Hi, what kind of clothes should we pack for Italy in October? What's the weather like at that time of the year? Will it be something like slacks, short-sleeved top and a cardigan? Or will it still be shorts and sandals weather? Or cooler, as in sweaters and closed toe shoes? Thanks.
Probably not shorts and sandals, but exactly where in Italy are you going?
It is cooler in the North than in the South. It is hard to say but you can look up the historical averages of where you are going be in October on several different sites including Wikipedia.
Or you might wait to decide once you get closer to the date when 10 day to 14 day forecasts are usually more accurate
During shoulder season weather can be quite variable. There's a good chance you will have some days when summer clothes are appropriate (though not necessarily early in the morning or after sundown) and others that are breezy/cool/wet.
Averages won't help you much. You need to go to a website like wunderground.com that has actual, day-by-day historical data. Enter one of your destinations, choose Historical, choose Monthly, then select October 2017. Repeat for as many additional years as you have time for and for your other destinations. That will give you an idea of the range of weather you may encounter, and you can begin thinking about an appropriate mix of clothing. When you get to about 5 days before departure, start checking the weather forecast to fine-tune your planned wardrobe. By the day before departure, the temperature forecast for the first 5 days or so should be pretty accurate, but if you go too far out, all you'll be seeing is historical averages.
I find precipitation forecasts far less reliable than temperature forecasts. I'd certainly want some sort of rain gear with me for an October trip. Unless the trip is so short that you'll have access to a reliable forecast covering the entire trip before you leave, I'd also pack a warm layer. I use a light fleece jacket. Depending on my historical research, I might or might not include a set of long johns; I'm extremely cold-natured.
September is almost a summer month, November is the rainiest month in the year. Sometime in October the weather pattern breaks and switches from summer to autumn; the exact day it breaks, you cannot tell in advance. But if you go late enough, you are likely to find autumn weather. In any case, no to shorts and sandals at any time in October, but some exceptional year and very early in the month. Even short sleeved tops may be too light for an ordinary October.
I have travelled quite a bit throughout Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Sicily in early October. The weather is wonderful. However, I would not go with shorts and sandals. Jeans, Dockers, long sleeved cotton shirts (you can roll up the sleeves if you get warm) and - just in case - a light weight jacket or sweater.
We took the Best of Italy tour, which moves from Lake Como to Rome, last October 1-17. The first week of the tour up north was chilly and a bit drizzly, and by the time we reached Rome it was warm, but definitely not shorts and sandals weather. I took long pants, closed shoes, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved knit tops, a cashmere pullover and a light rain jacket. I pretty much had what I needed for all the weather while we were there since I could layer a long-sleeved shirt, cashmere pullover and rain jacket in the Dolomites (our coldest point) and rolled-up sleeves on the shirts for Rome (the warmest point).
Nope, shorts and sandals would not fit for the weather and season if you travel in October. I prefer slacks, short-sleeved top and a cardigan.