Do men in Italy wear short pants? Should a visitor?
I used to avoid wearing shorts in Italy, but have since given into the desire to be more comfortable and cooler. You do stand out as a tourist (and perhaps make yourself a target), but it's usually easy to spot Americans whether or not they're wearing shorts. I like pants that zip at the knee so I can easily convert to long pants when I want/need to.
Men in Italy and most other parts of Europe don't wear short pants. You can wear them if you want; the locals won't chase you down the street with a pitch fork:) But if you do wear shorts you will stand out as a tourist, and possibly be a bigger target for pickpockets and con-artists. When I go to Europe I'm most comfortable blending in as much as possible I don't wear shorts, or t-shirts with logos or advertisements. Another thing to keep in mind, if your planning on visiting churches and other places of worship, some have dress codes which prohibit shorts and other kinds of dress.
Yes, men in Italy wear short pants -- but, they are usually 35 and under (they wear logo t-shirts, too). My male cousins and friends in Italy all wear shorts or , for lack of a better word, "capris". One of my cousins even roles his pants up to his knees when it gets hot -- he looks like a dork, but no body cares. We have had long discussions about attire in Italy, and all of my family and friends there assure me that nobody cares about what you're wearing. (Some of them even wear white sneakers.) And, no matter what you wear, they can always pick out an American from a mile away. So I suggest just wearing whatever you're comfortable in.
Depends on what you will be doing. Italy is full of churches, and this is where a lot of their great art is. If you want to visit them, you can't wear shorts. I hope you have good legs!
On every trip to Italy, my husband has worn shorts. In town, on the trail, etc. As other posters mentioned - anyone can pick an American out of a crowd, so wear whatever you want.
As far as being "banned" from going into a church in shorts...he's not had a problem. he does wear nicer chino shorts (with a belt) that come almost to his knees, not athletic nylon shorts. He also wears polo shirts with a collar (must be because I pack for him!) not t-shirts with logos on them.
Of course, no white socks (or any socks at all for that matter) with his sandals. His sandals are nicer leather ones, European style.
Bottom line, we are on holiday, so we dress that way. If you have a job that requires a certain way to dress, then it's so nice to retire into shorts on holiday!
I'm surprised the Ellen's husband hasn't been turned away from churches in Italy due to wearing shorts. My husband also wears nice, chino type shorts. We did not think about the Abbey at Montecassino being a church (which, of course, it is) so showed up on a hot summer morning only to be turned away and asked to come back in long pants.
We also observed first hand the many men putting a scarf of some sort around their waist at St. Peters to cover up their shorts. They too had been stopped and told to cover up before they entered. I would imagine the new "men's capris" that I saw a lot of last year in Europe might not cause offense but I can't imagine my husband agreeing to wearing them. We are on for our 3rd Italy trip and both he and my teenage son will take light weight, khaki-type pants and collared cotton shirts (the kind that button, not knit). They will wear leather sandals and stay pretty cool as well as look pretty good in pictures!
Karen, I am surprised to hear that you were turned away at Montecassino. My cousin (a native) guided my sis & I through out the entire abbey and he was not stopped once for wearing shorts. Maybe there is a little bias being shown there?
I'm 60 years old, and I wear "shorts", T shirts and Crocs eveywhere we go in Europe, but.........I wear pants that zip off at the knee, keep the T Shirts for hiking and biking, and switch to shoes for the places that require a "little better decorum".
Just as you would at home, dress for the occasion and the setting. I like Sarah's reply:"wear what you are comfortable in"!
PS. I would not be caught dead wearing white tennis shoes or shoes and sandals, in Europe or anywhere else, but my wife wears her white Addidas tennis shoes (that she bought in Germany) all over the world. Go figure. I guess it's true: "Tastes differ".