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Men's jacket for Florence, Rome, Cinque Terre early November

Any recommendations on what type of jacket to wear? I'm thinking an insulated vest or fleece jacket will be too warm, and I don't want to get a waterproof jacket.

Posted by
1840 posts

I use a Tilley travel jacket, the casual looking one, for such occassions. It probably costs more than other but it is an investment, and if you are going to more traveling it will serve you well.

Posted by
1174 posts

The wind off the rivers or in Cinque Terre will always be chilling. I have a dark, moderate weight London Fog cotton jacket outer shell that I waterproof prior to the trip. I take along a lightweight sweater to wear underneath on colder days. I have a warm stocking hat to take along in my day bag and a pair of lightweight gloves plus a small umbrella. I always wear black NB running shoes, also waterproofed with spray can waterproofing. The jacket is the key to comfort for everyday wear. Similar jackets are at Land's End and other men's clothing suppliers.

Posted by
795 posts

Better rethink that waterproof jacket for November. November is the rainy season in Florence and other parts of Italy (we have lived in Florence and Rome) and sees more rain than any other month! We wear waterproof jackets with hoods and a soft cloth warm lining. You'll want a sturdy umbrella and good shoes, not sandals.

Posted by
1840 posts

Wouldn't it be redundant to wear a waterproof jacket with a hood and take a sturdy umbrella?

Posted by
23236 posts

You might explain why you are opposed to a waterproof jacket. That is my first criteria. We have a hip length waterproof shell. For years it has either been a Land Ends or REI jacket. Next layer is a fleece vest or a little heavier a down filled vest. Both light weight and easily packed. Also, have waterproof (not water resistant) shoes. Maybe be even more important.

Posted by
5835 posts

Wouldn't it be redundant to wear a waterproof jacket with a hood and take a sturdy umbrella?

I don't like umbrella but my wife does. Having worked in the windy Bagdad by the Bay where the high rise wind tunnels have inverted many umbrellas, I'm umbrella adverse. My wife likes to keep her rain jacket dry.

The other disadvantages of umbrellas are the need to occupy at least one hand, two when closing and the need to walk with vigilance to avoid poking other pedestrians.

And I too wonder about the avoidance of a rain jacket.

Posted by
4794 posts

First, always have a waterproof shell of some type. Not only will it keep you dry, it will also serve as another layer. Second, layering is always the way to go as opposed to one jacket for all occasions. By having several layers of different weights available (sweater, vest, heavy shirt) , you can tailor make your clothing to match the conditions.

Posted by
23236 posts

Wouldn't it be redundant to wear a waterproof jacket with a hood and take a sturdy umbrella?
Not necessarily. Waterproof jacket is good for a light rain, mist but if it is really raining hard, all a waterproof jacket does is transfer the water to non-waterproof pants and shoes. Upper half dry, lower half soaked. In this situation an umbrella is handy at keeping a lot of water off of you. Will not keep lower completely dry but does prevent a good soaking. The draw back to a waterproof jacket is that you then really need some rain pants.

Posted by
4151 posts

I hate umbrellas and much prefer a hooded rain jacket. I have used cagoules before. They are very long, but not very fashionable and you have to slip them over your head, so I stick with a fairly nice rain jacket with an attached hood.

I have 1 that worked great last fall. It's longer and nicer looking than most. I hope my new one will work as well. Fortunately, I was able to buy both these jackets at a substantial discount during sales.

I do wear waterproof boots for comfort, support and stability. I've waded through puddles and rushing water on streets without getting my feet wet.

So that leaves my pants below the jacket to worry about. My husband rarely wears a jacket of any kind, so if the rain is so hard that he will mind it or I'm concerned about my pants, we look for a cafe to stop, get under cover and dry out or wait out the rain. There's no dearth of those in Italy. There are also lots of street vendors that will magically appear with very cheap umbrellas the minute the rain looks imminent. If you get caught on the street in heavy rain, you can always buy one of those and leave it at your lodgings for someone else to use in the future.

FYI, we were staying near FCO from November 4 - 10 this past fall and we had every kind of weather you can imagine, including hail! It was also pouring at Milan Malpensa when we went there to catch a plane home on 11/11. (Long, standby-related story.)

Posted by
225 posts

As mentioned I also bring outer wear in layers. I wanted a water resistant shell with a hide a way hood and did not want to pay the cost of a Gortex garment. I found a Columbia on sale at Dick's Sporting Goods that has a hood that folds into the collar so it looks like a casual windbreaker that can be worn at any time. I like to bring a windbloc polar fleece vest and/or jacket to layer underneath. I also never travel without a pair of Gortex low cut lightweight hiking style shoes and pair them with Keen Sandals. The jacket folds into it's own side pocket so it, and the vest, become very small. I also use an umbrella.

Posted by
5835 posts

The draw back to a waterproof jacket is that you then really need some rain pants.

Only experienced Italy in the winter where precipitation is usually solid. But yes to rain pants when precip is liquid and wind driven. Ponchos and umbrellas don't work in high wind conditions.

Posted by
796 posts

Though I am a gal, I will chime in! I have travelled in November and end of October in Europe And recommend a goretex type raincoat, I have a light Columbia brand and a fleece that fits under it. I always travel with the raincoat which serves as a windbreaker. It is not heavy, so I can roll it up in a backpack. I also bring a lighter plain sweater, I stick to black. That has worked for me.

Posted by
4794 posts

LL Bean has (or used to have) a 3/4 length waterproof rain coat with a hood that folds up in the collar. And it works!!! So far as pant legs getting wet, take synthetic quick dry pants. Even if they get wet they will dry very quickly. We know. Ireland is beautiful, but wet, and the above combination saved the day on numerous occations. TC

Posted by
439 posts

We went in November a few years ago. Rome was warm, some days we needed a light jacket, some days just our shirt sleeves. The short distance to Florence, we needed a warmer jacket. My husband was fine with the heavier jacket, I was glad I also packed my hat & gloves. You may want to make them waterproof as well, we got alot of rain. It was about 4O-50F in Florence.

Posted by
439 posts

PS - My favorite waterproof jackets are Eddie Bauer. They are having a sale this weekend, until 10pm on 4/5, 40% off regular priced items, using the code BLOOM.

Posted by
1944 posts

We just returned from a late February/early-to-mid March trip to Paris, Lucerne, Florence & Salerno. Only brought two pieces of outerwear. A normal zippered Columbia fleece, and then a Marmot Ultralight Zeus Down Jacket:

Paid $99 on sale back in December. Great thing about this is that when traveling by train, I'd wear the fleece and compress the Marmot down to the size of a thick book and pack it away, and it weighs only 10 oz. It was solid warmth-wise with just a golf shirt or t-shirt underneath, finding that in the sun I could unzipper it & just walk around, but in the shade it was like the temp would drop 20 degrees, and I'd be snug when it was zippered up. Perfect from 30-55 degrees Fahrenheit. It is water-repellant but not waterproof, so I had a cheap plastic poncho just in case--never used it. I think the one time it was pouring rain, we stayed inside.

Posted by
4375 posts

I also had a packable down jacket and was sure glad I did. It's not enough by itself but if you layer under it you can get by.

I also had a packable trench coat from Travelsmith which I didn't need but was glad to have. And since I didn't use it, they let me return it when I got back.