One of my favorite aspects about traveling is trying out the local cuisine so when I met Maria Pasquale from Eating Italy I was dying for the opportunity to join one of her Roman food tours. When I first went to Italy in 2008 I didn’t have the best experience with local food in any city I visited. I don’t think it was the food so much as the fact that I didn’t know where to go. This is why I’ve now grown to love local food tours!

You can read more about my experience eating Rome in this post about the Trastevere Food Tour and in this other post about their Nona (Italian Grandma) Cooking Class.

As it turns out, I noticed that the majority of the Eating Italy staff were women so I couldn’t resist the urge to steal every ounce of information about local fashion. Keep reading to learn the girls’ insider tips on how to dress in Rome!

 

Bonus Tip: read this and find out what to wear to the Vatican!

 


Maria Pasquale


 

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Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne. She has a formal background in political science and policy and is now living her dream working in gastronomy as the Marketing and Social Media Director for Eating Italy Food Tours.

An unabashed romantic (Rome being her one true love!) she is the creator of popular food, travel and lifestyle blog HeartRome  and is the Rome Local Expert for 10 Best USA Today.

In Rome you’ll find her walking the streets of Trastevere, checking out the latest bar for an aperitivo or dining with friends. Keep reading to find out Maria’s tips on how to dress in Rome!

 

1.

What parts of Italy have you visited?

A. I’m a very lucky girl and have visited most regions of Italy.. All the big cities like Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples and Bologna to the regions of Sicily, Sardegna, Calabria, Puglia, Piemonte, the lakes district of Garda and Como, the Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Pontine, Aeolian, Tremiti and Aegadian islands. I’ve been around!

 

2.

How much time have you spent there?

A. Clearly a lot! I’ve holidayed in various Italian cities and regions around 30 times over the course of 15 years and have now been living in Rome for 3 years.

 

3.

What are 5 things that women should pack when they travel to Italy?

A. Sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, a party dress, bikini, and red lipstick should make everyone’s list when planning how to dress in Rome!

 

4.

What type of clothing should women wear year round?

 

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In the summer:

This is an extremely hot time of year so the key to how to dress in Rome is: Summer dresses (no need for the extreme mini though – but that’s me!), casual and evening summer wear, open shoes like sandals. In the peak of summer, there’s probably no need for a cardigan, but I always pack one (and a scarf too!)

 

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In the autumn:

Add a cardigan, jacket and some closed shoes – ballet flats and perhaps a pair of boots (not your heavy winter ones!)

 

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 In the winter:

From north to south, winter in Italy varies. For instance in northern Italy, snow is common but in Rome it isn’t.  So be sure to check before leaving. You’ll need a coat, scarf, gloves (with scarves and gloves, I always pack 2-3).

 

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In the spring:

Light summer wear but with a couple of heavier items like jeans, blazer and light boots.

 

5.

What are the best types of shoes to wear when walking in Italy?

A. You should travel with at least a pair of trainers or comfortable closed shoes. Especially if your holiday includes the big cities, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Flat sandals for casual wear and a pair of heels for a special night out (when I say heels, I mean wedges -cobblestones weren’t made for the stiletto!).

 

6.

Do people need to cover their shoulders or knees when visiting religious sites?

A. Yes, you must have at least your shoulders covered when entering major religious sites and churches, especially the Vatican. You might be refused entry or be asked to buy a scarf if not dressed appropriately.

 

7.

Any final tips for travelers visiting Italy?

A. Speak to locals and don’t be afraid to venture off the tourist areas. Throw away your map and get lost in its enchanting beauty.

 


Amber Paulen


 

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Amber Paulen was born on a farm in the United States. When she was 21 she left home on a one-way ticket for Europe and has spent most of the last decade on this continent.

She now lives in Rome, Italy, and works as a freelance writer and copyeditor. Her work can be read at BBC Travel, The Millions and Front Porch Literary Journal, among others, and she has copyedited for various UN organizations. See her website Amber Paulen. Keep reading to learn Amber’s tips on how to dress in Rome!

1.

What parts of Italy have you visited?

A. Well, l’ve probably covered about half of what I would like to see in Italy: I’ve driven through the Dolomites, camped out on the Amalfi Coast, spent time in hilltowns and the countryside of Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria, explored the Solento in Puglia, seen some of Sicily on top of the major cities like Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples as well as some minor ones like Verona.

 

2.

How much time have you spent there?

A. My first trip to Italy was by car in 1999, and then in 2003 I started to live here off and on. So it’s been quite a journey!

 

3.

What are 5 things that women should pack when they travel to Italy?

A. Cute yet comfortable shoes, a dress or skirt, light sweater, sunglasses and scarf top the list of items when planning how to dress in Rome.

 

4.

What type of clothing should women wear year round?

 

In the summer:

Summer is usually quite hot so I’d recommend airy clothes, like dresses and skirts and loose shirts paired with sandals or espadrilles when planning how to dress in Rome.

 

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In the autumn:

The same as above but, with a sweater and closed shoes instead. Maybe jeans with a tank top too. The warmth can be expected to hold until about October or so, and then you’ll want to add a heavier scarf and jacket.

 

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In the winter:

In the center of Italy, Rome, you’ll want a pair of boots and a scarf as well as a wool jacket. If you’re going north, you’ll want to layer on more and if you go south, a little less.

 

In the spring:

About the same as autumn. There are warm days and cooler nights, so layering is key as you plan how to dress in Rome: wear cardigans and scarves that you can take on and off.

 

5.

What are the best types of shoes to wear when walking in Italy?

A. Comfortable ones! Though one of the first things I learned about living in Italy is that shoes are important! I try to balance comfort with cuteness by switching shoes for day and night. If you want to wear something higher, go for a short yet wide rubber heel.

 

6.

Do people need to cover their shoulders or knees when visiting religious sites?

A. Mostly in the more visited churches like St. Peters and Santa Maria Maggiore. It’s a good idea to carry a light scarf in the summer to cover shoulders if needed.

 

7.

Any final tips for travelers visiting Italy?

A. Walk on the smaller streets, don’t eat at restaurants with photographs of their food, try talking to Italians and give yourself long afternoons of just watching everyone pass by and to soak in the beauty of Italy.

 


Catherine Simes


 

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A dyed in the wool Yorkshire lass, Catherine was enticed to Italy five years ago and has lived and worked in Rome ever since. Love for both the faults and the merits of her birthplace and new Italian hometown are regular topics on her own blog youcantakethegirloutofbradford.com.

Catherine also writes for Eating Italy’s Food and Travel Blog, Friends in Rome and the JustaPlatform websites. Keep reading to find out Catherine’s tips on how to dress in Rome!

 

1.

What parts of Italy have you visited?

A. The first time I came to Italy I stayed in Tuscany – the typical Tuscan Villa holiday, so good I returned the following year! I’m a sucker for a Tuscan hilltop village and Montalcino is one of my absolute favorites. I visit Calabria quite often to visit my in-laws. It’s not touristy at all but the beaches, sea and food are to be recommended.

I don’t know Northern Italy very well – Milan and Alto Adige for some mountain air are next on my list.

 

2.

What are 5 things that women should pack when they travel to Italy?

A. Shoes you can walk in – don’t bring stilettos that will just ruin on the cobbles. I’d recommend mainly casual clothes as you plan how to dress in Rome but add one something special item plus suncream, mosquito repellent, and sunglasses.

 

3.

What type of clothing should women wear for the weather?

 

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In the summer:

Maxi dresses are always great in the summer – it’s just too hot to have anything close to your skin.

 

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In the autumn:

Autumn can still be very warm in Rome so bring layers. Bring proper shoes too – no one will be wearing flip-flops (even in the summer they’re only for the beach). When figuring out how to dress in Rome you have to find comfort but not sloppiness.

 

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In the winter:

Winter can be quite cold and Italians like to wrap up. Bring your best and longest scarf, but still pack the sunglasses – you can have some glorious crisp, sunny winter days in December and January.

 

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In the spring:

It can rain a fair bit, so check the forecast before you visit. Bring boots, cardigans and a light jacket especially for the evenings.

 

4.

What are the best types of shoes to wear when walking in Italy?

A. Anything that you find comfortable, although I would urge against flip flops in the summer – no one wears them outside of the beach and they have a tendency to lead to black foot (they seem to attract dirt).

For evenings, try wedges instead of killer heels which won’t survive 2 minutes on the cobbled streets.

 

5.

What types of clothing should a traveler NOT wear when visiting Italy?

A. The Italians will feel the cold more than you do, so you might find in March if you’re in shorts and sandals you will get stared at. But as long as you are comfortable in what you’re wearing you’ll be fine!

 

6.

Where are your favorite stores to shop for clothes or shoes?

A. I love Centodieci for shoes (far too close to my house) on Cola di Rienzo which is one of the main shopping streets in Rome and to the Vatican. If you wander off the main drag into the side streets you’ll find lots of independent boutiques.

 

7.

Any final tips for travelers visiting Italy?

A. Leave yourself plenty of time to do something spontaneous. Don’t worry about not seeing all the main sights. It’s the small things in Italy that are wonderful; coffee in a bar, a prosecco on a cobbled side street, people watching,  getting lost, turn a corner and you’ll always find something new.

 

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For more information about food tours in Rome or other European cities, please visit EatingItalyFoodTours.com.

What questions would you like to ask the girls about how to dress in Rome? Comment below!


For more tips on how to dress in Rome, please read:


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