toiletries more effectively and make them easier to get to!
I recommend you get one of these for your travels, it will make life much easier!
Eco Water Bottle
An Eco water bottle is one of the most important items you can take to Italy and anywhere for that matter.
The amount of plastic that is polluting our environment is mind-boggling. By 2050, it is estimated there will be more plastic in our oceans than marine life.
That is a scary thought!
One way you can reduce your impact on the environment is to carry an Eco water bottle with you when you travel.
This will negate the need to buy any plastic water bottles during your trip, saving you money and helping the environment too!
Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
Unfortunately, one issue when visiting Italy is the prevalence of mosquitoes.
The little buggers are everywhere and this is especially the case in summer! They are particularly troublesome in Venice, but they can strike across the whole country!
One way to combat those bloodsuckers is to wear a mosquito-repellent band. It’s a cheap and unique trick you can use to avoid a lot of discomfort, and they lost a long time too!
If you’re still concerned about mosquitoes, you can also purchase some spare repellent, if the mosquitos are a major issue where you are!
If you’re staying in shared accommodation, keeping your belongings safe is paramount.
Most of the people that stay in hostels are good folk, but you can never be too sure. I have seen people have items stolen in hostels while I was in Australia, and it’s made me extra vigilant ever since!
Most hostels in Italy provide lockers to store your backpack. Bringing a padlock will allow you to lock them up securely and have peace of mind when you’re out and about!
Even if you’re not staying in hostels, you can use padlocks to secure your luggage should anything happen to it during your trip!
If you’re travelling to Italy, chances are you will encounter some sunshine during your trip.
That’s why you need to include a top pair of polarised sunglasses on your Italy packing list!
I choose polarised sunglasses because they offer more protection from harmful UV rays than ordinary sunglasses do.
Oakley Frogskins are my favourite pair. They are stylish and have detachable arms that can come off and on.
Handy if you accidentally drop them, because they just click straight back on!
If you’re backpacking around Italy, you’ll want to keep your electronics charged while you’re on the go.
This can be difficult when you don’t have access to electrical outlets when you’re on the road or out and about.
Taking a portable charger with you is an easy way to ensure your items are always charged during your travels.
They are also handy if you lose power on your phone during an emergency, which hopefully won’t happen!
This is an important item which I would leave without when packing for Italy!
Depending on where you are travelling, you will probably need to take a travel adapter with you.
The power outlets in Italy use 220 V, 50 Hz with two or three round pin prongs. If you plan on travelling around Europe as well as Italy, buying a travel adapter will be a wise purchase!
I would buy one before you leave that way you are prepared and you don’t have to worry about getting one when you arrive!
A travel adapter is must include item on your Italy packing list and one you shouldn’t leave without!
An umbrella may seem like an odd item to pack for Italy, but there is a reason why it’s included.
Let me explain:
Depending on where and when you travel to Italy, the weather can vary greatly.
The north of Italy is notorious for rainy weather, and if you visit during autumn, winter and spring, the odds are high you’ll encounter rain.
It’s not much fun being caught in the rain, so investing in an umbrella is a cheap way to ensure you’ll stay dry when the rain is falling!
If you’re visiting Italy during the summer, the one thing you are guaranteed is sun and lots of it!
Keeping yourself protected from harmful UV rays is paramount. This isn’t always possible, and our best intentions can lead to a spot of sunburn.
If you get sunburnt, it’s best to pack after suncream with when you head to Italy.
While the cream won’t repair the damage to the skin from sunburn, it will go some way to ease the pain associated with it.
I always carry a small bottle with me wherever I go. Even if I’m not sunburnt, I apply a bit every night to keep my skin moisturised.
It’s a useful item to have on your Italian packing checklist and one which you shouldn’t leave behind!
Deodorant cream has become one of my favourite items recently.
Instead of using deodorant in plastic bottles, you can use a cream to rub under armpits to keep them smelling fresh all day long.
If you want to reduce your impact on the environment, this is a great item to buy.
Another plus is that it takes up minimal space, and doesn’t count as a liquid for your hand luggage either!
A useful item to pack for Italy!
Solid shampoo is another item that is handy to take with you when you travel to Italy.
Like deodorant, shampoo in plastic bottles is cumbersome to carry around and isn’t great for the environment either.
An alternative is to use solid shampoo instead. It may seem weird at first, but after using it a few times, you will struggle to notice the difference!
It takes up minimal space in your luggage, and has minimal impact on the environment too! What’s not to like!?
I used to take shower gel when I went travelling, but I have recently eschewed it in favour of soap.
Not only is soap easier to carry around in your carry-on luggage, but it is also better for the environment.
I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use, and using soap goes some way to helping with that!
Bars of soap are inexpensive, and useful to have as you travel around.
I recommend buying a container for them while you travel to keep your soap fresh while you travel!
Italy gets hot during the summer, and if you travel without suncream you are taking a huge risk of getting burnt.
The harmful UV rays that emanate from the sun take no prisoners, so it’s best to pack some suncream for Italy.
I would advise buying as high a factor as you can. The sun can do a lot of damage to your skin, and it can lead to premature ageing of your skin.
Even if it may not be sunny during your trip, I would still include suncream on your Italian packing list. You’ll regret it if you don’t!
As well as the above, these are a few more items, that you can’t leave off your packing for Italy checklist!
A camera is one of the most important things you should pack on any trip, not just one to Italy.
Most of us use our phones nowadays for photos, but if you want to take high-quality photos, I recommend you invest in a top travel camera.
The Nikon D5500 is one of the best in the business. It’s a DLSR camera and the quality of the photos outdoes anything you would get on even the latest models of smartphones.
If you want to take your photography game up a notch, buying a Nikon is the way the go!
If you’re like me and you need to work and travel at the same time, a laptop is an essential item to take on any trip.
They’re also useful to keep in contact with loved ones back home. Particularly, if you are travelling from further afield such as the USA or Australia.
My personal recommendation is the MacBook. They are lightweight, portable laptops, which fit easily into your bag without taking up too much space.
They are definitely one of the top laptops for travel money can buy!
It may be an expensive purchase, but it’s a quality purchase and last far beyond any trip to Italy!
I love reading books, but travelling and books are not great bedfellows.
They take up a lot of space and become a pain to carry around when you’re on the move.
While I like the feel of physical books, a Kindle is a good investment to make if you want to read while you’re on the go.
Kindles are light, portable and fit into your bag easily! There is no getting away from the fact they are much more convenient to travel with than books.
If you love reading and travelling, a Kindle is a must!
As a wise man once said, if you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel!
Travel insurance is a necessity for any trip, as anything can and usually will happen!
Italy is generally a safe country, but there are places where pickpockets are prevalent. Plus, if you are doing adrenaline activities, the risk of injury is high.
Purchasing travel insurance gives you peace of mind, to know someone has got your back if things go wrong. I use SafetyWing, as they are tailored towards backpackers and more active travellers.
Make sure you have insurance before you leave!
What Not to Take to Spain
One of the worst things you can do when travelling is to pack too much.
Chances are you won’t need as much stuff as you think. You could end up packing items that you never use and that just adds to the weight in your backpack.
It’s better to under-pack because you can always buy things once you get there if you really need them.
Below are a few items I would give second thoughts to when you head to Italy.
- Flip-flops – If you need to pack for the beach, then you should include flip-flops. Otherwise, I would leave them at home. Walking around in flip-flops all day isn’t the most comfortable thing to do and they will be a dead giveaway that you are a tourist. Only include them if your trip to Italy involves going to the beach.
- Valuables – While you will need to take some of your valuables with you, I would leave as much as you can at home. Jewellery, bracelets and other expensive items are nice, but they will make a magnet for thieves. If you do have to take anything valuable, leave it in a locker when you head out.
- Suitcase – A suitcase is not necessary when you visit Italy. It will encourage you to take more items and they are a pain to travel with. It’s much more convenient to use a backpack that you can easily carry around. If you’re travelling for a short period, a backpack will suffice.
- High heels – While they may look fashionable, they are not the most practical piece of footwear when travelling. High heels will take up space in your backpack and you also run the risk of falling over in the cobbled streets that are common in Italy. Leave your high heels at home when you travel to Italy!
- Books – As I mentioned above, books will weigh you down on your travels. If you’re only travelling for a week or two, there is no harm in taking a book or two with you. But, if you’re travelling around Italy for longer, they will become a nuisance. Take a Kindle instead!
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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog. Check out the about me page to learn more!
Tuesday 16th of October 2018
I love that front loading backpack Tom. Uber convenient. Excellent post.
Tuesday 16th of October 2018
It's a fantastic item Ryan, makes life so much easier! Thanks for reading! :)