Italy Packing List: Spring & Summer

Hi, lovelies!  With summer vacation upon us, I know some of you will be traveling abroad in the next few months and traveling to the same destination I just recently visited so I wanted to share some tips and an easy packing list based on my own experience to help make your packing less stressful and simpler for one of the most popular (and my new favorite) spring/summer travel destinations in Europe![photo credit]

Before we get to my packing list, my best suggestion is that you pack light (or at least try to) and I don’t just mean light fabrics!  There’s nothing worse than overpacking and lugging around two/three large suitcases while jumping from city to city.  John and I had one large suitcase each, but we could’ve easily gotten away with just one between the two of us.  Spring and summer travel is so much easier in my opinion because you can wear less clothes and lighter fabrics so there’s less of chance to overpack.

Note: We traveled April 17-May 2 and it happened to be lot warmer than we thought it would be (high 70s and sunny) so be prepared when you’re traveling during Italy’s peak tourist season (June-August).  The summer heat can be really uncomfortable so stick with bright and light colors as well as lightweight fabrics (linen, cotton, rayon).  Early spring is still cool enough for jeans and a jacket, but you won’t need to pack either for summer.

What to Pack:

1. Casual everyday items (e.g. tees, tanks, camis, dressy shorts, capris).

Italy is pretty casual so there’s no need for complicated and elaborate outfits, plus you’re going to be doing a lot of walking and sightseeing so you’ll want to stay cool and comfortable especially when visiting the top tourist attractions (Vatican City, The Colosseum, museums. etc.).  Summers in Italy get really crowded and hot (some places don’t have air conditioning) and you’ll be bumping into people, so in this case, less is more.

Pro-Tip: Consider packing one pair of bottoms for every 2-3 tops. You can save room in your luggage if you can re-wear some pieces.

I’m obsessed with Target’s Univeral Thread and A New Day tees/tanks which are currently on sale for 3 for $20!  Also, paper bag waist pants and wide leg capris are really popular right now and the ones I wore in Tuscany are on sale for $20!

2. One-piece wonders (e.g. rompers and casual dresses).

Shift dresses or tank dresses are my go-to summer essentials.  They’re great options for transitioning from day to night because they look super cute with sneakers while walking around during the day and then you can just slip into a pair of dressier sandals at night for a cute and effortless evening look.

Pro-Tip: Pack 1-2 outfits max per day.  If you’re going to the bigger cities, you’ll be gone for most of the day anyway and you may or may not return to your hotel to change before dinner.  It all really depends on your itinerary and your preference.  There were some days that we just stayed out from morning to night and there were other days when we were pretty sweaty and sticky so we had to go back to the hotel to freshen up before going back out.

Note: When visiting religious sites, you must cover your shoulders and knees so make sure to have a lightweight cardigan or shawl for bare shoulders and stick with capris or mid length dresses.

 

3. Sneakers, flats, loafers and sandals.

Leave your heels and wedges at home!  I can’t stress this enough.  You’re going to be doing a lot of walking on cobblestone streets as well as up/down cliffs so you want shoes that are comfortable and easy to walk in.

Pro-tip:  Don’t wear shoes you haven’t broken into.  I had purchased a pair of cute fashionable low tops before our trip without wearing them beforehand and they completely dug into my ankle and so I couldn’t wear them the rest of the trip.  Also, you don’t want to risk the chance of getting blisters caused by stiff and uncomfortable shoes.  That’s a sure way to put a damper on your otherwise amazing vaca.

Pro-tip: You might want to save the flip-flops, slides and dress(ier) sandals for the leisurely strolls and beach towns unless they’re cushioned and to avoid getting the bottoms of your feet dirty.

4. Handbags.

Pro-tip:  Leave your big designer totes/handbags at home and opt for a crossbody or a fanny pack/belt bag.

We didn’t have any issues, but Rome for instance is known for pickpocketers especially at the main tourist sites including the train station so you want to make sure everything is secure.  I did carry a large tote to/from the airport and in between cities so opt for one with a zipper to secure your belongings.

5.  Accessories/Jewelry (sunglasses and wide brim hats are a must).

I mentioned how warm and sunny it was when we went so you definitely want to shield your eyes and cover your head.  I love sunglasses so I always pack a few extras to have options for my outfits.  Wide brim and panama hats are lightweight which can help keep your head covered from the blazing sun, plus they’re cute and fashionable so it’s a win, win.

Pro-Tip: I’d stay away from baseball caps if you don’t want the locals to recognize you as a tourist due to your lack of effort.  European style tends to be a little dressier than American style (think dressy tops and dark jeans) so I’d suggest leaving your gym clothes for the gym and your beachwear for the beach.

As for jewelry, I stick with the basics (e.g. stud earrings, bracelets, a watch and a couple of necklaces).

 

Pro-tip: Don’t bring any expensive jewelry with you including your engagement ring.  As I mentioned above, there are a lot of pickpocketers and if you’re decked out in designer clothes and sparkly bling bling from head to do, you’ll for sure be an easy target.

6.  Beachwear.

If you’re staying in a villa in the Tuscan countryside or traveling to the Amalfi Coast and other beach towns where you’re able to lounge by the pool and beach all day, you’ll most definitely want to have a few bathing suits and coverups on hand. I always opt for one pieces in bright colors on vacation and I’ve linked a few of my favorites.

If you have any questions or if I missed anything, leave me a comment below or email me.

xo

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Our Italy Trip

We’re baaack!  Gaaahh!!  Where do I even begin? I’m not even exaggerating when I say our 2 week trip to Italy was nothing short of ah-mazing!!  From the flavorful and luscious cuisine made of only the freshest ingredients, to the crisp Prosecco after a long day of walking and sightseeing, to the rosso vino della casa (house red) that never gave us hangovers,🍷😋the architecture and the beautiful art, to the museums and cathedrals, the history, and last but not least, the incredible views (Oh the views!!).  Italy will forever hold a special place in our hearts, and yes, we’re already dreaming of our next visit.

As first time travelers to Italy, we visited four cities/regions with a couple of day trips in-between for a total of 15 nights.  May is typically considered the start of “high” season which goes all the way through September with June through August being at its peak with the most crowds, uncomfortably hot weather and the priciest hotel rates.  We traveled between April 17-May 2, but much to our our surprise, it seemed as if the high season had already begun.  There were quite a bit of students and tourists, but it was still bearable so I can only imagine the craziness that summer will bring.  Also, we really lucked out with perfect weather during our entire trip with highs in the 70s and a lot of sunshine!  I hate to admit it, but we slightly overpacked.  Although we kept checking the weather forecast, we for sure thought it would be cooler so we brought a few sweaters, long sleeve tops and I brought 4 jackets (eek!) which of course I didn’t need.  We knew the dress code in Italy was casual and laid back so we didn’t bring anything fancy.  I brought one pair of wedges that I didn’t even wear, but because of how warm it was, we could’ve easily gotten away with just one large suitcase between the two of us.  Now we know for next time.

For a 2 week holiday in Italy, we booked our travel package through Costcotravel.com.  I know what you’re thinking.  We didn’t know they had a travel agency either, but they do, and it’s the best!  A co-worker had told me about it last year and before we decided to book through Costco, we compared prices on Orbitz, Expedia, a couple of other travel agencies and directly through the hotels and airlines before determining Costco was the way to go. We honestly have nothing negative to say about our experience using Costco Travel and we would highly recommend using them for your upcoming travels.  I know we will.

Costco Travel offers a variety of different packages to choose from including airfare.  We had been “planning” this trip for some time (almost 4 years) and after doing quite a bit of research and the feedback we received from others, we knew which cities were our top priority and so we booked the Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento: Your Way package.  You can view a sample itinerary here.  Our package included round-trip airfare, lodging, private ground transportation to/from our hotel and airport, first-class train passes between Venice, Florence and Rome, private ground transportation from Rome to Sorrento and a private driver for a day of sightseeing in the Amalfi Coast on the last leg of the trip.  Our package also had quite a bit of perks such as free breakfast at each hotel (I never woke up early enough), complimentary welcome drinks at each hotel in the hotel bar, a free dinner for two at our hotel in Sorrento, plus a $40 credit towards our final bill and discounts at all the hotel restaurants, in addition to earning 2% reward on our travel package as Executive Card Members.

Costco works with a variety of moderately priced and high-end luxury hotel chains including Westin, NH Hotel Group, Sofitel, StarWood and Manniello, to name a few, allowing you to customize your trip any way you want for as many nights at the hotels of your choice (depending on availability of course) which would then determine your bottom line.  Since we had pushed back visiting Italy for the past couple of years and we just so happened to travel around our 4th wedding anniversary, we splurged and flew first class (hehe).  We flew Delta One on the way there and Air France on the way back.  Let’s just say we can certainly get used to this kind of travel. 🙂 As for travel times and the logistics, ORD only has direct flights to/from Rome so we flew into JFK in under 2 hours with a 1 hour layover before flying direct to Venice (a little over 8 hours).  We flew out of Naples into Paris (almost 2 hours) and then into ORD (a little over 9 hours).  I had previously heard Naples International Airport was considered the most incompetent airport in the world, but we had no issues.  In fact, I thought it was fairly easy to get around and out of, but then again, our flight was at 6:30am so that may have had something to do with it.

So, now that we got all of the logistics out of the way (unless I missed something), I’ll be working on a travel diary of each city, but you can read about Venice here.  Ciao! 

Shop my travel outfit below:

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Blush Tones

OUTFIT DETAILS

Jacket: BB Dakota \ Long Sleeve Tee: Target \ Sunglasses: Express (similar) \ Pumps: Jessica Simpson \ Wristlet: Louis Vuitton

Ciao e arrivederci!! In T-minus 24 hours I’ll be on my way to ITALY!! I can taste the vino and pasta now.

Pink, particularly blush, is one of my favorite colors for spring. Blush is soft, delicate and romantic while burgundy adds more of a sophisticated contrast against the soft blush tone (you can see a recent post with a similar color palette here). My fringe denim, jacket and pumps are all under $100 and I’ve linked all outfit details below!

Have a great day! xo

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Spring Casual for Under $100

Happy Thursday! It’s really starting to look and feel like spring these past two days (let’s just hope it lasts)!!

Today I’m sharing a super casual look that’s under $100! Gap is offering 50% off almost everything, plus an extra 30% off with code FORYOU, in-store and online. My olive green chino pants (here) are currently under $25. They’re really comfy and have a relaxed fit making them ideal for running around or even in a business casual work environment. They come in a variety of colors. Also, I just recently purchased these and these for work if you’re looking for dressier pants.

My denim jacket from H&M is only $35 and my white tee is under $20. If you’re in need of basic white tees, this and this one are also my faves!

Have a great day!

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Red & Leopard

The sun is shining (finally) and in one week from today John and I will be en route to our long-awaited Italian dream vacation!! To say we’re excited is an understatement. We had been wanting/planning to go for the past couple of years, but other obligations had taken priority and now the days and nights of cobblestone street strolls while eating gelato and people watching in one of most beautiful and romantic countries is almost here. We’ll be staying in Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento while taking a couple of day trips to the Tuscan countryside, the Amalfi Coast and the Island of Capri for a total of two weeks. I’ll make sure to do a recap of our trip once we get back. In the meantime, make sure to follow along on my Instagram.

On a side note, you can shop all outfit details of today’s casual look below! Have a great day.

 

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