Amazing cuisine, unmatched history, cool cities and cracking art. Add in some stunning nature and lovely locals and you have Italy – one of the best tourist spots in the whole freakin world.

But what you should pack for a trip to Italy? How to make sure you look the part whilst being mindful of the changing seasons and weather patterns?

Here we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on what to pack for Italy to answer those questions – including a top-22 needs packing list, tips on how to dress appropriately in Italy, an overview of conditions by season and what NOT to pack. We’ve also included a section for women – and one for men – with tips on what to pack based on specific needs of each.

Ok then, let’s get started!

The Ultimate Italy Packing List

Product
Description
Ultimate Packing List – Best Backpack
Ultimate Packing List – Best Backpack

Nomatic Travel Bag

  • Capacity > 30L
  • Price > $299
Ultimate Packing List – Best Suitcase
Ultimate Packing List – Best Suitcase

Nomatic Navigator Carry On

  • Capacity > 37L
  • Price > $400
Ultimate Packing List – Best Camera
Ultimate Packing List – Best Camera

GoPro Hero 9

  • Resolution > 5k
  • Price > $400
Ultimate Packing List – Best Rain Jacket
Ultimate Packing List – Best Rain Jacket

Arcteryx Beta

  • Price > $500
Ultimate Packing List – Travel Insurance
World Nomads Travel Insurance
Ultimate Packing List – Travel Insurance

Insurance From World Nomads

  • Price > Click For a Quote

So let’s find out what to pack for Italy. From choosing the right bag to picking chic shades, we aim to satisfy all of your Italy packing needs.

Nomatic Travel Bag

Best Backpack For Italy: Nomatic Travel Bag

Before you even take on the task of figuring out what to pack for Italy, you’ll need an amazing backpack to pack it all into. For all types of travelers and destinations, our number one recommendation is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

The Nomatic travel bag covers every detail to make backpacking travel the best experience. Because of its smart design, it manages to provide loads of packing space in a convenient, carry-on size package! Its handy built-in pockets make plenty of room for all the necessities on your what to pack for Italy checklist – you’ll find separate compartments for important items like shoes, water bottle, electronics, underwear and socks. As an added bonus, there’s also an RFID-safe and cord management pocket.

You have a choice between backpack or duffel bag carry, and extra carrying comfort for your back thanks to its innovative strap system and detachable sternum strap. And its black, waterproof material is every bit sleek and modern as it is durable and tough. There is a reason why most Broke Backpacker staff swear by this backpack. 

Is This the Best Daypack EVER???

We’ve tested countlessday packs over the years, but the Tropicfeel Shell is something else. There are a lot of flashy backpacks on the market but not many come with a detachable wardrobe.

Weatherproof, eco-friendly, durable, feature-loaded, and comfy as fudge brownies: these are just some of the words people might use to describe the Tropicfeel Shell. But we just call it bloody beautiful.

Learn More • View on Tropicfeel
Nomatic Carry On Pro

Best Suitcase For Italy: Nomatic Carry-On Pro

Backpacks not your thing? That’s ok. Our friends at Nomatic are back again with a great alternative to their badass Travel Bag; the Nomatic Carry-On Pro. 

This suitcase is ultra-durable, sleek, and comes with a handy tech compartment for transporting your laptop and other electronic bits. Nomatic has been an industry leader when it comes to travel gear and that reputation is reflected in the quality build design and functionality of the Carry-On Pro suitcase.  It’s also black and stylish so you will it in in Italy very well.

Check out our Nomatic Carry-On Pro review to learn more about this epic suitcase. 

go pro hero 9 black

Best Camera For Italy: GoPro Hero9 Black

For most of us, our smartphones now feature cameras with stunning photo capabilities.

But… if you are an aspiring photographer who wants to take next-level photos and video beyond iPhone selfies, I recommend going with an action camera like the GoPro Hero9 Black.

It does deliver pro-quality video and gives you a bunch of a different angle options and shooting speeds to work with for photos (including a selfie-mode).

Think of a camera purchase like this as a long term investment that will have you capturing epic shots well beyond your t exploring here. If you are looking for something cheaper for video specifically, check out these epic GoPro Alternatives.

Wandrd Packing Cubes
Wandrd Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes For Italy – Wandrd Packing Cubes

In case you have never used them, packing cubes are little compression cubes that allow you to neatly pack clothes in in order to help facilitate better packing. They allow you to pack more stuff, and to keep it all better organised.

For the longest time, I thought that packing cubes were a superfluous indulgence, but boy was I wrong. Now I never travel without a few – using cubes is one of my personal top Italy packing tips.

These ones from WANDRD are great quality and excellent value for money. Get them on your Italy packing list now!

Best Sim For Italy – HolaFly eSim

The good news about Italy is that there is extensive 4g and 5g Internet coverage, taxi apps and food delivery apps. The bad news is that your native SIM card will most probably not work and so you will not be able to access any of this online goodness until you rectify that particular situation.

You can waste time hanging around phone shops queuing to get a plastic sim or you can simply install a eSim onto your phone before you leave home. You just access the HolaFly site, choose the relevant package, download it and off you go – you are online the moment you land at the airport.

eSims are easier to set up and better than the environment than plastic sims. The downside is that not all phones are eSim ready.

What is the One Item Every Traveller NEEDS???

There is one item every traveller NEEDS. Some travellers don’t even know they need it, but those travellers need it more than anyone.

What is this forgotten essential of the backpacker-life? SPOILERS! Guess you’ll just have to click the button to find out. 😉

Find Out What It Is!

What To Pack For Italy Checklist: Personal Gear

Right so now you’ve got a bag to pack let’s have a look at what goes inside it! This guide is not intended to tell you everything (I mean you’re an adult) but instead we will recommend some awesome items that will make your packing for Italy infinitely more successful.

OK so we are not going to tell you what to wear but do bear in mind these golden rules. (1) Italian’s are stylish. Don’t offend them by wearing cargo short and vests everywhere and avoid sandals with socks at all costs. (2) Note that it get’s HOT in the summers, especially in the South, but is mild, wet and sometimes chilly in winter.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero

Best Shoes For Italy – Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero

Whatever you do in Italy, it will probably involve a fuck-ton of walking. I mean, sightseeing in Rome alone can click up serious miles and that’s just the Vatican! Therefore good shoes are like a solid foundation from which to execute your trip.

I admit that most shoes that are also good for hiking are not the most attractive pieces of footwear and you may feel self conscious in Italy. However, these are not too bad. Besides, they are some of the most comfortable and deliver good ankle support for a long day of walking about town. I mean, your body is already going to be suffering enough from all of those negroni’s and glasses of vino.

Italy also offers plenty of hiking options. Packing a pair of hiking shoes gives you the option (and eliminates excuses) to go head for the hills when the city becomes too much.  Just don’t wear flip flops as the cities streets will punish your feet.

Check out the women’s Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero

Arcteryx Mens Beta AR Jacket
Arcteryx Mens Beta AR Jacket is our top pick for the best overall rain jacket for hiking

Best Rain Jacket For Italy – Arcteryx Beta AR

If you are visiting Italy in autumn of winter, then it may well rain. This is especially true Northern Italy and Milan can sometimes feel a little bit British to be honest.

There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wing gear for it. Don’t let a bit (of a lot) of rain ruin your trip and make sure you are ready with some top notch rain gear.

This is our pick of the many rain jackets we have tried. It’s reliable & stylish and looks good worn out in the mountains or in city bars.

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

Best Down Jacket For Italy: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

If you are visiting in summer, then a proper rain jacket may be overkill. In fact, you may well be able to get away with no jacket at all. However, evenings can get cool and if you headed to the mountainy areas expect a refreshing breeze. Therefore, bringing a warming jacket is a good item to tick of your “what to bring to Italy” list.

It weighs just under a pound and provides an excellent weight to warmth ratio. If you don’t go for one of the super bright colors, it is pretty stylish and city-worthy also. 

If visiting Italy in the winter, this jacket is an absolute must. 

Check out our best travel jackets article for more inspiration. 

Osprey Daylite Plus Pack

Best Daypack For Italy – Osprey Daylite Plus

The Osprey Daylite Plus has a mesh-covered panel to keep your back cool and fresh by minimizing contact with the back of the pack itself and allowing air to get between you and the pack.

Check out our full review of the Osprey Daylite plus for more details.

Additionally, you can attach it to other Osprey packs in case you want to add more capacity and carry just one piece of luggage… but the reviews on this feature are mixed.

Abaco Polarized Sunglasses

Best Sunglasses For Italy – Abaco Sunglasses

A reliable pair of sunglasses is undoubtedly one of your Italy packing essentials. Our favorites are Abaco Polarized Sunglasses because they deliver on quality and style. 

They’re built tough with triple-layer scratch-resistant lenses and trademarked Adventure-proof Frame Material. You can also customize them with your choice of lens and frame colors to reflect your own style. 

If you only take one single piece of my Italy travel advice, then may it be this one – bring shades!

packable travel medical kit

Travel First Aid Kit

You don’t need to tote around half a pharmacy, but a well-stocked first aid kit should be in all our backpacks. Stuff happens on the road and it’s inconvenient and embarrassing when you can’t manage small situations like a cut finger or hangover migraine.

You can tuck this lifesaver away in a forgotten pocket – and it’ll be there when you need it.

Tip: Add a few bits and pieces to the first aid kit after you purchase it, like extra headache medicine, any personal meds you need (like allergy pills), whatever you take to calm your stomach and a few more plasters.

Travel Insurance From World Nomads

A banner creative for World Nomads travel insurance

It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.

There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!

Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉

Kodiak Journal

Planner/Travel Journal

Keeping a journal is one of the best things to do when traveling. The Drifter Leather Journal by Kodiak is our favorite, it works great for digital nomads and organized backpackers and can be used as planner or a dream diary – whatever you want! 

Keep on track with your goals, travels and save those precious memories, especially the ones you do not want to share online. This one is bound in beautiful leather so it looks beautiful and will withstand life on the road.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

Another backpacker/traveler favorite for staying organized is a hanging toiletry bag. It’s extremely helpful to have all of your accessories neatly gathered in one bag that you can hang for easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available. A well-organized bag is worth having whether you’re tree whilst camping or a hook in the wall – it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.

Historically, I have been the guy who has my stuff all over the bathroom, so getting one of these things really changed the toiletry game for me. Plus they are not too expensive either. A no-brainer essential. 

Pacsafe belt

Money Belt – By Pacsafe

Whilst Italy is not particularly dangerous, crime can still happen and tourists are sometimes targeted.

There are some areas in which petty thieves, bag-snatchers and pickpockets operate and tourists can be targets. Milan and Rome both have problems with street crime to take heed and be cautious.

Therefore it is always a good idea to use a money belt to hide your cash just in case something does go wrong. In fact, it may even be one of the Italy travel essentials.

patagonia trucker hat

Patagonia Fitz Roy Trucker Cap

The sun in Italy can be intense. Why not protect your previous forehead from it’s cruel rays with a hat?! This one also has the advantage of looking kinda stylish which the Italian’s dig.

Patagonia makes great hats. I have probably bought three or four of these over the last five years. Simple. Practical. Comfortable. That is what you are after.

Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz.

Waterbottle – Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz. 

Packing a reusable water bottle is probably the best thing you can personally do to combat single-use plastic bottle use whilst traveling. There is simply zero need to buy plastic water bottles. The quality of Italian tap water varies between regions and cities. But you can buy a big 5 litter bottle and fill up your bottle each time and carry it with you when you go out in order to avoid buying water throughout your day. 

We love the Hydroflask Vacum Bottle for its quality and because it keeps cold water cold for many hours and vice versa for hot beverages. This bottle is the ideal water bottle to get not just for your Italy trip but for daily use. Please don’t be that person buying plastic water bottles. We are all judging you…especially mother earth. 

If you go with the Hydroflask, you’ll probably never need to buy another waterbottle again.

Best Backpack For Italy – Osprey Daylite Plus

Osprey Daylite Plus

If you intend on doing any hiking, doing a Pompei tour or bussing around the country then you will need a daypack. They are great for carrying water, hat’s and gloves and for packing sandwiches for lunch. We love Osprey products and this daypack is our personal pick.

The Osprey Daylite Plus has a mesh-covered panel to keep your back cool and fresh by minimizing contact with the back of the pack itself and allowing air to get between you and the pack.

Check out our full review of the Osprey Daylite plus for more details.

Additionally, you can attach it to other Osprey packs in case you want to add more capacity and carry just one piece of luggage… but the reviews on this feature are mixed.

The Basic Stuff To Pack For Italy

On top of the essential items listed above, here is an additional suggested checklist of what to pack for a trip to Italy:

Basic Stuff To Pack For Italy
  • A few pairs of comfortable pants/jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts (summer/late spring)
  • A few pairs of socks
  • (Sexy) underwear x 2/3
  • Ladies: a few dresses, pants, outfits, or desired lady apparel for a night on the town. Whatever makes you comfy! 
  • Dudes: A few collard shirts or something half-way decent for a night on the town. Whatever makes you comfy! 
  • Smartphone with a good camera for photos if you are not bringing an actual camera
  • Portable power bank for charging your phone on the go
  • Phone charger
  • Amazon Kindle for quiet moments
  • Copy of your passport just in case
  • Cash (not too much, there are plenty of ATM machines)
  • Packable Towel

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    Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Italy

    And that’s it, friends! You’ve got all you need to know about what to pack for Italy with a handy 22-needs packing checklist and our tips on what to wear and pack by the season. Take heed to our packing advice geared towards women and men, what to leave behind and what travel bag to carry it all in.

    Just remember to pack light and smart – with a touch of style. Above all, be prepared and be safe at all times.

    Oh yeah, and also eat a lot of pizza, drink a lot of wine….and have an amazing time!

    Arrivederci e buon viaggio!


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