Packing for an Italian vacation is not easy – given the variety of things to do in Italy and places to see, you need to be ready for just about anything. From the sun and fun of the Italian Riviera to the crowds of Venice and Rome, an Italian vacation is always a whirlwind.

So, what are the best things to make sure you have in your bag?

Siena, Italy

Essentials to Pack for Italy

1. Sunscreen


You might think you’ll be heading to museums all day, but you’ll be in the sun more than you think. Especially in the summer, the sun can beat down throughout Italy. Sunscreen is also a good bit more expensive in Europe than it is in the US. Most sunscreen I saw (in normal shopping areas – not the tourist areas), was upwards of 15 euro a bottle.

2. Travel Power Converter/Power Strip


I LOVE this power strip from Amazon. You’ve got a number of attachments so that it’s a worldwide power option. And it creates two three-prong outlets alongside two USB ports. I found many hotels in Italy to have only one outlet, so having something that makes more outlets is useful.

3. Walking Shoes That Aren’t Athletic


You’ll be walking a lot, so you’ll need some good shoes. But, Italians (and Europeans in general) aren’t much on the “running shoes as everyday footwear” trend. If possible, grab some cute sneakers and bring them along. I’m a huge fan of Supergas. They’re comfortable, cute, and as a bonus – even known as the “Converse of Italy.”

4. A Good First-Aid Kit

Yes, it’s true you won’t need everything in my round-the-world trip first aid kit. But, you’ll want to have the basics. You won’t get the runs from Italy’s tap water, but the heavy food could still do a number on your stomach. Band-aids, blister healing, allergy medicines, etc – make sure you have a good first aid kit!

5. A Money Belt


I don’t always use a money belt, but there are times it’s useful. In many of the major tourist areas, there will be pickpockets – you might want to have most of your valuables hidden under your clothes. When I wear a money belt, I never use it for my day to day items. I keep a standard amount of cash and one credit card in my everyday wallet and use that. The majority of my cash then stays in my money belt. That way, I don’t look crazy getting into my pants for money. And, if my wallet gets lost or stolen, it’s not as big of a deal.

6. Cheap Sunglasses


Sunglasses are a must for Italy. But, I never like traveling with my expensive ones. Find a good pair of cheap sunglasses where you won’t be sad if they get lost, broken, or stolen.

7. A Fouta


I LOVE my Fouta. A Fouta is a Turkish cotton beach towel, and I’ve started taking mine with me everywhere. It folds up quite small, so it’s not a pain in the bag. It’s great to use as a blanket on the plane, a normal towel, and/or a beach towel. It makes a great impromptu picnic blanket. And, it can compensate for crappy hotel towels. I’m a big fan of mine!

8. A GoPro


Yes, you can use your cell phone for pictures. But a GoPro is an awesome travel camera for a number of reasons. It’s small, it’s easy to use, the pictures are high-quality and the attachments are awesome. Italy has enough fantastic photo opps that you’ll be glad you splurged on a GoPro!

9. A Go-Pro 3-Way


The GoPro 3-Way stick is honestly, revolutionary for great travel pics. You and your friends can all be in the picture, and you don’t have to worry about having someone else that the picture. You can also use the tripod for pictures you want to be in! (Just be careful leaving it on its own in a busy area!) When I traveled, the only real option was the GoPro brand one. But, it seems like this $12 knock-off might be an awesome option!

10. A Good All-Day Purse


From sunscreen to souvenirs, you’ll have things to carry. Nothing says “tourist” quite like a backpack (though backpacks really are fine, especially for hiking!). I am a giant fan of the Longchamp bags. They’re durable and light, easy to pack, and hold a ton!


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10 things you should pack for Italy

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