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This Local’s Approved Packing List, What to Wear in Italy, is brought to you by TFG’s official fashion blogger and native Italian, Jacopo Grazzi. He is currently studying fashion in the UK and giving TFG his European insight. Check out his blog and you can follow him on Twitter. Thank you, J!

 


What to Wear in Italy: Dress Like a Local

Written by: Jacopo Grazzi


 

 

Italy’s clothing styles vary from the north to the south; it can be difficult to decide which approach to take when you’re planning what to wear.

 

Milan and the north of this beautiful country have a very fashionable and sometimes over-the-top style. The culture is similar to big European capitals, where trends evolve and people customize their style according to personal tastes.

Rome and the south have more local trends and traditions. They don’t care as much when it comes to clothing, but make sure you don’t show too much skin–locals aren’t big on overly-revealing clothing.

Originally, I come from a city close to Venice in the north-east, but I’ve traveled all over my country, so I can help give you tips on what to wear throughout Italy.

 

 

 

Weather in Italy


The north is normally cold in winter and warm and humid in summer. Cities located on a higher altitude are more windy and cold, but you can enjoy a summer heat, thanks to the sun.

The south is characterized for being warmer, year-round; in some areas, it doesn’t even snow! Rome and the south are very hot in the summer (+35/40°C), including May and September, but it’s enjoyable thanks to the sea breeze. Winters are warmer and not as cold, with better weather than in the north.


what-to-wear-in-italy-dress-like-a-local
Sunglasses / Infinity Brick Scarf / Gladiator Sandal / Ballet Flat / Cross-body Convertible Tote / Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook

 

 

 

Travel Essentials


 

Sunglasses are a must every season; the sun seemingly never stops shining on the Italian peninsula. During spring and summer months, pack proper sun (and after-sun) protection if your skin is not used to the sun’s rays. You can burn easily if you are outside during the hottest hours of the day.

Touristy cities like Venice or Rome are made for walking, so make sure to choose comfortable shoes. Consider waterproof shoes for the colder months and simple, comfortable canvas shoes for the warmer months.

A pair of fancy heels is recommended, as locals like to dine out with style and elegance. Also, in some venues, hosts at the entrance might not let you in if you’re wearing flat shoes!

TFG recommends choosing wedges over stilettos to walk safely and smoothly over cobblestone streets.

 

 

 

 

Shopping in Italy


 

If you find you have left behind an essential, or need to add to your travel wardrobe, don’t panic. Italy is the cradle of fashion and all of the biggest brands are located in every city. Stores like H&M and Zara are highly fashionable, with a wide range of clothes. Italian department stores such as Coin and La Rinascente can be handy when looking for quality items. Also, the Italian brand United Colours of Benetton is recommended for basic items, and there’s a branch located in every city.

 

 

 

What to Wear in Italy in Spring


what-to-wear-in-italy-dress-like-a-local

Sunglasses / Shoe Pepe8 C / Scarf / V Neck TeesSummer Spells Top / Blouson Sati8 / Denim Shorts / Faye Tote / Sweater / Suit Jacket / Skirt LarguitaShirt PlanaSkinny JeansChinese Laundry Shoes

 

 

Weather:

Spring in Italy is unpredictable. The temperatures can vary from chilly to warm and sometimes even hot, from a minimum of 15°C to a maximum of 28°C. When it rains, and during early morning hours, the temperature can go down to 10°C. Checking the weather forecast is highly recommended.

 

Italy Packing List:

Italian spring is beautiful–you can spot flowers and green everywhere. I consider spring the best season to plan a trip to Italy, as the temperatures are more moderate compared to summer.

Look for bright and light colors during this finicky season; when it’s sunny, it’s very warm. Jeans are a must, along with skirts. The latest trend is long maxi skirts in a light fabric. Match the bottom with a classic tee or pretty blouse, and don’t forget a set of sweaters or light jackets for layering on cold days and evenings and a waterproof outwear item, such as a light trench coat, for unexpected rainstorms. Light brogues or waterproof canvas shoes are essential.

Accessories include a silk neck scarf for cold mornings, jewelry (remember to not take expensive pieces), and sunglasses. A sun hat is recommended but not essential.

 

 

 

What to Wear in Italy in Summer


what-to-wear-in-italy-dress-like-a-local

 Dress Romance / Top Havai / Halter Neck Top / Nightlife Aquatic TopAstro Circle Shades / Gap Straw SatchelDenim Shorts / Twill Shorts / T Strap Sandal /Ted Baker Swimsuit / Old Navy Tee / Gap Sandals / Forever21 Skirt

 

 

Weather:

Summer in Italy is insanely hot; temperatures can reach 35°C or higher. In some cities in the north, such as Milan and Venice, it can be extremely stuffy due to the humidity. The south is hot but it’s better ventilated, so it’s more enjoyable. Be careful to protect yourself during the hottest hours of the day by wearing suncream and a sun hat.

 

Italy Packing List:

According to my experience, choose light and bright colored clothing to avoid scorching in the blaring heat. Don’t forget your sunglasses, sun hat, and your sun protector cream.

If you go to the seaside, pack a colorful bikini. An elegant old-fashioned monokini is acceptable if you don’t want to show too much skin.

For city sightseeing, dress comfortably with loose and light clothes. Shorts and skirts are essentials; use a tank top or a dressy blouse and a hat to complete the look.

Make sure you are not wearing revealing clothing when you visit religious sites. You can be asked to leave or they might not let you in–bring a shawl that you can wrap around your shoulders for coverage when needed.

Pack a pair of beautiful summer sandals and canvas shoes for the day and a pair of open-toe heels for a fancy night out. Note that locals don’t appreciate people wearing flip-flops if not at the seaside.

In summer, most events are outside as many venues have gardens and al fresco spaces with evening cocktail parties and happy hours. These are the best times to wear your favorite cocktail dress and enjoy the summer breeze. It’s recommended to pack a light jacket and cardigan for cooler days and evenings.

 

 

 

What to Wear in Italy in Autumn


what-to-wear-in-italy-dress-like-a-local

Pleated Dress with Belt / Sunglasses / Bag in Matte Teal / V-Neck Tees / Watercolor Graphic V Neck Tees / The Missing Lynx Top /Friendship Top in Black /Scarf / Chinese Laundry Lannie / Skinny Jeans / Skinny Jeans / Stich Jumper / Cardigan / Suede biker jacket / Lulu Shoes

 

 

Weather:

Autumn does not differ much from spring. Temperatures fluctuate from 15°C to 24°C and it rains quite a lot. In the plains in the north of Italy, you can experience foggy days, which are quite fascinating in cities like Venice or Milan.

 

Italy Packing List:

When planning what to wear in Italy in September and the autumn you should pack the same items mentioned in the spring section. These two seasons are similar and the only variations may be an umbrella and trench coat. The key colors of the season are brown, purple, gray, and black, but you can always choose lighter colors to provide relief from warmer weather.

When in doubt, plan a monochrome packing list for Italy consisting of mostly black, chic leather boots, a stunning handbag, and silk printed scarf.

 

 

 

What to Wear in Italy in Winter


what-to-wear-in-italy-dress-like-a-local

Dress Flc Dyana / Traveling  Tote / Vanilla Milk Top / Mid Wash Pearl Collar Shirt / Khaki Silver Stud Shirt / Boat Neck Tee Shirt / Crocheted Knit Scarf / Chinese Laundry Lannie / Boot Cut Jeans / Rockstar Black Skinny Jeans / Pencil Skirt With Belt / Lulu Shoes  / Helly Hansen Women’s HH Hoodie / Stitch Jumper / Khaki PU Sleeve Parka / Banana Republic Johnny Sunglasses

 

 

Weather:

As mentioned before, winters can be quite cold. In the north, it snows a lot and sometimes it’s difficult to move around the city without slipping. The south is warmer but it snows at least once a year. The temperatures range from +10°C down to -8°C. And where the climate is humid, it’s colder–you can feel it in your bones.

 

Italy Packing List:

To make sure you don’t freeze when planning what to wear in Italy, pack a pair of warm gloves, a thick scarf, and a hat. If you are planning to go to the north, I suggest a padded winter coat and layer of merino wool thermals, too.

In the south, you can take a winter coat or a quilted jacket. The rule in winter is to dress in layers as temperatures might change during the day, so pack some long sleeves tops, warm sweaters, and cardigans.

Waterproof leather boots or warm brogues are essential. A waterproof jacket can be useful, but I would suggest taking an umbrella, as it is more handy and fashionable.

Leather boots like these are perfect for travel in Europe during this time of year.

 

 

 

SUMMER CLOTHING FOR MEN


Men’s summer clothing was a hot topic on TFG’s Facebook page, so we’re sharing a quick visual to help you get your guys ready for a trip to Italy in the summer.

what-to-wear-in-italy-dress-like-a-local

 

 Have a great time in Italy!

 

Please Note: Most of Europe’s Budget Airlines have this Carryon Bag Allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airline’s individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.


Suggested Travel Resource:


MORE EUROPE PACKING LISTS

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Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.

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We hope this packing list helps you plan what to wear in Italy so you can dress like a local. Don’t forget to share the love on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

 



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33 Responses to What to Wear in Italy: Dress Like a Local

  1. Ana says:

    Thanks so much for this informative article, Alex. I’m about to have a scholarship in Modena and reaaly dont know what to bring with? Is it located in South? Is its winter too cold? I’m very appreciate if you can give me some advices. Thank you xoxo.

  2. rehlene says:

    very informative blog!love your website..just in time!have plans to go to rome italy with my friends by first week of november. should i follow autumn packing coz im not very sure what type of clothes to wear..we also have plans in visiting venice and milan..also, need your advice on what shoes to wear!do i need to bring extra?well be there for only 8 days..thanks so much for this article!

  3. Great informative article on what to wear. I would absolutely caution not to wear flip flops unless you’re at the beach since you’ll immediately stand out as a tourist. As a far as revealing clothing, just make sure you always have a light jacket and I would avoid short shorts. Italians are bit more modest in their dress but they always layer and accessories. As long at you throw on a light blazer and a scarf you’ll look great. For what not to wear, check out this article https://florentinelife.squarespace.com/trends/

  4. Diana says:

    My husband and I are planning on spending a few weeks in Italy late Sept/early October, these lists are wonderful! Also, thanks for posting a list for men, that’s very helpful. If we are doing a lot of sightseeing, would flat-soled leather boots be appropriate? I don’t want to wear tennis shoes everyday. Amazing blog, having fun getting ideas for my shopping list!

    • alex says:

      You got it right! That seems to be the best way to go in Europe especially as the weather starts turning. Have fun!

      • Debbie says:

        I had the same question about going to several cities from Venice to Rome leaving the first of May. The last time I was there in May I got cold at night and was wondering if I could wear my flat black “riding” boots. They are so comfy to walk in but I don’t want to look out of place. I am also taking ballet flats for warmer days. Should I leave the boots or take them?

  5. Julie K says:

    So happy I found your website! My dream vacation has been Italy for almost 30 years and I’m finally getting the chance to go next end of March/beginning of April! I’ll be hitting Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples over a 17 day period and I don’t know if I should pack for Spring with some warmth for Winter? And what kind of overcoat or coverup would you recommend? Will it rain a lot then?

    I have so many questions and I’m so excited!!

    Thanks again!
    Julie

  6. Stephanie says:

    Such a blessing that I found your blog! Going to Italy (Florence, Venice and Rome) for my 1 year wedding anniversary this upcoming December. I always overpack, and am really worried about fitting everything I need for 8 days in a carry-on luggage during the winter in Italy. Can I do it? Also, hearing about all the pickpocketing, what do you recommend for holding my money/cards, and my cell phone? Just trying to make sure I’m prepared!
    Thank you so much!

  7. Mimi says:

    Love your website, follow you on instagram and facebook! :) In two weeks I’m leaving for a 20 day trip that starts in Venice,Florence,Rome, Sicily (Palermo) and ends with four days in Paris. I tend to over pack always! (even for weekend trips!) Not sure if I should include more summer than Fall clothes? Thank you :)

    • alex says:

      Thank you Mimi for your compliments and following TFG :-) I’d say pack for Fall with a variety of clothing that you can layer. Always check the weather reports to your destinations first so you can plan as accurately as possible. I’ll also post your question on Facebook to get more feedback for you. Thanks for reading!

  8. Rachelle says:

    Super helpful! I am leaving for Italy this week for a ten day trip (Rome, Venice, Florence, Sienna, Amalfi Coast) and I think I’ll lean more toward the summer wardrobe but will add a few fall pieces just incase! I wasn’t planning to pack a pair of heels (and I am a huge heel girl)…so now I am rethinking my no heel decision. Perhaps wedges can suffice?

  9. ricki says:

    Thank you for “What to Wear in Italy” it helped so much ;) My suit case is packed and ready for Rome next week!
    I love this Travel Blog!!!!!!

  10. Christina says:

    Love that you put this together. Doing a 17 day tour of Italy starting mid-September – should I follow more of the summer or autumn list?

  11. Christina says:

    Thank you so much fo putting these lists together – super helpful in determining what’s acceptable by geography. Traveling to Italy mid-September for just over two weeks – should I be leaning more towards summer or autumn if our itinerary includes Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and Como?

  12. Christina says:

    Thank you so much for putting these together. I always struggle with what to pack based on culture and geography. Headed to Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, Como and Milan) on the 10th of September – any packing suggestions? Should I be leaning more towards summer or autumn at that point?

  13. Michelle says:

    Incredibly stylish! Will there also be a Scotland series?

  14. Penny Sadler says:

    Great job! Thank you for confirming too, in the south, don’t show too much skin. I often see tourists in short shorts, tank tops, too much skin. I don’t even pack shorts for the south. Can’t wait to return to Italy this fall!

  15. Clare says:

    This could not have come at a better time for me! I’m packing for Italy as I write this! Might throw in an extra pair of heels…

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