Yeah, we have the clothesline. I was going to take some ziplock bags but I forgot why I changed my mind. I'll put a couple aside.
And unrelated to packing, I do have to say the Rick Steves book is already proving invaluable. I have been reading it but I didn't think about booking things ahead of time. Good thing I decided to try both the Vatican and Borghese gallery last night. Regular vatican tickets were sold out for the days we will be in Rome (!) but I was able to get a good tour time that would fit our schedule. And found a good time for the Borghese gallery but pickings were slim.
I guess I'm really naive on how booked/packed things will be. I figured out it was high season when I booked our hotel (and the prices jumped for our dates) and Rick Steves only confirms it in his book.
Spring is a popular time to visit Italy - the weather is warm and sunny but not too hot. I first went there for Easter back in 2003 - I wanted to see the fireworks and flag-waving ceremony in Florence on Easter Sunday, and also visit Venice at a time when the canals weren't too smelly.
(I've since been back to Venice in October, which is also a good time - though it can be rainy.)
The funny thing is I almost booked for Easter but I didn't realize it was Easter. I figure Rome is popular but I can't imagine being in Rome/Vatican during the most important Catholic holiday of the year. Once I realized my initial dates would've put us there at Easter, I moved a couple weeks later.
I think if/when we go back, it'd probably be Fall or possibly just after the beginning of Lent (we are vegetarian and a vegetarian friend told me there seem to be more options during Lent).
Yeah, southern Europe isn't terribly vegetarian-friendly - there's this assumption that you should eat lots of vegetables and fish/meat :)
When we were there in March the "ciofe" were in season - delicious teeny artichokes. Doubt they'll be in season when you're there, but I was glad our guide told me about them. Eating what's in season might be a good strategy for vegetarian options.
I did a quick test pack of my clothes (underwear and socks included) minus what I'd wear and it fit into the large packing cube for the aeronaut. That isn't saying much since that packing cube is huge although I had room more for.
I figured I'm going to do a switch and drop a couple tank tops. I also test wet, wrung out and dried a shirt today to see how well it would dry. It dried within 4 or 5 hours so I figure it would be a good option.
I'm going to play devil's advocate for you and offer an opinion for the "other side."
If you can bring an item with room to spare, then go for it! I can pack everything I need for my 12 days in Italy in one Aeronaut packing cube back pack and one packing cube shoulder bag. That only takes up about 50% of my available bag space (not including my 2nd pair of shoes. I do not want to have to spend time doing any laundry while in Italy. If I absolutely have to wear a clothing item and it's dirty, I can always send it out to be laundered. I have PLENTY of room to bring back shopping items. This will not be a back packing trip. I we are going luxury, so I want to spend as much time as possible exploring Italy, not hanging wet clothes.
Every trip is unique. If I were going for a longer time, or maybe during colder weather, my packing list may not allow for all the changes of clothes. But...my Tardis bag can hold it all for this trip (with room to spare to pack all my husband's clothes as well if I wanted to-which I don't-a girl needs retail therapy even when traveling), so I'm not going to stress getting my wardrobe down to 7-9 items. In fact, I am looking for a black/Iberian western flyer because I have so much space in my Aeronaut!
Note: I am saving lots of packing space by including (so far) 6 dresses from Patagonia (wrinkle resistant). I find that a cute jersey dress can be rolled, squeezed, and crammed into a bag, come out wrinkle-free and takes up less space than a top and bottom! I keep picking them up on sale on their website. I also use LUSH's Godiva shampoo/conditioner bar as well as a lotion bar; I'm not bringing any liquids in my bag. If I need anything, I'll pick it up in Italy as part of my retail therapy!
My caveat, though, is to definitely test pack. You want to make sure your bag isn't stuffed to bulging. I am going in summer, so my clothing items are smaller in size than if I were going in winter.
If it all fits, great. But for many people, it's not possible to pack for a 12 day vacation in a carry on. And I can say from experience that if you're moving locations every few days as the OP seems to be, and then carrying your bag on public transport, having less to manage and a lighter bag is much less physically and mentally stressful. Case in point: would you rather run up and down five flights of stairs while running between train platforms carrying a ten-pound bag, or a 17-pound bag?
Also, I'm not sure how doing a little hand wash now and again somehow equates to being on a backpacking trip. Considering it takes three minutes to wash and wring out a pair of shorts, it's not really that laborious, and part of the reason for buying clothes in technical fabrics is because they wash and dry quickly.
Like I said: if you can fit in everything and can manage the bag, that's awesome. But I stand firmly by my belief that traveling light is not an exercise in deprivation, and, in fact, having less stuff to manage results in more freedom.
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*lol* I don't think I'm going to be running up and down five flights of stairs with either :)
Originally Posted by Badger
I take your point, though. I've resisted the temptation to buy an S25 in addition to my S19, because I really don't want my EDC to be any heavier than it absolutely has to be. If that means I have to get a bit more creative with my packing, that's fine.
I completely understand. I'm going for a mix of trying to play a 'game' of packing light and making sure what I have is functional. Case in point, in my test pack, I had 1 sweater, 1 lightweight cardigan and I'm taking a jacket. I realized the sweater, although light, would be too much for a late spring trip. I also know me and know that I don't wear tank tops too often and realized taking regular t-shirts would be better to wear under the lightweight cardigan I'm taking than tank tops.
Originally Posted by Melissa
I also would like to wear more dresses but 1) I have a booty problem that makes skirts or maxi dresses more practical although the dress I'm taking is longer in the back than the front and 2) I plan to do a lot of walking... a lot and I do better in sneakers than sandals or ballet slippers especially on cobblestone. I mean I know some people wear sneakers with dresses but I prefer to wear capris.
For this trip in general, I plan to be more laid back. I think there is a lot to see and I plan to hit the high points but I think we will participate in whatever the Italian equivalent of siesta is in that we plan to go back to our hotel, shower, clean up, probably wash some clothing items and then head out for dinner. If it doesn't work like that, then I don't think it'd be hard to do before bed.
So my list isn't sparse by any means but I think my clothing list is (this includes stuff I'll be wearing):
1 pair of pants
3 pairs of capris
1 nicer shirt, 1 shirt that can be dressed up
1 yoga pant
1 tank top
1 lightweight cardigan wrap
6 pairs of underwear
1 lightweight waterproof jacket
4 pairs of socks
(And a side note, are you going with a tour operator? I had looked at a few that touted themselves as luxury but I was a bit worried about the other people on such a trip and I really like public transportation so wanted a trip that included those. I'd love to hear your feedback when you get back)
During Easter two years ago, I wore a scarf, jacket and boots most days whilst walking around in Rome. Perhaps include some warmer options in your list? Are you able to layer some wool tops/tanks/cardigans? (18 degrees C seemed cool to me coming from a subtropical climate)
We are going with a tour group, BUT it is through our local Chamber of Commerce. There are about 60 couples going (divided into 3 sub-groups), so we already know everyone we are going with, and we are actually VERY close friends with the 20 or so that are in our own sub group). Otherwise, I don't think I would have chosen to go with a tour group on our own.
Ahh ok. The local Italian cultural society (I take classes there) has a similar type tour that sounds interesting.
Originally Posted by Melissa
I can layer with what I have but I also figure I'll check the forecast. I grew up in a semi tropical environment although the east coast has hardened me a bit where I'm comfortable wearing a light jacket at 18c.
Originally Posted by bijoux
Not understanding your itinerary, I am hoping that the majority if your wardrobe dries overnight if you have to launder yourself...