Earlier this month, T-man and I made our way to Europe for our much-anticipated trip to Italy. Our 10-day itinerary included a stop in Sicily with family, a few days to ourselves in the Amalfi Coast and a quick tour of Rome. I plan to share our full travel diary later this week, but thought I’d start where any trip naturally starts — the packing process.
Packing is one of the things that, no matter how regularly I travel, always seems to cause anxiety for me. Even a simple weekend trip can have me whirring around the house trying to figure out which two outfits I might want to wear and whether the forecast calls for 2 pairs of shoes, or maybe I should just throw the rain boots in just in case.
I’ve read all the advice columns about how to prepare for a trip, capsule collections & color palettes, best travel bags, etc. But it wasn’t until this trip that I really felt like I nailed the process, packed only the best options and was really pleased with my choices. Plus, I fit almost everything for our 10-day trip in a carry-on suitcase, which was a win!
Want to see what I wore?
Looking back on the success I felt with packing for this trip, I thought I’d share just a few of my tips and how they specifically relate to packing for a fall trip to Italy.
Packing Tip #1:
Review the weather at your destination. This may seem obvious, but I look not just at the forecast which can be inaccurate and ever-changing even once you arrive but also historical information, weather trends, etc. If I’m not familiar with a destination, I’ve also been known to look up the longitude to equate it to somewhere in the US where I better understand the weather.
What this means for Italy in the Fall: Southern Italy in late September / early October was warmer than I expected during daytime, but cool at night like our own fall weather in NYC. Layers were key! I packed everything from shorts & a bathing suit to jeans & light sweaters.
Packing Tip #2:
Consider your itinerary. I don’t just mean where you’re heading but what you’ll actually be doing each day. This trip was unique in that we’d have 3-4 days that would require some form of travel — trains, planes, automobiles to get to our many destinations, 1 day on a boat, and several days of sightseeing.
What this means for Italy in the Fall: Pack for specific activities such as walking/sightseeing, visiting churches (Italy-specific), traveling, etc. but don’t hold yourself to a specific outfit on each day. I knew I’d need comfy shoes for touring, cozy outfits and layers for travel (trains and planes can be cold!) and some fun evening attire.
Packing Tip #3:
My Type A personality really comes out when packing so I’ve learned to lay it out AND write it down. Once I’d mapped out the number & types of outfits I needed, I created a detailed, written list, starting with my favorite pieces. I then thought through which items go together and how I could mix & match. Reference Pinterest if you’re lacking inspiration and fill in missing pieces from your list based on those ideas.
What this means for Italy in the Fall: Start by packing your favorite items for late Summer / early Fall. For me, this was a lot of basics in white, navy & black. You can’t go wrong with that color palette in Italy this time of year!
Packing List for Italy in the Fall:
1. Flowey white dress (which doubled as a bathing suit cover-up)
2. Striped dress
3. Everlane cropped pants
4. White & navy shorts
5. White tee
6. Black sneakers
7. THE BEST leather espadrilles — seriously, I walked miles & miles in these! Highly recommend!
8. Flat sandals in a neutral color
9. Jean jacket (or my other favorite fall layer if you’re not into denim)
10. Cross-body bag (safety first in crowded areas like Rome)
11. One-piece (for boating)
12. Statement hat (The one in the photos was an amazing gift from my sister, specifically for Italy! Most of the ones I’ve found are pricey, but I suggest looking at Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx for affordable options.)
13. My exact pair of sunglasses (my favorites are affordable options like these or these, which you don’t mind losing or breaking while traveling)