Are you jetting off to the fashion capital of the world?
Or any of the other beautiful cities in Italy? Even if you aren't headed to Milan for fashion week, you'll notice one thing, no matter where you go: Italians know how to dress. And if you're preparing for your next vacation, you're probably Googling what to wear in Italy to fit in with the locals.
But as any sensible traveler knows, you can't base your entire packing list around fashion. So, to help you get ready for your trip, we've compiled a shortlist of Italy travel tips to help you balance style and function.
1. Bring the right bag (or bags) for your trip
The correct bag is essential for walking around cities like Naples or strolling through Tuscany's vineyards. From over-the-shoulder bags for city sightseeing and stylish totes for shopping in fashion boutiques to larger suitcases for longer trips, your bags will be your constant travel companion. And with Italian style being so iconic—and varied—bringing the right tote or hip bag can also be an opportunity to accessorize.
Here are the bags we're bringing:
- Techonaut 45 – A versatile bag that’s perfect for travel, the Techonaut 45 has a laptop compartment for organization and the option to carry as a duffel or wear like a typical backpack. Plus, it’s big enough to hold everything we need for an international trip, including the souvenirs we bring home.
- Clear 3D Organizer Cube – Storing toiletries, medications, or other essentials in an organizer cube keeps everything easy to access. And since it's TSA compliant, it's easy to put in a carry-on bag in case of a luggage mishap.
- Small Cafe Bag – Sleek and lightweight, this messenger bag has compartments for everything we want to carry when sightseeing, from a disposable camera to a book of conversational Italian phrases.
- Large Shop Bag – Our collapsible bag doesn’t take up any more space than necessary, making it easy to pack and guaranteeing we have an easy-to-carry tote for souvenir shopping if needed!
- Travel Laundry Stuff Sack – This easy-to-transport bag holds up to two weeks of undergarments and has a built-in divider to help separate clean and dirty items. And that makes it perfect for extended time spent abroad, with limited access to a washing machine.
- Optional: Techonaut 45 Packing Cubes – Our packing cubes help us keep our clothes organized so we can quickly find what we want to wear each day, without digging through our entire suitcase.
- Optional: Double Organizer Pouch – This handy organizer holds all of our essential travel documents. We like to hook this onto an O-ring inside our Techonaut 45 or Small Cafe Bag with Key Straps, which keeps everything easy to access.
- Optional: Side Effect – One of our smallest bags, the Side Effect has enough space for travel essentials. We like to wear it as a sling or waist bag when sightseeing and don’t want to carry anything but the necessities.
2. Pack comfortable and functional footwear
When planning your trip to Italy, you can't afford to overlook what shoes you bring. Many of the cities and towns in Italy are easy to see on foot, which means you could easily walk much farther than you originally planned. And with cities like Rome known for their cobblestone streets, having a functional pair of shoes is a must for any traveler. Not only do shoes need to be comfortable enough for long walks, but they should also look fashionable when exploring Italian fashion destinations like Milan.
Look for a good pair of walking shoes with arch support, cushioning, and flexibility that can take you from day to night. For many Italian men, closed-toe shoes like loafers are a popular choice for all-day wear because they’re both comfortable and functional — just leave the socks at home. Meanwhile, Italian women typically opt for sandals as a great way to keep cool in the warmer months while also looking fashionable. Or a cute pair of ankle boots in the winter.
And if you plan on attending any special events, bringing dress shoes is also a good idea. Ballet flats or boat shoes are another great versatile option for dressing up or down, depending on the occasion.
3. Model your packing list after the local fashion
From Milan Fashion Week to the streets of Florence, Italy has long been a leader in setting trends and influencing style. Italians take pride in their appearance and craftsmanship, evident in everything from high-end designer labels to everyday streetwear. Whether you're headed to Florence or Sicily, packing light but stylishly will help you fit right into the local culture and make the most out of your travels.
Invest in elegant basics and staple pieces
Italian fashion is most known for being chic, timeless, and elegant. Merino wool, neutral colors, and simple silhouettes are just some of the elements that make the Italian style so iconic around the world. The key to dressing like a local lies in investing in quality basics such as t-shirts and slacks and other staple pieces made from those materials. And while the country may be known for its luxury fashion, the secret behind Italy's dress code doesn't lie in designer brands. Instead, it's all about wearing clothes that are well-made, fit well, and flatter your natural shape.
Style everyday looks with sunglasses and other accessories
When it comes to styling an outfit, accessories can change an entire look. And Italians know how to use them to enhance their looks with a touch of class. From scarves for cooler days to statement jewelry pieces for occasions like dinner parties or weddings, Italian style is all about making subtle yet powerful statements with their outfits.
Sunglasses are one of the most popular ways that Italians accessorize – you'll see them everywhere! Whether you prefer classic aviators or more modern styles, sunglasses are a great way to show off your personal sense of style while also protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. But no matter what kind of accessory you choose, remember: less is always more when it comes to Italian fashion!
4. Plan to dress according to the season
Italy's climate can vary greatly depending on the season and location. And it's important to pack based on the time of year you plan to visit if you want to explore the country comfortably.
What to wear in spring
Spring in Italy is a beautiful time of year, with mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Generally, temperatures are balmy but can fluctuate greatly, falling between 35° and 70°F. If you don’t mind the unpredictable weather, it's the perfect time to explore cities like Venice, take leisurely strolls through the island of Capri, or simply relax on some of the country's many beaches.
When packing for a spring trip to Italy, it's important to bring the following:
- Spring staples like tank tops, button-down shirts, and chino pants
- A lightweight coat for unpredictable weather
- Scarves for cooler days and evenings
What to wear in summer
Summer in Italy is a great time to explore the country, with temperatures typically ranging from 65° to 85°F. From lounging on beautiful Italian beaches to exploring the Amalfi Coast, there are plenty of fun activities for all kinds of travelers during this season.
When packing for the Italian summer, remember to bring clothing like:
- Lightweight tops and bottoms made from breathable fabrics like linen
- Sun hats and sunglasses to complete an outfit and provide sun protection
- Swimsuits for beach days
What to wear in fall
Fall in Italy brings a pleasant change of pace with cooler temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Temperatures typically range from 60° to 70°F, making it the perfect time to explore cities like Rome and see the Colosseum without having to worry about extreme heat or cold.
To make sure you're ready for your fall trip, here are some things you can't forget to pack:
- Fall staples like long sleeve shirts and rain jackets
- Sweaters and cardigans for chilly weather
- Closed-toe shoes to keep feet dry
What to wear in winter
With temperatures ranging from 30° to 50°F, winter in Italy can be a wonderful time of year to explore the country's many cities and towns. But with the Alps close by and plenty of winter activities to try, it's important to prepare for cold weather if you're traveling this time of year.
When you pack your winter gear, don't forget to bring the following:
- A warm winter coat for cold weather
- Snow goggles and gloves for skiing or snowboarding
- Waterproof boots to keep your feet warm
5. Don't forget the essentials
When it comes to packing for international travel, there are certain essentials that you can't forget. From travel insurance to your passport and water bottle, having the right items on your Italy packing list will make all the difference when traveling abroad. And using the right bags will help you stay organized while packing and once abroad by keeping all of your essentials together, so you can quickly find small items like your toothbrush in your suitcase.
To make sure that you have everything you need during your trip, here are some important things to remember when packing for an international adventure.
Packing all of your toiletries in a clear bag like our 3D Organizer Cube makes traveling through airports easy because it meets TSA requirements. We also love our Spiff Kit, because it has enough space for our toiletries and it has a built-in mirror, which is perfect for quick touch-ups on long travel days.
- Multi-purpose soap
- Dental floss
- Shampoo + conditioner
- Hair styling products
- Body lotion
Electronics and tech
Keeping all of your electronics in the same bag when you travel helps you avoid losing small gadgets in the bottom of your suitcase — and the Snake Charmer is our go-to bag for tech organization. It’s perfect for personal electronics because it has two pouches, making it easy to separate items and prevent things like charger cords and headphones from getting tangled.
- Phone Laptop or tablet
- Portable charger and adapter
You're ready for vacation once you know what to wear in Italy!
From packing stylish and functional shoes, dressing for the season, and remembering all of your essentials, packing for an international trip isn't easy. But with our travel tips in mind and a little preparation—and using some Italian style inspiration along the way—you'll be ready to explore this beautiful country like a local.
And if you're still looking for a bag for the trip, you can find our top picks in our Travel Collection.