I was concerned about the shorts as I have heard this from others as well. I do have one skort that falls to about 2" above my knees. I am looking for 1 to 2 more made in coolmax or another type of moisture wicking material. I have a few more that are shorter, but my understanding is that Italy is a little more conservative than Southern California. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of choices for summer skirts in the middle of December. May need to do some wardrobe shopping in Spring!
Definitely more conservative than CA. And not as casual. Shopping in the spring is a great idea! Skirts, cropped pants, capris. You might check out REI to see what's on sale. Also Ex Oficio makes some attractive women's travel clothes, but you don't need convertible pants unless you plan on hiking a lot.
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To be safe, make sure your shorts go to your knees. If you are touring churches, you won't be let in with shorter shorts or bare shoulders. I would suggest taking a very light cardigan, which you can put on to enter churches if needed, and which do come in handy at night in the piazza.
July is monstrously hot, but be prepared for a significant temperature drop at night. Since you'll likely be eating later, you may find yourself outdoors at 11:30 or later at night, and a light layer is handy.
Do you know exactly where you're going yet? Jealoussssss.
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