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Checking Bags in Rome, Venice & Florence

I am going to Italy in September, and am wondering what kind of bag I will be allowed to carry into most museums. I don't usually like to check my bags (except in cases where Rick says you can skip the queue!) On previous trips, I have used a bag that looked like a small purse or a small backpack made to hold an SLR camera and lens. I recently bought the Civita daypack and am contemplating buying another point-and-shoot camera instead of bringing my big SLR.

Does anyone have any suggestion for what size or kind of bag I can get away with carrying with me through most museums?


Posted by
10344 posts

My impression (could just be me) is that the Italians seem to be at least as security-conscious about bags carried into museums as in other countries. This may be because of the terrorist bombing of the Uffizi in Florence some years ago--it seemed that the Uffizi security line and restrictions were especially thorough. I seem to recall that, after security inspection, I was allowed to carry into museums a small camera bag that is approx 10" long x 6" wide. Ssomething that is more like a backpack might be a problem. Sometimes the museum websites have specific guidance. Some/many Italian art museums do not allow photography, even without a flash. Rick has specific guidance on whether photos are allowed and if so, what kind; also the museum websites would have this info.

Posted by
423 posts

I took the pacsafe "tote" bag (bigger than a purse but not as big as a small daypack) and was not made to check it. Remember, in most if not all of the museums, you are not allowed to take pictures indoors.

Posted by
241 posts

And also, in most, nobody (except me) will stop you if you take a picture.

Posted by
104 posts

Thanks - I don't plan to take photos unless allowed to. I just would like to avoid checking my bag if possible.

Posted by
6898 posts

At almost all museums in Florence and Venice, I had to check my small day pack that had an umbrella, maps, etc. and my wife had to check a similar travel bag. Since she carried her passport in this bag, she removed it and carried it in her pocket. We were allowed to take our camera with us but, as mentioned above, you normally can't take any pictures inside.

Posted by
705 posts

What I have found recently was that the authorities were more accomodating if you had a purse rather than a backpack. I found I was OK with my purse, which isn't really small, as it carries my camera and other bits and pieces. I watched others with small backpacks being asked to check them. I think they regard a purse as more a 'personal' item that you need to keep with you. For convenience you may want to get another camera and only use your purse. As far as taking photos, no one seems to take any notice of this - they just click away. Can be quite annoying if you are in a church trying to enjoy the serenity. Even in the Sistine Chapel where they announce non stop - no photos - the sound of camera shutters is deafening.

Posted by
44 posts

Just got back from Florence/Rome. My daughter and I both had the Pacsafe tote bag and were only required to check it at the Borghese gallery. The check was very efficient and I actually enjoyed not carrying my bag around for a change! Ufizzi had an airport type security check but we were allowed to keep our bags. No water bottles though--even empty ones!