What to Pack for Italy
Looking for an Italy packing list or wondering what to pack for Italy? I’ve compiled a full list of what to wear in Italy!
Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. While visiting it is incredibly hard to put down your camera. If you’re active on social media and want photos taken (or just want them for memories sake) then you’re likely interested in looking good while there. Perhaps even looking the part!
As with any trip, being comfortable is extremely important, as is being prepared. As someone who travels for a living, I’ve done my fair share of packing and know what I do and do not need each time now pretty much without fail.
So below I have laid out what to wear in Italy - a detailed guide on what to wear in Italy!
What to Pack for Italy:
SUNDRESSES — When it comes to what to wear in Italy in summer, sundresses are it! When I visit Italy I usually visit between May and October so I spend the majority of my time in sundresses. They are so easy to throw on daily, they take less thought than a two piece outfit, and they also take up less space in your bag. Click here for favorite sundresses for Italy (that brand just SCREAMS Italy to me)! I also shop for them here, here, and here.
I love to buy a few new bright ones, while also packing a few neutral colored ones. The reason for packing a few neutral colored ones is that you can wear them more than once (preferably paired with different accessories) without it being obvious. Click here for the one I have in a few colors.
TOPS — Unless you plan to wear dresses literally all day everyday, you will need some tops. Wear these with jeans, shorts, or a skirt depending on the weather and where in Italy you are visiting. Some of the ones I am loving right now:
BODYSUITS — Lately I have been preferring bodysuits to tops, so in case you have too I’ve rounded up some options for you! If you don’t like bodysuits, skip this item.
JUMPSUITS — Jumpsuits are another optional item that some love and others just don’t. I find a lot of them to be incredibly comfortable, making them perfect for travel! Some of the ones I have been loving:
JEANS — No matter the time of year I recommend bringing at least a pair or two of jeans.
SHORTS — If you are visiting Italy in the summer, it gets INCREDIBLY hot! You will need shorts.
SKIRTS — Midi skirts are very Italy and also very flattering, comfortable, and in style at the moment! They’re also versatile and can be down with sandals, heels, or sneakers - something that is important when considering what to pack.
LEGGINGS — I bring leggings with me everywhere I go. Sometimes to sleep in, sometimes to travel in, sometimes to exercise in. For that reason I recommend bringing a pair or two along with you. My absolute favorite are Alo’s high-waisted ones - since discovering them I have never bought another type! Click here to see the latest prices.
CARDIGAN — Barefoot Dreams’ circle cardigan is honestly one of the best travel purchases I have ever made. So warm and absolutely necessary. It is great for wearing on your adventures, during transit days, and hotel lounging! If you’re going in the middle of summer, skip this - it is very warm. Click here to see the latest prices.
JACKETS — Regardless of time of year, you will need some jackets! Bring at least one or two. I prefer a jean jacket (click here for the one I love specifically) because it goes with so many things and is very Italian. I also bring along my favorite suede moto jacket which I love so much I have it in numerous colors! Click here for that.
BLACK PASHMINA — A total lifesaver! It folds up small so you are able to easily throw it in any bag and it weighs basically nothing. However, because of the material it is capable of keeping you surprisingly warm in situations where you have mistakenly underestimated the weather. You can wear it as a scarf, wrap it around your body like a shawl, use it as a blanket on cold planes or trains, etc. - it serves so many purposes.
I recommend a black one because black goes with everything and if it gets dirty along the way it will be way less noticeable. Pro tip: if you’re only bringing a small cross body bag with room for your wallet, tie it to the strap! It’s worth the investment to get a good one, too. Don’t skimp on this. I’ve been using the same one for at least 8 years now - bringing it literally everywhere, it lives in my purse even when I’m not traveling - and it’s in great shape still. Click here for J. Crew’s best selling version.
PS. I know that specifically says *black* pashmina but J. Crew just released that same one in camel and I am drooling over it!
SWIMWEAR — If you plan to visit any of the coastal towns (and you absolutely should) - you will need swimwear. Some of the bikinis I am loving lately:
COVERUPS — Same as the above - only necessary if you plan to visit a coastal town and do some swimming.
SLEEPWEAR — Something to sleep in, of course!
INTIMATES — Bras, undies, etc.
SOCKS — Click here for the best no-show ones.
SOME ITALIAN THEMED THINGS — Cause, you know, when in Rome. I love these tees:
Picking out what shoes you will bring to Italy are incredibly important. I actually consider it to be the most important packing detail on all trips, but especially in Italy. In order to do Italy right you will need to walk - a lot. The best way to see most Italian cities and towns is to hit the pavement and get lost. Because of this I have some pretty strong opinions about what to put on your feet!
EVERYDAY SNEAKERS — This is my #1 recommendation on this entire list. Do not go to Italy without a pair of extremely comfortable everyday walking sneakers. I can absolutely promise that you will regret it! My very favorite travel shoes are M. Gemi’s white leather sneakers. I literally never go anywhere without them. You can wear them all day everyday for weeks straight and not once will your feet hurt. They are the only shoes I have ever found that are this way (and trust me - I have tested out a LOT). Click here to see latest prices.
Because they are luxury, handmade shoes they are not the cheapest option out there but they are 100% worth it. Since they are handmade they are incredibly durable and comfortable beyond words right out of the box. If you have ever found yourself in the middle of a trip with sore feet, I cannot recommend these more. They're also great for travel because of their versatility. You can wear them with pants, dresses, skirts - anything! Click here to see latest prices.
I love them so much that I even have a blog post dedicated entirely to them! If you want more info, click here for why they're the most comfortable and stylish walking shoes for travel.
ANKLE BOOTS — Same as above — they must be extremely walkable and also versatile so that they go with tons of different types of outfits. After countless years testing all over the world, my two recommendations are these (I own 5 pairs and could run a marathon in them) and these if you want more of a heel. I’m hoping to buy a second pair of them myself! If you are visiting in the summer, swap the boots for sandals instead.
SANDALS — If you are heading to Italy in the summer you will definitely want sandals because it can get quite hot. If you plan on doing a lot of walking I recommend flats. For evenings you can swap them out for non-flats if you’d like. Click here for the super inexpensive block heel sandals I just bought for this purpose. For some good flat options, see below!
FLIP FLOPS — If you are heading to a beach town, click here for the ones I wear (I have numerous colors).
FLATS — If you visit outside of sandals season, you’ll want to bring along some flats instead. My absolute favorite are also by M. Gemi. Click here to see the latest prices. The nude ones go with literally everything, can be worn with pants, skirts, dresses, etc., and they don’t even require breaking in!
Accessories are where the real fun comes in! There are so many ways to spice up an outfit with accessories - from hats and hair scarves to jewelry and sunglasses.
SUNGLASSES — Of course! Three timeless styles I’ve been wearing non-stop: click here for my favorite Quay aviators (I have numerous pairs), click here for my round Ray-Bans, and click here for my all time favorite black on black Ray-Bans that are often hard to track down because they sell out consistently. Ray-Bans are especially good for Italy since they are made there! Doesn’t get more Italian than that.
There are also a lot of fun more trendy options you can bring along, too. Some of the ones I’m loving:
JEWELRY — An easy way to spice up an outfit! Since I run around constantly while traveling I tend to bring cheaper things with me to avoid ruining any of my good items. Some items I am loving right now:
HAIR ACCESSORIES — Hair accessories are a fun way to easily spice up your look. For Italy I especially love hair scarfs which are conveniently having a moment right now, as are scrunchies. Click here for my favorite hair accessories or check out the options below.
For more hair recommendations, including my favorite products and tools, click here for my post on how to get shiny, healthy hair!
HATS — Hats are tough for travel because they have obvious pros and cons. The con is that you have to travel with it without damaging it. If you bring more than one this can be quite tough. The pro is that they are a great way to spice up an outfit (especially for photos) and avoid having to do your hair which will save you time. I personally think the pros outweigh the cons! If you are agree, my favorite brand for hats is Lack of Color. Here are some options from them and some others I like:
STYLISH CAMERA BAG — You can’t go to Italy with anything that isn’t chic ;) I usually bring GATTA’s Christie camera backpack (named after me) because it’s hands free, has a zipper AND a buttoned flap, and fully protects my camera yet is so cute no one will ever know it’s a camera bag. Click here to see the latest prices.
Want to see more options? Click here for the most stylish camera bags for women!
LEATHER TOTE — I never, ever, ever travel without my Cuyana Leather Zipper Tote. It holds so much yet never feels as heavy as other bags! I even like it more than my Louis Vuitton Neverfull which cost 5X as much. Click here to check it out.
Wanna know my organizational tricks? Click here for how to organize your carry-on.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE — I always pack this but it's especially handy in Italy because there are so many fountains you can fill up in. Hydro Flask is the best because it keeps your drink cold (or warm). So worth the investment. Click here to see the latest prices.
SILK SLEEP MASK — To block out light on the plane and in the hotel. I bring this always and am especially thankful for it when I find myself traveling with someone who wants to stay up later than I do. Silk is anti-aging and great for your skin which is why it must be silk! Click here for the one I use and love.
BEACH TOWEL — If you are heading to the coast, do not forget to bring a beach towel! Click here for my favorite quick drying colorful travel beach towels.
Toiletries and Makeup
HANGING TOILETRY BAG — This thing is my #1 most time-saving travel trick. I keep this filled at all times with every toiletry I need for any trip. That way it’s so easy to just grab and throw in my bag without any thought or worries of forgetting something important. This one in particular is the absolute best I have ever found. So much so that pretty much anytime I travel to visit a friend and they see this toiletry bag they ask who makes it and go buy the same one themselves immediately! Click here to get one yourself. It's gotta be that exact one, I have tried others are they are not sufficient!
Want to know what I fill the toiletry bag? Click here for more info.
LEAK PROOF TOILETRY BOTTLES — These are an absolute must. I cannot even tell you how many travel containers I went through before I discovered these. They are completely leakproof, so easy to fill due to the large opening, and they are even food safe! Use them for shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, salad dressing — anything! Click here for the ones I use.
SUNSCREEN — Face, lips, body, you'll need it all! Especially if you are visiting in the summer. Click here for the face SPF I have been loving lately (it doubles as a primer). I also always carry a mineral powder sunscreen brush with me at all times to put on top and lock in the SPF. Click here for the one I use and recommend.
I have especially been loving Supergoop since discovering their hand cream with SPF. Click here if you want to check that out - I love it so much.
Here are some other products from them and other skincare brand I love:
TANNING — This one is personal preference and not at all necessary, but I personally think I look better with a little tan. I’m also skincare obsessed so I do my best to not spend too much time in the sun. How to balance the two? Pack some tanning help! For travel I especially recommend the TanTowels. For a pre-trip tanning session, the San Tropez foam.
SKINCARE — When I'm on the road I tend to use things outside my normal SkinCeuticals. I'm excited to test out this Drunk Elephant collection on my trip to Hawaii. I love it already because most travel collections don't come with a full lineup of all the necessary skincare products. But this eight piece collection does! It even lasts 30-45 days which you'd never know from the size of the products. Click here for more information.
FACE MASK — I always bring Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask on all travels because the container is perfect for travel, it’s ultra-nourishing, and doesn’t look crazy when on. You can even apply it as a primer under your makeup if you are extremely dry! Click here to see the latest prices.
MAKEUP — Keep it minimal. Click here for the hydrating and brightening primer I bring (it's called "The Hangover", what could be more perfect?!).
For face coverage, I love It Cosmetics' CC cream is great. It's anti-aging and has SPF 50 physical sunscreen. It too is hydrating and brightening! Click here to see latest prices.
For eyes if you want to keep in super natural and basic, Urban Decay has a good travel sized basic palette. Click here for that. If you want to not keep it natural and basic, this definitely-not-travel-sized palette is my favorite.
If you’re going to the coast you definitely need waterproof mascara because of the water! Click here for my favorite one.
For blush, I love this inexpensive drugstore one by Milani. Click here for that.
And of course a highlight is essential! I don't personally love the ones that look unnatural, powdery, and too intense, especially in Hawaii when I am going for a natural glow. Since discovering Lancome's radiant smoothing powder there is nothing I love more in my makeup collection! It is beautiful and worth every single penny. Mine is in the color "Absolute Peche". Click here to see latest prices.
BRIGHT LIPSTICK — Something about Italy makes me want to have a bold lip, I don’t know what it is. I think it’s so chic and goes so well with the landscape and architecture. Plus if you are visiting during summer you will likely develop a tan, and bright pops of lipstick go great with that! Click here for the one I've been loving from Sephora (especially because it’s called “First Class” and it seems like good upgrade karma, haha).
I also love this plumping gloss from Buxom in the shade Kanani. Kanani is my middle name (that is where "ckanani" comes from!) so of course I am going to love it, but even if it wasn't I would. It's a great bright strawberry pink color. Click here to see latest prices.
Despite the name, I don't actually find it to be very plumping. If you do want one that is plumping, Too Faced's works extremely well. Click here for that.
For an extra hydrating treatment, this lip sleeping mask is one of my new OBSESSIONS. I cannot get enough of it. Technically you are supposed to apply it at night before bed but I am using it around the clock! Click here to see latest prices. If you need a good lip exfoliant, this is my go-to. And you MUST get this lip mask if you don’t have it already — it is one of my favorite purchases of all time.
Some of my other favorite lip products for any tropical vacay:
TRAVEL STRAIGHTENER — A travel hair straightener is a good thing to have if you want to be able to do your hair but don’t want to commit to lugging around a full size (and much more pricey) straightener. T3 makes a good compact one that is perfect for travel. It even has auto-world voltage! And of course if you are really skilled a straightener can double as a curling iron so it’s kind of a 2-in-1. Click here to see the latest prices.
CURLING IRON — Click here for the one I travel with.
WET BRUSH — Not to be dramatic but this is one of the best purchases I've ever made (especially for less than $8). There is nothing better for brushing your hair out, especially after you have been in the ocean. Click here to see the latest prices.
For a full list of toiletry packing recommendations, click here for how to organize your travel toiletry bag to ensure you never forget something.
For more packing help, click below for guides on:
CAMERA — To document your adventures! Click here to see the latest prices for my Sony a7II. If you don't need a full frame camera (if you aren't sure what that means, you don't need one!), I recommend the Sony a6500 instead. Click here to see the latest prices.
GORPO — Great option if you are going to the coast since it is waterproof. Also because it is small and therefore easy to transport. Click here to see the latest prices.
SD CARD — Always bring back up! Make sure they are at least class 10 so that your camera can keep up. Click here for the ones I use.
CHARGERS — For cameras, phone, other electronics.
EXTERNAL CHARGER — To help keep your phone alive all day. Click here for the one I use - it charges your phone seven times!
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE — I always bring an external hard drive (or two) on each trip I take and make sure to back up my photos at least every night. You never know what might happen. Click here for my external hard drives.
UNIVERSAL ADAPTERS — Click here for the one I always pack because it works anywhere in the world, including Italy. And since you will be going to the EU, I recommend also picking up a 6-pack of these!
For more info on Positano (the Amalfi Coast), sign up for the free downloadable guide above. Then click here for everything you need to know about visiting Positano or here for a full list of Positano posts.