What should I pack for Italy in the summer? Your Ultimate *Essential* Packing List

packing for italy in the summer

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” As Antoine de Saint-Exupery (who?) once said, you’re going to be dead-ass miserable if you overpack on your vacation to Italy. Especially if you plan on shopping. Especially in the summer heat. Lugging your bags around is not cute—and neither is the sweat stains on your back. Take it from me, it is better to underpack and buy what you need, than to never wear half of what you bring and have to lug it around with you from city to city. On my last trip, I recycled the same outfit 10 times and never wore half of what I brought, even though I only had a backpack for 3 months.

packing for italy in the summer
proof of said backpack

So, what should you pack for Italy in the summer? This is the ultimate list, and I’ve only included the essentials:

To download, the PDF, printable version of this post, click here



  • Comfortable walking shoes (not running shoes, but a nice sneaker)
  • Skinny or slim fit jeans (dark wash will go with everything)
  • A couple nice button up shirts for going out
  • A few plain t-shirts for day
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 cardigan/sweater
  • A light jacket A nicer pair of shoes for dinner
  • Italians do not wear shorts, but if you must
  • Swim trunks (just in case)
  • A nicer pair of shoes for dinner Italians
  • Shower sandals if you’re staying in a hostel (do not wear these in public)
  • Socks / Underwear


  • Comfortable walking shoes (fashionable sneakers)
  • Wedges or booties (not stilettos) for nighttime
  • A pair of sandals for daytime walking
  • Skinny jeans
  • Plain comfortable tops for daytime (layers)
  • A couple nice going out shirts
  • Scarves (to accessorize)
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 cardigan/sweater for chilly nights
  • Light jacket
  • Small Purse for nighttime
  • Larger day bag or purse
  • A dress for going out
  • 1 set of pajamas
  • A few pieces of jewelry to accessorize
  • A swimsuit (you never know)
  • Socks / Underwear
  • A skirt for warmer days

Related: What to Wear in Italy in the Fall

fall fashion in italy


  • Passport
  • ID
  • Credit Cards
  • Cash (€ + $ for the airport)
  • Copies of all your documents (paper and electronic)


Why do you need copies? In the rare event that you lose your bags, your documents, or become a victim of petty theft, copies (especially electronic) will help you get an emergency identification in Italy. Better safe than sorry.


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap
  • Hairbrush / Hairclips
  • Moisturizing lotion (w. SPF)
  • Deodorant, cologne/perfume
  • Razor, shaving cream
  • Nail clippers/file/tweezers
  • Contacts / eyedrops
  • Make-up
  • Washcloth
  • Medicine


It’s always nice to bring a couple of pens and a journals o you can document your time in Italy–a journal is also useful to jot down notes and directions for when you don’t have Wi-Fi.


  • Headphones
  • Eye mask, earplugs
  • Moisturizer
  • Lip balm
  • Water bottle
  • ZZQuil or Melatonin (to avoid jet lag)
  • Emergen-C or Airborne (germy airplane air)
  • A sweater/socks to keep warm
  • Mints/gum
  • Hand sanitizer/wipes


Ask yourself: Do you need an iPad/Kindle, a smartphone, a laptop, and a camera on your two-week vacation? Will you be working while you travel?

  • A small laptop or an iPad
  • Chargers
  • Converter for European outlets
  • Unless you’re a photographer, your smartphone camera will do just fine
  • Hair straightener/curler (check the voltage first)
  • Headphones


  • Don’t pack your entire beauty bag
  • Don’t pack a new, different outfit for each day
  • Don’t pack your teddy bear or security blanket or any other sentimental item
  • Don’t pack expensive jewelry or accessories
  • Don’t pack things you can buy there (when you run our of shampoo, don’t fret, they have it)
  • Don’t pack impractical shoes or things you will wear once
  • If you’re saying, “just in case”— leave it home.

You’ll thank me later.

To download, the PDF version of this post “What do I pack for Italy in the summer’, click here

what to pack for italy in the summer


Did I miss anything that you would normally pack for Italy in the summer? Let me know in the comments below! 

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  1. Love this – traveling light with a backpack is always the way to go. When I travel abroad, I use the three-times rule if I’m staying for less than a few weeks. I don’t bring an item unless I know I’ll wear it at least three times! This PDF is seriously amazing. Perfetto!

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