I've seen some discussion about day bags on this board, so I thought I would share my suggestion. When travelling in a large city like Rome or Florence I always carry my guidebooks and maps in a shopping bag, in addition to a small shoulder bag. It is easy to access them, and I feel as if a shopping bag doesn't scream "tourist" like a backpack or large tote might. Does anyone else do this?
Unless you get your haircut and buy all new clothing once you land in Italy you are going to look like a tourist. Plus the fact that you are visiting tourist sights and don't speak fluent Italian pegs you as a tourist. Howeve if the shopping bag works for you, go for it.
I think it's a great idea. Some of the shopping bags are absolutely beautiful! Hallmark anyone? Use one the size of a small tote bag, large enough to carry your guidebooks and maps.Or else I'm going to have to call you Bag Lady! LOL! Jeannine
Gail, I think that is a reasonable approach. We follow a similar approach and mininize the number and size of bags we use. While I agree that you cannot avoid looking like a tourist, just don't look like a stupid, American tourist. When the theft is scanning the crowd for likely targets, he may pass you because you don't look as promising.
It sounds reasonable enough, but I'm wondering how many guidebooks and maps you are carrying every day? I stow mine in my day bag, and I can't imagine carrying more than one, maybe two, at a time. I don't think I would want the burden of carrying another bag around all day, let alone the burden of multiple guidebooks; they get heavy! It's a great idea if you've done some shopping that day, but I wouldn't want to carry more bags than I need to. If it works for you, though, that's great!