By Elda Rita Tessadori
Every travel starts with a big question: what kind of clothing shall I need?
Packing the wrong gear can make you feel out of place, uncomfortable and spoil your well deserved and meticulously planned vacations. The right clothes, on the other end will let you feel in tune with your surrounding, will help you blend in, feel at ease and enhance your experience.
This crucial decision depends mainly on the time of the year and the destination of your trip. Italy is blessed with a mild climate but don’t expect to wear fip flops if you go skiing on the Dolomites!
During the summer (July/August/September) you’ll need light clothing, but don’t forget to pack a pullover or a light jacket for the evenings when, especially at the seaside or on the mountains, the temperature might suddenly drop. Shorts are not often worn in the cities and they might be a problem if you plan to visit churches and religious shrines especially if worn with tank tops.
Spring (March/April/May) and Autumn (September/October/November) are characterized by unstable weather and often require a layering system of clothing. Generally a first layer of cotton with a jumper and a jacket over a pair jeans will do in most occasions allowing you to remove what is not needed.
For winter (December/January/February) the same system will work if you make the layers a little warmer.
Always bring comfortable shoes, get ready for a lot of walking: after all renaissance town were not build for cars and most city centers are closed to traffic. Keep in mind high heels can be torture on the paved streets of Rome. To truly enjoy Italy you’ll need your feet in good shape: no foot, no tourist!
If you plan to go skiing you’ll need all the specialized gear including those snow booths, woolen hats and gloves that might look unnecessary during your everyday town life.
Swimming costumes in Italy are often lighter and smaller then their American counterpart, if you are so inclined, a beach vacation in Italy can be a good occasion to show off that tiny bikini.
The general dressing style in Italy is smart casual and allows for a lot of improvisation.
When deciding the amount of clothing to bring with you, keep in mind that in Italy public self service laundry facility are a rarity; check before hand if your accommodation offers a laundry service at reasonable prices.
All said, you can choose to have a completely different approach to the big question what-to-wear-in-Italy. A very alluring perspective would be to start your trip with an empty suitcase: after all Italy is a well oiled fashion producing machine and you might just decide to buy what you need on the spot!
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