Fashion & Lifestyle

What to Wear When Traveling to Italy?

Traveling to Italy and wondering what to wear and pack?

It depends on when you’re visiting, but we have some practical tips to share. 

Having traveled to Italy multiple times, these suggestions would have been helpful when we first visited in 2010.

Italy is renowned as a fashion hub, especially in cities like Milan in the north. 

People in Milan dress in stylish, well-fitted clothes adorned with jewelry and high heels. 

Of course, tourists not on business trips dress more casually.

However, you can still look stylish and blend in with the locals by following a few tips.



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If you’re visiting Italy in the summer, chances are you’ll be wearing sleeveless tops and blouses.

This is perfectly fine, unless you plan to visit a church. 

Since Italy is rich in art, many famous artworks are housed in churches.

While it’s not a strict rule, many churches may not allow you to enter if your shoulders are bare, and sometimes even if you’re wearing shorts.

One of the best things you can bring along is a scarf.

A large scarf can be draped over your shoulders when entering a church, or used to keep warm in a chilly restaurant or museum.

It’s one of my favorite accessories to wear in Italy. 

Treat yourself to a lightweight or midweight scarf purchased from one of the street markets—they’re affordable and versatile.

You’ll be happy you have it!



Image Credit: Pinterest

When you visit Italy, expect to do a lot of walking. One of the most practical tips I can offer is to wear comfortable shoes.

Don’t rush to buy a new pair just for the trip.

If you do buy new shoes, wear them for a month or two before traveling to break them in. 

A good choice for comfortable walking shoes is the Ecco brand, which offers sneakers, shoes, and sandals that are great for long walks.

In the summer, women often wear stylish sandals or sneakers, while men typically opt for boat shoes or sneakers. 

Avoid wearing flip-flops because Italians reserve them for the beach, and they don’t provide enough support for walking on cobblestone streets, increasing the risk of twisting an ankle.

During the fall and winter, both men and women wear boots.

Women should avoid high-heeled boots for walking on city streets. 

You can find beautiful and reasonably priced boots in Italian cities like Florence, made from high-quality Italian leather that feels like it was custom-made for you, without needing a long breaking-in period.

Comfortable Day Sneakers

Comfortable Day Sneakers

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Pack a pair of comfortable sneakers for sightseeing.

Italy has many uneven cobblestone streets, stairs, and maybe some hiking paths. 

White plain sneakers are a great choice because they match any outfit and look more stylish than regular athletic shoes.

Travel Sandals

Travel Sandals

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If you’re visiting in the summer, pack a comfortable pair of sandals.

They should be easy to walk in and have good grip on the bottom for slippery stone paths. 

Sandals with a backstrap on the heel stay on better than slide sandals.

You can wear them for daytime sightseeing in warm weather or dress up your evening outfit.

Dressy Flats or Heels

Dressy Flats or Heels

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For dinner, you might want something nicer than the sneakers you wore all day.

Heels aren’t recommended, especially in coastal towns like Positano or the Cinque Terre, because of the many stairs and uneven surfaces. 

Instead, choose a thicker block heel sandal that gives you some height and support when you walk, or choose an espadrille wedge sandal for a comfortable and stylish look.




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Locals prefer modest clothing, so avoid overly revealing outfits. 

Logo t-shirts are fine for lounging in your hotel room or at the beach but not suitable for walking around town.

You’ll mostly see tourists wearing them.


Jackets for women

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It’s wise to carry a jacket with you during the day as the weather can change from morning to afternoon.

A blazer is fashionable in Italy and worn by both men and women, often in shades of blue. 

It’s handy for adding a layer in restaurants or when visiting chilly churches and museums. 

In southern Italy, where winters can be cool, a puffer or down jacket or vest is recommended.

Carrying a travel umbrella year-round is also a good idea.



Image Credit: Pinterest

Italians consider shorts as resort wear, but you can wear them on the streets.

Cotton or capri pants are great choices for women. 

Jeans are widely accepted, especially when paired with a nice top for both men and women. 

Colored pants like chinos and jeans are trendy for both sexes in Italy.

Men often wear red pants, which are quite fashionable there!

Tips For Packing Italy Outfits

Before packing for a vacation in Italy, here are some top tips and questions to consider:

Seasons and Weather

Italy has four distinct seasons with cold winters and hot summers.

Make sure to pack jackets if you’re visiting between November and April.

Regional Differences

Italy has 20 regions, and the climate varies between them.

Northern Italy is generally cooler than the south. For example, Milan’s weather is quite different from Sicily’s.

Destination-Specific Clothing: 

What you wear in Italy depends on where you’re going.

Sightseeing in cities like Rome or Florence requires different clothes than a summer trip to the Amalfi Coast.

Footwear for Cobblestones: 

Italy has many cobblestone walkways and stairs.

Pack comfortable shoes like stylish white sneakers, which are always a good choice.

Durable Suitcase: 

Due to the cobblestones, bring a durable suitcase to handle the rough surfaces.

Religious Sites: 

When visiting religious sites, cover your shoulders or bring a shawl.

Keep these tips in mind to help you pack appropriately for your trip to Italy!

Purse or Handbag

When packing your purse or handbag for Italy, make sure it can fully close with a zipper or button to prevent any issues like pickpocketing. It’s best to be vigilant in any major city.

Crossbody Bag

Crossbody Bag

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A crossbody bag is ideal for any trip. It’s comfortable to wear and fits essentials like your room key, phone, wallet, etc.

Plus, with your valuables in front of you, you can walk around confidently.

Large Beach Tote (Summer Coastal Towns)

Large Beach Tote

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If you’re headed to the coast during summer and plan to visit the beach or pool, a large beach tote is perfect.

It can hold all your day essentials like sunscreen, a towel, camera, book, sunglasses, and water bottles.

Other Essentials to Pack

  • Sunscreen: 

Summers in Italy can be hot, so sunscreen is essential.

Bring your own as it can be expensive in Italy.

  • Sunhat: 

A hat protects your scalp from the sun.

For beach towns, a larger stylish hat is recommended.

  • Sunglasses: 

Sunglasses can dress up your look, so bring your favorite pair.

  • Umbrella: 

Rain can happen anytime, so pack an umbrella for unexpected showers.

You don’t want to get caught in a rainstorm.

  • Plug Adapter: 

You’ll need a plug adapter to charge your electronics.

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