What to pack for mid-March - early April - Venice, Florence, Tuscany?
You can find actual, day-by-day, historical weather data for the places you plan to visit on the website timeanddate.com. Looking at 3 to (preferably) 5 years' worth of statistics should give you a pretty good idea of the range of weather you may experience. I would certainly take raingear, because the temperatures you might run into (especially in Venice) in March could be uncomfortable if you get wet.
I find success in packing clothing and accessories that allow for weather variability. Springtime brings ever changing temps and weather conditions and you would be smart to include lightweight layers (top and bottom) and outerwear/umbrella/hat that will work for you in the rain (still, don't forget to bring sunglasses). Footwear that is well soled (yet lightweight), supportive/broken in and substantial enough to withstand some wetness will serve you well. Given you will change locations a number of times on your trip, it can help greatly to organize your travel container with packing cubes which can make for a smoother 'packing up and moving on' process. I find living out of a suitcase much easier/simpler when my items are segregated yet view-able at a glance as it avoids the digging through every item when getting dressed for the day's activities. I belong to the write out your packing list/prepack/test lug the bag around family and generally pay more attention to the weight and versatility of an item when choosing my traveling wardrobe. Have a great Italian adventure!!
I suggest a Packable down jacket and a packable full-length raincoat, with hood.
I guess it depends on where you live and how cold tolerant you are. I'd definitely have a waterproof jacket with hood - but I always travel to Europe with that.
I'd not need a puffy jacket but I'm from North Idaho and I'm pretty cold tolerant. Last end of March/mid-April in Paris, Belgium and Netherlands which is much further north I did fine with the aforementioned rain jacket and a puffy vest, so part of this depends on you. Some of the less cold tolerant folks on the tour wore puffy jackets for Belgium and Netherlands.
Otherwise, I pack the same things and just layer:
- 4 SS cotton/modal Tee shirts,
- probably would go with 1 LS cotton/modal Tee,
- a LS drifit quarter zip pull over (fleece if you are cold, I just have the light dri-fit fabric),
- 3 pr long pants. I normally take jeans but that might be too hot for me in Italy so I'd probably go with a lighter weight fabric.
- I'd have a pr of capris ready to pack if the last minute forecast looks warm.
- wear one pair of athletic shoes and take a spare pair
- puffy vest (32 degree brand from Costco a couple of years ago) if long range forecast looks chilly
The website, Travel Fashion Girl, has packing list for specific places.
I like Her Packing List much better than Travel Fashion Girl. The lists in Her Packing List are much more likely to include a wide range of activities. They are also much more likely to include equipment for the trip (flashlight, sunglasses, sunscreen, boots, etc.)
TFG usually only covers clothing for sedentary travel and light hiking.
Depends on what you are doing. Lot's of walking, make sure you have good shoes, comfy clothes and keep in mind dress codes that may determine if you should have your knees and shoulders covered. Also depends on how your traveling, car? Flights? Train? Keep in mind your temperature comfort with layers. Are you doing independent travel or with a tour, you can do lot's of research by reading travel blogs and you tube videos on others who have traveled during this time period and what they experienced to help you plan.
Another vote here for Her Packing List. It was a big help to me in my 2019 trip to Europe. I was able to pack everything in a 21 inch carry-on bag with room to spare. Travel Girl gets a kick back when people click through tp their recommendations and the clothes are often very expensive.
I wait until a week before I leave to figure out my clothes--I have lists already made and make sure I can pull the outfits together without have to have something fixed, polished, altered, or specially-cleaned. I have a list of possible shoes (all well broken-in) as well.
I always pack a super summery top in case of really hot temps, or one warm layer for an unseasonably cold day. I remember an August day in Edinburgh back in 1987. I had only brought summery clothes and of course a rain jacket. But the jacket wasn't very warm, and the day was super cool with heavy rain. I was so cold that I went back to my room at 4 pm and took a hot shower (the B&B did not have the heat on yet as it was August). On the other hand, one Christmas, I had to stop in at Marks and Spencers to pick up a couple of short sleeve tees as the weather was warmer than expected and my mother-in-law kept her house like a furnace.
We were there a few different years at the same time. On two of our trips we found it to be very warm for us. I wore sandals the entire time with a mix of tops but mostly jeans/ summer dress. Last year we were there same time and it was freezing! Unseasonably cold with rain!! At some point high wind and waking in the 30’s/40’s. I was froze and ended up layering many garments.
Begin with a starter wardrobe of summer garments. Then add in extenders - silk long john tops, sweater, leggings, scarves, jacket. You can wear a base layer under a short sleeve top if you cover it with a sweater. You can also layer a button down shirt under a 3/4 sleeve tee. Wear separately when warm, double up when cool. Light tunics can be worn with leggings or tucked into pants.
Pants with roll up legs work for warm or cold (convert to capris). Shirts with roll tab sleeves do the same.
Great suggestions. I'm wondering about using water-proofing spray on my water-resistant trench coat? Does anyone have experience with this?
I've used ScotchGuard Heavy Duty Water Shield spray with fair results. It won't water PROOF anything but did help items shed water a little better. I treated my suitcase, coat and umbrella. You can find it with camping gear at Walmart.
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What to pack for mid-March - early April - Venice, Florence, Tuscany?
With the luxury of hindsight, the answer has to be 'medical grade masks'
My husband and I have used a website called weather.com. I believe it is still operational. (Could be wrong.). Easy to use. Has weather history by country and cities. Gives historical averages for any time period you request. We sometimes use this site. (It's been a while.). Helpful when a traveler is new to a region.
Thank you for all the thoughtful, helpful replies to my questions about our (ill-fated) trip to Italy. If/when we actually DO get to take the trip (which we spent a lot of time planning, including 8 months on Duolingo learning Italian), we will benefit from your contributions.
Look at this as extra prep. Time. Italy is awesome. I recommend a couple of The Great Courses before you go. I believe TGC is offering a free trial period during Covid-19. No gimmicks, no charges. This could be a good time to take advantage and learn about Italy - particularly the regions you are visiting. Also, RS has free audio downloads. Time to take a pretour. The small, white lined box on the upper left corner - click on it to get free audio RS tours.