What to Wear in Rome: Italy Packing List for Summer

What to Wear in Rome: Italy Packing List for Summer

Wondering what to wear in Rome? We’ve got the do’s and don’ts of what you need to add to your Italy packing list when visiting this fabulous city. Keep reading to learn more!

 


What to Wear in Rome: Italy Packing List 


 

When in Rome, do as the Romans! When visiting a new city, the best way to dress appropriately is by taking a look at what the locals are wearing. Rome native Lucia is here to offer Travel Fashion Girls advice on what to wear in Rome when you visit her beautiful city during the summer.

To enjoy your stay in the Eternal City, you need to pack the right clothes so you can comfortably take in all the beautiful Italian sights.

 

Things to Consider

There are three main things to keep in mind when planning what to wear in Rome:

 

1. The weather in the summer is scorching hot. You might find yourself so overwhelmed by the heat that all concept of style goes out the door in desperation to stay cool. Choose pretty but practical clothing in breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and rayon.

Read these tips on how to choose the best fabrics for travel.

 

2. Visiting religious sites like the Vatican require modest dress. However, in the heat the last thing you want to do is cover up. The easy solution: an airy dress that covers your knees. Store a light layer in your purse, such as a thin cardigan or denim jacket, so you can throw it on when you enter the site.

Read this to find out exactly what to wear to the Vatican!

 

3. The cobblestone streets are brutal. Those cute strappy sandals or fabulous heels you planned to wear in your Instagram pics in front of the Colosseum? Forget them.

 

Classic SneakerDress SandalWedge Sandal

 

I guarantee the last thing you’ll care about after a day of walking around Rome is whether or not your shoes are fashionable. When your feet hurt nothing else matters so plan strategically right from the start.

Here are some ideas of practical yet fashionable shoes to wear when tackling cobblestones in Europe!

 

Take the above items into consider when planning your Italy packing list for Rome. Below you’ll find a detailed list of what to pack!

 

What to Pack for Rome, Italy

 

ONE LONG DRESS

 

Sleeveless Printed Dress / Dotted Line Maxi DressCrochet Yoke Printed Dress / Plus-Size Blue Paisley Maxi Dress

 

Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend when it comes to traveling. Dresses are!

  • They’re feminine so you’ll instantly feel girly and dressed up.
  • You don’t have to worry about mixing and matching – they’re an all-in-one outfit.
  • The right ones can keep you fresh and cool in the oppressive summer heat of Rome (or any other destination)!

 

The key to choosing the right dresses is all in the fabric. For summer time, avoid fabrics like polyester and opt for breathable styles in various lengths in rayon, cotton, viscose, and linen.

As you plan what to wear in Rome, make sure you pack at least one dress that falls beneath your knees so you can wear it to the Vatican and dress respectfully but feel fresh. Whether it’s a maxi (long length) dress or one that falls just below your knees, choose a classic cut that doesn’t scream beach.

Want more inspiration? Take a look at these summer maxi dresses!

 

TWO OR MORE SHORTER DRESSES OR ROMPERS

 

Verna Floral DressPrinted Knit Dress / Plus Size Stained Glass DressEveryday Shirtdress

 

Traveling for one week? Pack seven dresses! Talk about a minimalist, feminine, and SIMPLE capsule wardrobe! After experiencing the blistering June heat in Rome, I’d now choose to only pack airy dresses on a summer trip.

Choose whatever length is most comfortable to you but don’t forget the secret is all in the fabrics. Sleeveless styles will offer you most comfort in the heat.

Strapless bras don’t work for you? Have you ever had a bra fitting? It’s life changing NO MATTER what your size. Knowing your right bra size can open up so many new clothing options. Learn more!

 

Jersey RomperSurplice Skort RomperWoodstamp Romper / Culotte Jumpsuit

 

A wonderful alternative to dresses is a romper. These are great because you have the convenience of wearing shorts without feeling like you’re dressed inappropriately in a stylish city like Rome.

The main thing to remember as you plan what to wear in Rome is to avoid items that are overly casual. Look for structured fabrics. In this case, a polyester (or other synthetic) blend would usually be dressier than an all cotton style. We recommend a classy, short black romper that looks dressy yet comfortable and casual at the same time.

Don’t want to show your legs? Rompers come in all pant lengths! You can wear a long one instead of a maxi dress if you feel more comfortable. Stay way from polyester when your legs are covered and look for rayon or viscose styles instead.

If you like the idea of dresses but hate the idea of the dreaded chub rub, find solace in one of these thigh chafing products!

 

ONE SKIRT

 

Plus-Size Printed Pintuck SkirtTie-Front Full Skirt / Slub Ponte SkirtPlus-Size Drawcord Skirt

 

If you’re not much of  a dress person and prefer separates that can mix and match, then a skirt is perfect for you. Like the dresses, choose summer-appropriate fabrics like rayon, cotton, and linen.

If you only pack one skirt, choose one that can be worn with all the tops you do bring for maximum versatility. The easiest way to pair separates is to choose solid color tops in a neutral color and choose a printed or solid color skirt to match. Unless you’re a pattern pro, avoid too many prints and colors in both tops and bottoms.

Learn more tips on mixing patterns.

 

ONE PANTS (OPTIONAL)

 

Slim Crop PantsWide Cuffed Capri JeanNarita Cropped PantsStripe Crop Wide Leg Trousers

 

If you’re not a fan of long skirts, dresses, or rompers bring trousers that you know you’ll be comfortable wearing in the heat. Avoid jeans and opt for lightweight capris or wide leg trousers that will keep you fresh.

Always check the weather before your trip and determine the expected highs and lows in the forecast. This will give you an accurate idea of what to wear in Rome and if you need to bring trousers or not. If the temperature in the day or night seems like it will be cool during your trip, bring one pair of pants.

Even if you don’t plan to wear pants during your trip, you may want to wear a pair to travel to and from Rome from your destination. In this case, wear a pair in-flight that you could also wear in the city if needed.

These are the best travel pants for women!

 

FOUR TO FIVE TOPS

 

Faux Wrap High/Low TankV-Neck Peplum TeeCrochet Neck Cap Sleeve TeeSleeveless Gauze Tunic

 

It can be difficult to find summer tops that look city versus beach ready. However, the key here is to choose neutral colors in classic shapes and styles that can be paired with detailed, structured, or colorful bottoms.

Bring along a couple of basics you can mix and match with anything such as timeless white v-neck tee or a sleeveless well-fit blouse. Avoid logo tops or t-shirts for a minimalist yet chic look.

Simple looks effortlessly chic when you have clothing that fits you well and is tailored for your body.

If you’re traveling for one week, then plan for seven outfits. In this case if you plan to bring dresses, all you need to do is subtract seven with the number of dresses you plan to pack and then you know how many tops you need.

For example, if you plan to bring four dresses then you only need three tops and one or two bottoms to make seven days worth of outfits.

Likewise, if you plan to bring two dresses then you’ll need five tops plus two or three bottoms so you can have a unique outfit every day of the week without the need to do laundry.

Read our four custom capsule wardrobe guides for a more thorough breakdown!

 

For tops, bring at least one light long sleeve that you can layer over the other tops if needed for a cooler day or to visit the Vatican. The rest of your tops should be fresh and breathable to keep you cool.

Avoid any blouses than need under layers – you want to keep your clothing as far away from your skin as possible especially on humid days.

Choose colors that can mix and match with all your skirts or pants so you can wear them interchangeably to make various outfits.

 

ACCESSORIES

 

Classic Trucker Jacket / Aviator SunglassesRick Steves Pocket Rome / Backpack

 

Did you know you can make three weeks worth of outfits with just eight-ten pieces of clothing? Learn how here!

 

Outfit Ideas



Please read this 10 Step Italy Packing Guide for more tips on what to wear in Rome.

What’s on your Italy packing list? Share in the comments below!


 

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.

 


More Europe Packing Lists:

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


 

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I hope this packing list helps you plan what to wear in Rome. Don’t forget to share the love on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


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62 Comments

  1. several boys on a college football team will be traveling throughout Italy in May, the are 6’7″ and 300 lbs. How can they dress and not look too much like tourists.

    Reply
  2. Hi,i am travelling to Rome next week. What clothes do you thing are appropriate for this time of the year? Thanks a lot! xx

    Reply
  3. Hi. I am travelling to Rome by the end of this month. Can you please advise what kind of clothes would be appropriate to combat the cold? I am confused how cold it is in there. Will a collar coat be enough or do I need to wear winter jackets? I really don’t wanna overdo my attire. Thanks.

    Reply
  4. Alex,

    I am going to Rome this September…I want to bring tennis shoes that do not make me look like a tourist…obviously ;). How do you feel about Vans slip on shoes? Also, are Convrese okay or should I just purchase some Superga’s? I really appreciate you advice!

    Grazie,
    Ciao!

    Reply
    • Hi Gina! Supergas are very similar to Vans and Converse so I think they should be fine. The clothing you wear with them is probably a bit more important than the shoes themselves. For example, wearing a well-fit tailored outfit with Vans is better than pairing them with cargo shorts and a t-shirt ;-)

      Here are more tips for Italy: http://travelfashiongirl.com/10-step-packing-guides/10-step-packing-guide-italy/

      I hope you have a great time!

      Reply
  5. Hello!
    I’m going to Rome this summer for the wedding and tacking on a few days in the city for sightseeing. I’m wondering if you can clarify what to wear at St. Peter’s Basilica/the Vatican? It’s number one on my list of things to see and I would hate to get turned away! I understand the covered shoulders, but is a skirt showing some leg appropriate? Below knee length? Just go with light pants that day? I know it’s going to be hot! Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • I am currently in Rome and just got back from the Vatican and Basilica a few minutes ago. Granted the weather is very hot, but both women and men were showing their knees in shorts and skirts. Women were also showing their shoulders only some women had scarves covering their shoulders but a number of women were not covered . I never saw a single person turned away.

      Reply
      • Thanks for sharing this :) Generally speaking, when entering religious sites modesty should be considered, however depending on varying factors this may or may not be enforced or practiced!

        Reply
  6. I know that religious places/ museums have strict clothing rules. What would those be specifically and what are some easy things to bring with to cover up.
    I will be in Italy from June 27-July 11 going from Venice to Florence to Rome to Praiano (Amalfi coast). I know it will be hot so I’m looking for easy cover-up solutions so I don’t have to bee dying from the heat all day when not in areas restricting clothing. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Alyssa, the easy option when visiting museums and religious sites is to just add a layer when you walk inside such as a scarf or cardigan for your shoulders. A comfortable and cool maxi skirt is great for your legs. Have a fun trip!

      Reply
  7. Hi, I’m 19 and traveling to Rome next week for three nights. I dress quite formally in the day, dresses, tights, leather trousers, flat and heeled boots. Usually I’d wear a dress and heels at night for an evening meal and drinks but was wondering what was appropriate for most restaurants at night at this time of year?
    Hope you can help, thanks :)

    Reply
    • Hi Olivia, dressier is always better than too casual. I’d usually suggest to skip heels for day time and choose shoes you’d feel comfortable walking on for up to eight hours at a time. You sound like you’ll look great just check the weather forecast asap to ensure your clothes and shoes will work: http://www.bbc.com/weather Also, read this guide on how to walk in heels in Rome: http://travelfashiongirl.com/walking-in-heels-italy/ Have a great trip!

      Reply
      • This is brilliant information, thank you for your help!! :-)

        Reply
        • Thank you Olivia!

          Reply
  8. I am traveling to Italy (Rome, Venice, Florence) in June. I have designer bags and was wondering if I should take one on this trip or am I better opting for a no name cross body bag? I should also mention I am on a tour group and are travelling private charter.

    Looking forward to Italy!

    Grazie

    Reply
  9. I am going to Rome December 26th and I am really confused on what to bring this time of year over there. any suggestions? Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Hello, I am hoping you can help me! I am going to Rome in a few days (very excited) and have seen a really nice dress but it shows a little (breast), do you think this is okay to wear in the evening to bars? Or are the bars more casual?
    Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Hi Lucy! It all depends on what type of bars you go to. There are dressy and casual bars everywhere. However, general dress in Rome is not as casual as the US. It’s classy chic.

      Reply
  11. Hi. I’m going to Rome in November for three weeks, and probably will visit Amalfi Coast as well. I was thinking to get a pair of Hunter Boots (Rainy Boots), since it’ll be rain and wet most of the time. Is it something that people normally wear there? Thanks :)

    Reply
      • Hi! Thanks for your blog! I am traveling to Rome and the Amalfi coast next week, Oct 21-29. I am not sure if I should bring autumn wear (I live in New England) or more summer type attire. Can you help? I am 50 years old but like to think I am stylish – I am from NYC. We are staying at very nice hotels. I was thinking of jeans, leggings, knee high boots and ankle boots for daytime. Are autumn sweaters a good choice or should I stick with long sleeve blouses? I am going to bring a nice leather jacket. Thanks for your help

        Reply
        • Hi Jen Sorry to have missed your comment! Did you have a chance to check the weather before your trip? The best way to know if you should dress for summer or fall is to go on weather.com and take a look at the extended forecast. Hope you had a great trip!

          Reply
  12. ive bought a beautiful backless, long red dress for a night out for my 21st, but I’m worried about the whole skin-showing malarkey there. I know they’re strict in religious places such as the Vatican and places of worship but I’m not sure about other places?

    Bit worried :(
    X

    Reply
    • Hi Rachel, don’t worry! Your dress will be fine. Bring along a cardigan or scarf you can wrap around your back an shoulders when entering places of worship. Don’t forget comfy shoes! Have fun :-)

      Reply
  13. Great article! How would you alter these suggestions for a trip lasting between 3-6 months?

    Reply
  14. I’m going to Rome in a few days and I’m so excited! Thank you for this list.
    Ciao ciao! :)

    Reply
    • That’s great, have a blast!

      Reply
  15. I would also pack a clothes for the rainy wether also :),even in the summer you can have the misfortune to have a lot of rain….

    Reply
    • Thanks for the tip. :)

      Reply
      • Wow Alex!
        Thank you so much! I am about to go to Rome this mid-March 2014.
        I know the weather varies a bit at this time of year, but since you’ve been taking care of the rain A LOT lately, I’m hoping you’ll have much earned sun by then!
        Could you recommend appropriate clothing? My guess is long pants (hopefully ankle length), flats and cardigans/light jackets….do you agree?
        Thanks so, so much!
        MBK

        Reply
        • I would check the weather closer to the time as the weather varies in different parts of Italy. I would still plan to pack warmly so take layers and ankle boots or a warm show. Have fun!

          Reply
  16. I’m a 13 year old girl, going to Italy for about a month (northern italy) and staying with family? This is during summer break. Please make a packing list for a long vacation there, in the summer? Thank you :)

    Reply
  17. This was really good! So if I pack a pair of, pretty slim and short, jeans shorts it’s OK? Will I get “bad” eyes on me, or is it accepted there? I was in Budapest, Turkey, last year and the people there DID NOT like the shorts…

    Reply
    • I’ll go ahead and post your question on Facebook. Thanks!

      Reply
    • I wore shorts when I visited Turkey too no one gave me looks. When you’re visiting foreign countries it’s usually not a good idea to wear booty shots :)

      Reply
      • thanks for the tip!

        Reply
  18. Hi! I’m cruising Italy in November on my honeymoon. Need to know how to dress for day trips. I hear November can be one of the rainiest months for Italy. I was told the people there really dress up and if you wear tennis shoes it will be really obvious you are a tourist. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated especially the shoes. ;)

    Reply
    • Hi Linda, I’ll go ahead and post your question on Facebook to get some reader feedback for you :-)

      Reply
    • Thank you for your approval and tips :-)

      Reply
  19. Is travel in late September still “summer” travel in Rome?

    Reply
  20. Thank you so much- I just spent two weeks Roma- packed perfectly- weather was a bit cold- so only got to wear sundress once. Had only a carry on and still had room for 2 new pairs of shoes and some souvenirs on the flight home…
    Black is essential in Rome…
    Most worn outfit- jean jacket. T shirt. Jeans. El naturalista boots. big shades. light scarf- for colour…I took converse but they were not comfy on the cobble roads.(really felt like I was off roading – so make sure carry on has good wheels).

    Reply
    • It’s great to hear that you packed perfectly! Thank you for the feedback and the comment :-)

      Reply
  21. This is a FUN site!!! I am planning a “Staycation” for my Goddess group and our country of choice was Italy……………..LOVIN’ IT!!!!!

    Reply
    • Thank you Karen! That sounds like fun :-)

      Reply
  22. I’ve been looking for a cardigan/blazer just like the gray one in the picture! Can you tell me where I can find that one?

    Reply
    • Hi Heidi! The one pictured is the BRUNELLO CUCINELLI relaxed fit cardigan and although now sold out, it was originally on: farfetch.com/shopping/women/brunello-cucinelli-relaxed-fit-cardigan-item-10238227.aspx

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
    • Check out Nordstroms…bobeau sweater

      Reply
      • Thanks!

        Reply
  23. This was very helpful! I’ll be soliciting the help of Lucia’s article in conjunction with the classic packing list for my upcoming trip to Italy for a few months. This saved me!

    Reply
    • Happy to hear it! Local tips are the best tips :-)

      Reply
  24. Do you still recommend packing jeans if traveling in summer months? Do you have any suggestions for summer travel in Italy.

    Reply
    • Europe packing lists coming in May :-)

      Reply

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