Imagine drinking a lemonade on the Amalfi Coast, exploring the Vatican City, or even riding a boat in the canals of Venice…. If this sounds like a dream vacation, read on!
Now, Italy is not a very large country in terms of land-mass, ranking somewhere amongst the 70s.
However, it can be difficult to prepare for as the countries spans over 1,400 KM from it’s furthest northern to southern point.
The north is the Italian Alps, which can be cold even in June! And Sicily is very hot, similar to Greece! (Expect at least 30-40 degree days!)
So, this all being said, let’s get to the Italy Packing List!
(Please Note: The CLOTHING portion of this packing list is split into different parts: Summer and Winter.)
Pre-Departure Checklist for Italy
1. Passport and Passport Cover
It is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you follow protocol:
Always make sure, before you travel, that your passport is good for at least six months.
Check the amount of entry stamp spaces you have left.
The EU has adopted some new rules and regulations for the Schengen-area countries. However, the 90/180 rule appears to continue.
Called the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System), this new visa incudes a background check, and it costs $$$.
I recommend checking out https://www.etiasvisa.com for new information.
If you have any questions, tweet at me @worldembark and I will do my best to explain/help. (Or if your country is not part of the system, please message me, and I will help out to the best of my ability.)
3. Passport Photos
Maybe for a Sim Card. That’s the only reason.
4. Pictures of Passport & Credit Cards
For safety reasons, have pictures of your passport/credit card(s) in the unfortunate event of theft.
(Back your pictures up in the secured cloud for peace of mind!)
Reminder: If your passport is stolen/lost, please contact your local embassy or consulate. Fun fact: Passports are property of your country. They can be revoked at any time, including mid-flight!
Best Types of Luggage for Italy
5. Backpack or Suitcase
Some roads in Italy are brick, but thousands of tourists visit Italy every year with suitcases.
Although I never made it past Rome (something I hope to do soon; I just ran out of time), I have heard the further south in Italy you go, the worse the roads are. I would assume the same could be said, the further south, the more brick sidewalks there are.
Clothing for a Summer Italian Holiday
6. 1 Pair of Pants
If you stay in the northern areas (think Lake Como, Milan, and the Dolomite’s), you can pack one pair of pants if you want. I never wore my jeans though, and I rarely saw people wear pants. (Except for the locals)
The only occasion you will need pants is if you visit monasteries and cathedrals. Places such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome require pants.
In the evening/night, it might get cool in the North. However, when I was in Italy, the temperature never dipped below 80! (26.7 Celsius)
Also, you might need a jacket for some mornings in Venice.
8. 3-5 Pair of Shorts
12. Dress/Fancy Clothing
For the romantic evenings on the Amalfi coast, you might need fancier clothing.
Also, a few of my backpacker friends were turned away at the club because of their outfits in Milan. However, the day before they got in? Just be prepared.
Clothing for a Winter Italian Holiday
Now, packing for a winter holiday to Italy will be a bit more difficult than summer. After all, the North has ski resorts and the south remains comfortable in January and February. Therefore, this list is going to be a general packing list.
If you are going to Sicily, prepare accordingly. Also, if you are going to the Alps in winter, shorts might not be required.
(But you probably want something to cover the lower portion of your body.)
Alright, that’s enough of my humor. So, let’s get to the Winter List.
6. 4 Pair of Pants
Well, I imagine pants are going to be a staple for this trip. In the winter, Rome varies in temperature up to 14 degrees celsius. (60F) The further north you go, the colder it gets. Further south, the warmer it gets.
7. 1 or 2 jackets
In the evening/night, it will be cold. I always recommend packing jackets that can be layered.
8. 5 T-Shirts/Tops
9. 1 Pair of Shorts
Even if you visit Sicily, the temperature shouldn’t exceed 65 degrees. #Butglobalwarmingexists
12. Dress/Fancy Clothing
To each their own.
What Shoes do I need for Italy?
14. Comfortable Walking Shoes
Sandals are my go-to travel shoe, and they are acceptable in Italy. However, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Sidewalks are un-even, and the roads are cobblestone *usually.
Don’t expect level walking conditions when visiting ruins in Italy.
15. Water Shoes for Summer/Boots for Winter
There are some sand beaches along the Italian Riveria.
Where to buy toiletries in Italy?
Extra Items Needed for the Perfect Italian Holiday
17. Reusable Water Bottle with Filter
The water in Italy is safe to drink. Italy is also filled with free public water fountains everywhere. So, #savedatmoney and use a reusable water bottle.
I prefer carrying a backpack as I carry photography equipment. However, I am starting to get old. So, I am looking to decrease my kit in size and weight. A sling bag is beginning to look very appealing. (I’m in my early 20s.)
19. Sunscreen & Chapstick
Summer in Rome is like standing in a brick oven, except you’re the pizza.
If you want me to tell you the best photo spots in all of Italy, tweet at me! @worldembark is my handle
Italy uses the Euro. Note: I do not remember a single place I couldn’t use my credit card. Visa and Mastercard are accepted the most overseas.
22. Travel Insurance
Iceland. 2021. A new windshield. Everyone has a travel story about why you need travel insurance
23. Sim Cards
I didn’t use a Sim Card in Germany, Switzerland, or Italy.
However, I think you need an ID to purchase a SimCard here. A SIM card in Italy is exponentially cheaper than someplace like Germany. Italian Sim cards work most places across continental Europe. Please wait to leave the airport to purchase the Sim Card.
Backpacking Essentials for Italy
I use the Peak Design 35 L Travel backpack. It’s expensive but looks brand new despite months of abuse across different climates.
25. Earplugs and Sleeping Mask
Essential Items for Hostel Life
For those times you forget to put on sunscreen.
For those times when you don’t want to put on sunscreen.
27. Sleeping Bag
A former colleague of mine carried a sleeping bag AND a tent. I would never do that. Very few hostels allow sleeping bags/bring your own bedding in 2022 due to the possibility of bed-bugs.
28. Some sort of emergency blanket
This is probably not needed for its purpose, but you might need to repel some water at any point in your trip. (Think poncho)
29. Battery Pack
Something large enough so your cell phone can take pictures of places like the one below.
30. More Pairs of Socks
Can never have too many.
31. Microfiber Towel
Nothing fancy. But it does help and dries fast.
Sometimes hostels charge extra for towels.
32. Travel Lock
I carry a few travel locks, and I recommend you do too.
That’s all I can think of to make sure you have the best Italian Holiday!
Enjoy the food, history, and people, as those are the things that make Italy a great place to visit!
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