Walks of Italy knows that smart travel means making the most of your time. We created online guides to help travelers plan their itineraries, find the best places to visit, what to do and how to get there. We’d love to show your way on one of our expert-guided tours.
It can be difficult to know what to bring to Italy if you are planning on traveling. These are our tips after years of living and traveling in Italy. These are also important to remember! ).
A Small flashlight: Not strictly necessary, but extremely handy, whether for fiddling with the impossible-to-figure-out lock of your bed and breakfast or looking at a map at night, or for peering into a crevice in a catacomb. These flashlights are small and portable, so space is not an issue.
Women should wrap up or wear a cardigan even in the summer. This is because some churches, such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, strictly adhere to the no-shoulder, no-short-skirts dress code even during the hottest months. Here’s the dress code for a Vatican visit.
A few sheets of tissue that doubles as toilet paper. You don’t need to bring it from home — Italy has toilet paper! It’s smart for women to keep their purses in the hotel before they leave in the morning. Why? While 95% of bathrooms in cafes and restaurants are well-stocked, others are… less so. It’s enough to say, but keep this in mind. (Also, consider carrying hand sanitizer.
E.U. student ID You do not need to be an E.U. citizen to get an ID card. We’ve been to many places in Italy and we were most impressed by the (expensive!) Vatican museums. Vatican museums are an exception to this rule. So always ask. If you’re a European citizen, don’t forget to ask. In the hotel: Nearly all museums and sites offer discounts for students, senior citizens, and children.
Digital versions: What, you may ask? You can have everything. You don’t need to bring five books if you are traveling for a few weeks. Instead, consider purchasing a digital reading device like a Nook, Kindle, or other similar devices. Also, you can load your books ahead of time. An iPod is a great entertainment system. You can download music and, if you feel ambitious, podcasts and lectures about the places you will be visiting.
The right shoes are important: You will be walking a lot in Italy. Even if this is something that you are not used to, it’s important to have the right shoes! You can find comfortable shoes in many styles, including cute flats, sneakers, and leather boots. It doesn’t matter what type of pair you have, make sure they are properly broken in. Then, walk in them for at least three to four hours straight.
Empty backpack: A backpack is not necessary to travel around Venice, for example. A backpack is useful if your plans include hiking in the beautiful Italian countryside or shopping for groceries.
The backpack can be a great tool for completing your trip. If you find it difficult to zip your checked bag shut due to all the souvenirs and gifts, then just add extra liquids into your backpack and it will become your new carry-on.
Plug adapter: This is not necessary unless you are bringing a hairdryer (see the below!). The whole heavy voltage converter is unnecessary. An adapter is needed to use the plugs in Italy’s outlets from your country of origin in order to plug in a phone, a tablet, or charger for your camera batteries.
You might have a cell phone. Here’s more on <a href="http://italso.com/blog/all-around-italy/cell-phones-italy-country-code-mobile-phone-call" title="How to Use Your Cell Phone in Italy (Yes, You Can! You can bring your own cell phone to Italy. Here's how to use it.
You can find emergency numbers and information about meeting points for your tours here: If you are planning to take a tour with us, or not! Please, tour operators around the world, print your meeting place information and map. Also, note down the number to call in case you get lost. You might end up arriving late and stressed, or worse, not making your tour.
Dressy accessories: Italians dress up more at dinner than Americans, Brits, or others back home. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need to wear a cocktail dress or a jacket for dinner. However, well-dressed Italians believe the devil is in the details. For a quarter the space, a statement necklace, a silk scarf, or leather shoes and belts can complete an outfit.
Your hair dryer: You’ve heard it many times and it will be repeated again. It’s not worth the effort. You will need an electrical converter if you are coming from the States. Even though it is safer than the Italian voltage, you can’t use your hairdryer without it being damaged. If you are staying in a hotel, most likely they already have one.
You have a very expensive watch/necklace/pairs of earrings you hate to lose. You don’t want it to be left in your hotel room. It’s also important to know how to pack it. Lost luggage is something that travelers often have to deal with.
No need for traveler’s checks. They are difficult to obtain, hard to change and incur additional fees. Once you get to Italy, the best and cheapest way to get euros is to use your regular ATM card to withdraw money from your bank. You should first clear your trip with your bank so that they don’t lock you account for security reasons if they see an Italy withdrawal. Even though many Italian establishments won’t accept credit cards in Italy, it is a good idea to have at least one card activated for international withdrawals.
Water bottle: Some guides recommend that you bring one from home. Plastic water bottles are also available in all Italian cafes. You can buy one while you’re in Italy and refill it at any of the fountains that you see.
Anything that weighs you down! The rule of thumb is: Don’t take anything that you can’t transport. We were reminded of this recently when we witnessed someone struggling to lift their heavy bag onto an escalator for the second consecutive week. The bag fell to the ground and caused a heap of debris at the bottom that almost led to a rash of people (and some hospital visits).
It’s not just about safety. This will make your trip more enjoyable. This is especially true in Italy where you will find lots of luggage-lugging. Not all metro stations and trains have elevators or escalators, and many old palazzos don’t have elevators. You’ll be happier and less sweaty when you arrive at your destination. ).
Still Under Debate
Money pouch: They are a popular choice for travelers. However, you won’t see any Italians carrying one around in Rome or Florence. You also need to unbutton your shirt every time you want to withdraw your money. We prefer: The money belt is slim and can be worn around the waist. It makes it discreet (and safer!). You can stash your passport and some cash in it. The rest of your money can be left in the safe in your hotel room.
Zip-off pants can be very useful, especially for men. However, if it is so hot, you may just need shorts. But, to enter the church, you will need pants. However, are they worth the $40 for pants you will only wear when traveling? It’s debatable.
Jean shorts and flip-flops, black gym sneakers, white gym sneakers (fanny packs), Uggs. People frequently ask about what clothing they should bring to Italy in order to appear “Italian”. It is important to note that regardless of how you dress, if someone hears your accent, or sees that you have a guidebook, it will be obvious that you are a tourist. That’s fine!
What is the most important thing you can leave at home?
Stress! We don’t mean stress in the literal sense of “hey, you are on vacation”, but also stress about traveling. That includes packing. Italy isn’t a wilderness. You can forget prescription meds or passports! You can find everything you need here. We think that going to the local department store or pharmacy can be one the most authentic experiences you have. Relax, and don’t worry about it. You’re going to Italy, after all!