If you’re planning on taking your dream trip to Italy during the summer, you might be wondering what to pack and what to wear in Rome and beyond. Between the sweltering summer heat and fitting in with the fashionable locals, packing for your summer trip to Italy is all about keeping it light and casual with a touch of elegance. Read on to discover all your packing essentials when travelling to Italy during summer – and start preparing for the ultimate Italian adventure.
La Bella Figura
Italy is famed for its hot, sunny weather that peaks in the summer months from June to August. It often gets over 30°C, so you’ll need to come prepared for the heat. But in Italy, that doesn’t mean throwing on an old t-shirt and flip-flops.
Italians are famed for their fashion sense and refined looks. Their concept of ‘la bella figura’, meaning ‘the beautiful figure’ is a very important part of their way of life. This doesn’t mean you need to walk around in expensive haute couture, but if you want to fit in with the locals, you should aim to dress neatly and smartly, with groomed hair and nails and ironed clothes – and definitely no gym clothes on the streets!
Summer clothes – Italian style
So what should you wear when travelling to Italy during the summer? Go for t-shirts, airy dresses and skirts, light chinos, button up linen shirts or linen pants. Pick items that can be dressed up or down, as you go from museum hopping by day to bar hopping by night. You’ll likely want to have at least one fancier outfit on hand when travelling around Italy.
Tiny shorts and crop tops are not advised, and remember you’ll need to keep your knees and shoulders covered when entering churches – including the famous Vatican in Rome and Santa Croce in Florence. If you’re wearing a sleeveless top, remember to carry a light scarf to wrap around your shoulders when needed.
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You can expect to walk a lot in Italy and you’ll often be roaming along cobblestoned streets. Bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes or sneakers and make sure you break them in before your trip to avoid any nasty blisters. You can also bring a pair of comfortable (but fancier) sandals for more relaxed days and evenings out on the town.
You’ll likely want to hit the gorgeous beaches on your summer trip to Italy, so pack your favourite swimsuit. You might also like to bring a beach cover-up like a light wrap or sarong for dashing back to the hotel or the bar. When you’re exploring the coastline of Italy, you might also like to whip out the floaty dresses, light linens and sandals.
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Scarf or pashmina
A scarf is one of the most handy, versatile things you can pack for Italy during the summer. Dip it in water and wrap it around your neck to help you cool down in the heat. Wrap it around your shoulders to be respectful when entering churches. Use it to cover your mouth if you happen to take a ride on a Vespa on some dusty roads. Turn it into a fashion accessory and tie it around your hair. Or even use it as an extra layer on those chilly plane rides. The options are endless!
A bad sunburn can really put a downer on your trip, so make sure you bring the right sun protection for your summer trip to Italy. You’ll need a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen that you can reapply throughout the day. You might also like to bring some insect repellent when travelling to Italy in summer, especially if you’re prone to bug bites.
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Reusable water bottle
You’ll also need to stay hydrated in the summer heat, so do right by yourself and the environment and bring a reusable water bottle you can refill every day. It’ll also be extra handy in Rome, where they have drinking water fountains all over the city where you can fill up your bottle. Perfect!
From your water bottle and sunscreen, to your shopping and souvenirs, you’ll need a good day bag to carry everything around each day. Whether you prefer a crossbody bag or a backpack, choose something light and secure to keep your belongings safe and out of reach of pickpockets.
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We recommend learning a few common Italian phrases before arriving in Italy. While English is widely spoken in the major cities, learning a few Italian phrases will really enhance your trip, and the locals always appreciate it when you make the effort to learn their language.
Master the basics like Buongiorno (Good morning), per favore (please) and grazie (thank you), and use your Italian phrasebook to help you with more advanced phrases. You can also download Italian phrases to your smartphone if you need to save space in your suitcase.
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Camera and extra memory cards
Whether you use your smartphone camera or an SLR camera, don’t forget to bring extra memory cards. Italy is absolutely jam-packed with iconic sights and beautiful landscapes, and you can’t help but get snap-happy here. You might also like to bring a waterproof case for your devices, to avoid any unfortunate accidents at the pool or beach.
Travel plug adaptor
You’ll need to bring a travel adaptor, so you can use Italy’s plugs. In Italy, there are three plug types, including C, F and L. Plug type C has two round pins, plug type F has two round pins with two earth clips on the side and plug type L has three round pins. It’s also worth noting that Italy operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz – leave the heavy duty hair dryers at home.
The national currency of Italy is the Euro, so make sure you stock up on Euros before you arrive. You can also bring a travel credit card, along with your cash.
Are you planning on travelling to Italy during summer? What’s on your Italian bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!