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Short Pants in Italy

This is not a question but a bit of information for all you travellers going to Italy. Almost everyone wears short pants in Italy.............tourists for mostly every country are in shorts and the Italians are in shorts. All this crap that Rick says in his book about not wearing shorts or shirts with writing or logos on them is a bunch of you know what. i didn't bring shorts with me because of what he said in his book and I suffered in the heat of Italy for 10 days. Guys, bring your shorts!!!!!!!! If you don't, you'll sweat for days!!!!

Posted by
22152 posts

We spent nearly four weeks in and around Italy this past June - Rome, Florence, Milan. Our obversations and experiences do not support your recommendations. We saw very few shorts in either Rome or Florence. The few saw were mostly on Americans sometimes with black dress shoes and calf high dress socks. Maybe your recommendations are true for the country side or resort areas but we didn't see it in the cities.

Posted by
11 posts

I would say about half of all males under 50 or so from everywhere had short pants of some sort on last month. A large percentage of the Italian kids had on shirts with some sort of English writing on the front...mostly random, some nonsenical...my favorites were the ubitiquous NEW YORK CITY POLICE SPECIAL DEPARTMENT FBI shirts and my very favorite was the Italian teenage boy who could have passed for Squiggy's (from Laverne & Shirley) younger, greasier brother with the sleeveless tee that said "Sex Angel" I saw in the Verona train station.

Posted by
91 posts

I agree with Frank. I was in Europe for 3 weeks and only saw americans wearing shorts. Always remember, shorts will limit your access to some churches. We were at the Vatican on a very hot day and saw lots of americans being turned away by the 'clothing police'. They were turned away for wearing shorts, uncovered shoulders and short skirts.

Posted by
21 posts

Shorts are a mixed bag but certainly okay...I just checked Rick's packing list suggestions and he does suggest shorts as well as pants with zip off legs as possibilities...we just got back from 3+ weeks in Italy and found many people wearing shorts and many people wearing pants...both Europeans and Americans in the city, country and at the seaside ...the latest styles we saw people wearing were shorts that are longer than knee length and pants that are mid calf length for both men and women...the primary issue for getting into churches was that your garments were covering your knees and shoulders...I would suggest both pants and shorts to be able to handle all situations...but each to their own...

Posted by
22152 posts

Mike, I agree with about the young kids and teenages. They are trying to copy American teenagers and I have seen a lot of message t-shirts on young adults but the discussion is primarily about shorts and adult tourists. And I come back to my original position -- I have seen few 30+ tourists, locals, or others wearing shorts in major metropolitian areas. I have seen large groups of organized tourist on tours where the majority may be wearing shorts. And I still remember the two Southern Baptist's ministers wearing shorts, large flowered resort shirts, leather shoes -- demanding, in loud terms, to be admitted to the Milan cath --- they didn't win.

Posted by
11 posts

Frank, the original post didn't mention age and did mention shirts with logos. The only guy I saw with shorts, dark socks and dark shoes was French. Listening to people speak very few tourists were American, but a lot of French, Japanese, English, Italians, Polish, and Germans. It was hot (mid 90's)when we were there and humid, except in Bolzano where it rained both days and the temps were in the 60's and 70's but still humid. Some folks there were wearing coats and not too many shorts.

Posted by
689 posts

It very well might be an age thing - but it is also a location thing. My hubby is nearing 60 and would not be seen in the cities in shorts. Resort areas yes. Even his fathers village in the mountains above Lanciano is not a place for shorts. But that is a midevel village and very old world. (widows never stop wearing black)

Posted by
6898 posts

On our visit, I wore shorts just once. We were there two weeks in Florence, the CT and Venice and we didn't see too many males that wore shorts. I went back to long pants. What we did see was a lot of European males wearing capris - 3/4 length stuff. My wife wanted me to buy a pair which I politely declined to do. My favorite T-shirt on an Italian boy about 18 months was FERRARI. So appropriate.

Posted by
45 posts

OK. Let's set the record straight. You can wear shorts...it may not be recommended by some, but you can wear them. Advantage...you may not get as hot. (The important word here is "AS"). Disadvantage, you may stick out and you won't be allowed in some churches. I will support Frank's comments. I have family in Italy and Switzerland and visit them every two years. Europeans tend to only wear shorts to the beach and resorts. I have never seen my uncles, aunts or cousins in shorts...in the city or in the evenings...and they live in hot-hot Sicily. Younger people can get away with shorts more than people 30+. Best bet, women wear longer skirts. You actually feel cooler in a longer skirt than in shorts. Or, you can opt for a skirt with built-in shorts... the skirt hides the shorts completely. Various merchants sell these. There are so many nice light weight fabrics out there that pants (and jeans) shouldn't be a big issue for either men or women.

Posted by
1 posts

My recommendation for those traveling is to bring clothes that you feel comfortable in, and represent who you are. If you go to Italy you do not have to try to dress like an Italian and such. Be respectable in public places by following the dress codes in churches and fine resturants. If you want to wear shorts, sneakers, and loud printed shirts do! Be comfortable, don't worry so much about what others think. That's the great thing about traveling is sharing our differences!

Posted by
9023 posts

It's not always about what others think, some feel that by be blending in a bit you make yourself less of a target for pickpockets and con-artists.

Posted by
22152 posts

Michael, but don't discourage them. I like having a bunch of tourist dressed in shorts, white tennies, and loud shirts. I figure that the pickpockets are going to be a lot more interested in them than in me. Lets me slip quietly by.

Posted by
9023 posts

Funny story, when I was visiting Krakow back in June, I was having lunch at the McDonald's off the main square, as I was emptying by try into the garbage can, the young employee said "ahh your an American". I replied "How can you tell is it the way I'm dressed?" She said "No, Americans always clean up after themselves, everyone else just leaves their junk on the table for me to clean up!" So, Americans aren't all bad when they travel:)

Posted by
57 posts

Mark, I agree w/you. I've commented about this topic before & it always cracks me up. Italians (or any Europeans for that matter) really don't care what it is you're wearing. (My jeans were covered in a lovely dust/horse sweat combo after an unscheduled riding lesson on my cousins' ranch before meeting a friend for dinner. My cousin couldn't understand why I was so bothered by it & assured me that "NO ONE cares about your clothes!".) Attempts to blend in are futile -- they can spot Americans from a mile away. (Straight teeth are actually one give away.) Michael's story about the McDonald's reminded me of my sisters' & my confusion about what to do w/our trays at the Natl. Rail Museum in York. We couldn't believe people just left there garbage on the tables. But, strange as it may be, that is one of those cultural experiences we'll always carry w/us.

Posted by
769 posts

to be safe - wear zip offs! But really - if you go to cathedrals - wear long lite pants... if youre hiking in the alps or dolomites - wear shorts! its both a courtesy as much as a comfort thing... so bring both! Been to scandinavia this spring, and just got back from alps this summer and was surprised how CALIFORNIAN the younger crowds dress all over europe: bigname surf-shorts and graphic Ts. Again - this is kids and students - but as adults just be expected to adjust appropriatley. But just go have fun and dont worry!