You’ve booked your flights, ironed out the itinerary details and now the trip you have been waiting for is almost here. So the big question is, what to pack? Don’t worry… we’ve got hints and tips from our well-travelled team to ensure you pack the ultimate capsule wardrobe to see you through every eventuality.
If you're already a seasoned traveller to Italy, you'll know that the Italians have an unparalleled sense of style and take a great sense of pride in what they wear. Italian standards are more modest. Dressing more conservatively and a quite smartly will not leave you feeling overdressed.
Whereas ‘athleisure’ has topped the charts in clothing popularity in America, Italians dress with a sense of style as deeply rooted as their nonna’s focaccia recipe. That being said, you don’t need to wear a full suit while walking around Milan. Swap jeans and yoga pants for chinos and slacks, flip flops for nicer sandals and sweatshirts for a cardigan. When visiting churches and museums, arms and legs need to be covered even with the younger set.
Dress for the Season
As with the rest of Europe the weather in Italy can be changeable whatever time of year it is but generally in summer there are some intensely hot days, which can sometimes feel oppressive if you're sightseeing in the cities. Whilst, the winter in Italy is mostly chilly and wet. The key to any season and good packing guide is to ensure you have layers. Be sure to pack items that will keep you warm and dry in cooler seasons but avoid filling your suitcase with bulky items. Quick drying fabrics are a great idea.
Linen reigns supreme in Italian fashion. In summer, linen is the best fabric for coolness and comfort as it dries quickly and allows the skin to breathe. Ensure you're crease free for any occasions by hanging your garments by the shower before you wear them and letting the steam smooth them out.
One of our favourite accessories is a pashmina scarf (or cotton shawl). If the flight becomes chilly, the scarf goes from a trendy accessory to a makeshift blanket. Throw one in your bag if you’ll be out as the sun sets. The temperate can drop significantly after dark. You’ll also be glad to have a lightweight scarf when visiting historical sites or when visiting a church. Shoulders must be covered up when inside any religious site; sleeveless shirts and tank tops are not welcome.
Travelling in a hat will save one thing from the packing list and will provide a welcome reprieve from hot, sunny days, particularly if you're touring a city.
When traveling, crossbody purses are always our favorite. You’ll want to have your hands free to take photographs, inspect items of interest in markets, or hold a cone of gelato. We suggest a crossbody bag with a zipper so your items will be secure when walking through crowded markets or busy cities. If a crossbody isn’t your style, pick a secure backpack that stays closed but still keeps your hands free.
Bring your Comfortable Shoes
It’s important to find the balance between style and comfort. The best way to see Italy is on foot as you can spot the details that bring a destination to life. Whether you are visiting the Vatican Museum, navigating Positano’s steep descents or exploring along Lucca’s famed walls, you will be happy to have packed a pair of walking shoes that are both comfortable and sturdy. We recommend leather or fabric materials. Solid sandals with plenty of sole to cushion your feet and legs from the hard surfaces will keep a spring in your step even at the end of the day. Should your itinerary include venturing up an alpine hill in the Dolomites or other mountainous regions, we strongly encourage our guests to pack hiking boots. Finding a shoe that can double up as an elegant option for the evening is ideal but you will be glad to have the appropriate footwear for your daytime activities.
Packing Electrical Items
Most luxury villas and hotels will have a good hairdryer as well as adapters which are usually found in bathroom and bedroom drawers so lighten your suitcase by leaving yours at home. If you can’t find them, ask your concierge or villa manager. If you simply can't travel without travel irons or other electrical accessories then get in touch with your travel organiser to see exactly what the villa or hotel has on its inventory, or be prepared to leave a little space in your case to tuck them in!
We hope this advice helps you prepare for your trip, allows you to pack smartly and provides a little space in your luggage for any new items you are sure to find on your trip.
For more help and advice with booking your Luxury Italian Villa Holiday, get in touch with our ltaly Specialists on +44 (0) 1242 787 800.