What to Pack for a Trip to Italy: The Ultimate Guide for What to Bring on your Italian Holiday

Packing can be an overwhelming task, but it doesn't have to be! Sometimes it's hard to know what to bring and what not to bring when you travel, especially abroad, but here are some of my tips for what to pack when you travel to Italy. It's the ultimate guide of what you should pack and what you should leave at home because overpacking is for rookies!
The Roman Forum and the Colosseum what to pack

What to Pack for a Trip to Italy: The Ultimate Packing Guide for an Italian Vacation
What to pack year round for a trip to Italy on the Amalfi Coast, in Rome or North in Venice

Putting together a packing list, especially to a country you have never visited before, can be overwhelming. You may not know what you will need so you end up overpacking, but this guide should highlight the essentials so you feel like you have everything you need to enjoy your trip to Italy.

The weather in Italy is generally mild. When we visited in the spring, I found that the weather seemed very similar to the weather in Seattle. There was rain but when the sun was out it was gorgeous!

The summer months do bring with it warmer temperatures and while the country isn't very large, it does have various topography like mountain ranges and coastlines, that will vary the temperature depending on location. 

It's best to pack a small carry on suitcase for your travel if you can. Especially if you are going to be taking public transportation with your luggage! The lighter you pack, the better!

What to wear in Positano and what to Pack on the Amalfi coast

The Essential Packing List for Italy


This goes without saying when traveling internationally. I like to keep mine safe in a pouch like this secured to my waist instead of in a backpack or carry on because there will be times when you let your guard down {sleeping on a long flight for instance!} and you'll feel better knowing it's close to you. 

Credit Cards

I really pare down my wallet and only bring one or two credit cards with me when I travel abroad. One of those credit cards is usually a debit card for my bank, the other is a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. 
If you are unsure if your credit card has a foreign transaction fee, call ahead and ask. In fact, call ahead anyway and let your credit card company know you are traveling internationally. That way, there won't be any interruption to your travel purchases if your bank notices some out of the ordinary charges in locations they weren't expecting.
If you have your debit card, you can withdraw Euros at your destination and not have to worry about exchanging your money and possibly getting a worse exchange rate.

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Bike in Italy

International Driving Permit

If you are renting a car or planning on driving while you are in Italy, make sure you have your International driving permit. It's easy to get {you can find more information here} and it's valid for one year.

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Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a lifesaver for me especially when I travel internationally. I always end up with a few more items than I left home with, and packing cubes allow me to really make the most of the space in my suitcase. 

At the end of your trip, you can sort your packing cubes into dirty and clean clothes, making it easier to unpack once you get home.

Power Strip and Converter

When traveling internationally I always pack a power strip. Many places you stay abroad don't have a plentiful supply of plugs and they are never where you want them. Using a power strip means you only need one converter to plug it in and then you have multiple power sources for your electronics. 

Portable Power Bank

I use my phone for everything when I travel. My phone is my map source giving me directions through unfamiliar territory, a guide for audio tours and my camera for the amazing scenery. It will drain quickly, so have a portable power bank on hand to recharge your phone while you travel. This one is my favorite because it charges quickly and is fairly light and compact.


I almost always pack a scarf when I travel because they are so versatile. You can use it as a blanket on a cold airplane, an accessory for an outfit, or as a bathing suit cover-up.  In Italy, if you want to pop into a church, there are strict dress codes that don't allow you to show your knees or your shoulders, and during the summer months, this can be an issue if you are wearing a tank-top. 

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Water-resistant jacket

The weather can turn quite often in Italy, so it's best to be prepared. I'm photographed more in my jacket than I am in any of my carefully selected outfits so make sure it's something you like. Choose something lightweight that can be easy to layer. This is a great option

Reusable Travel Cup

I wanted nothing more than a travel cup of coffee more than once when we were in Italy! Staying hydrated with water is important too. Bringing your own reusable water bottle or travel cups is a great idea to help you save money and reduce waste.


I am a firm believer in traveling with Melatonin, especially when crossing time zones. Melatonin will help you naturally manage your sleep cycle. It's even safe for kids but be sure to ask your doctor to make sure. Even if I feel sleepy, I take a Melatonin every single night before I settle in for bed because it helps me to stay asleep and get on the time zone and adjust more rapidly.

Small cross-body bag

I don't like to carry a purse when I'm traveling. Instead, I use a small pouch like this to hold my ID, credit cards and money close to me {the same one I use when I travel to carry my passport}.

If you like to have a purse, consider a small cross-body bag like this one.  Many tourist attractions you visit won't allow large bags or backpacks so this would be a good alternative to help you carry all of your essentials while you are out and about exploring.

Lightweight Shoes

A good lightweight shoe that is comfortable is important! Packing light means you will leave behind multiple pairs of shoes, so make sure you bring a pair that will be versatile. Make sure you wear the shoes you are going to bring before you go so that you can make sure they are comfortable. The last thing you want is to try to break in a pair of shoes with miles of walking on the agenda.

Casual Clothes

Pack casual clothes that coordinate, but don't pack too casually that you stick out like a tourist. Baseball hats, hoodies, and sneakers are a sure sign that you are American, and you can often be a target for easy theft. Europeans usually fall on the smart casual side of dress, and I always like to blend in when I travel rather than stick out.

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Positano hillside what to pack for the Amalfi Coast

Some things to keep in mind when you travel to Italy

Bathrooms are generally much smaller when you travel to Italy. Space will be at a premium for your toiletries, so pare them down as much as you can!

You probably won't need to pack your hairdryer. Save the space and check with your hotel or home rental, but most, for convenience sake, have them available for you to borrow.

You may have access to a washing machine, especially if you are renting a home for an extended period of time. Keep in mind, the European washing machines are quite a bit smaller than the American ones and many won't have a dryer. You'll need to line dry your clothes. So plan ahead!

We heard a lot about petty theft when we traveled to Italy and were prepared for it. So be cautious and aware. Leave expensive jewelry at home and pay attention on public transportation.

This isn't a complete packing guide {I trust you know how to pack underwear and a toothbrush{ simply a guide to help you feel more prepared and streamline the essentials. Happy packing!

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