Please sign in to post.

Packing for Italy trip in April

Hi there -

Looking for advise on packing for 10 days in Venice, Florence and Rome the first 2 weeks in April. We will be traveling between the cities via train. What should we bring (hubby and I)? I'm not great at packing light so looking for some advise.

Thank you!

Posted by
25585 posts

There isn't one right answer to this sort of question, just a bunch of no-doubt-varying suggestions. Here are mine.

I don't think you need to worry about hot weather at that time of year, even in Rome. I've had coolish, wet weather in Venice and Florence even in late May and early September, so preparing for that would be my priority. I do laundry in my room periodically and would take approximately this (which includes what I would wear on the plane).

  • 3 pairs of slacks. Mix-and-match with tops to maximum degree possible; take what you already own. One dress would replace one pair of slacks and one top.
  • approximately 5 tops, probably all long-sleeved, maybe 2 turtlenecks.
  • 1 pair longjohn bottoms (Walmart has a cheap line of Cuddl Duds). Some might substitute tights.
  • 1 longjohn top only if you are cold-natured and the last-minute weather report doesn't look good. You can't easily take this off if you're too hot indoors.
  • 5 changes of underwear/socks.
  • 2 or 3 bras.
  • 1 warm layer (could be merino wool sweater, fleece jacket, scrunchable/packable down jacket--or perhaps just a vest, wool jacket, etc.--there should be something in your closet that would be fine). Try for something that is easy to carry around when you don't need it for warmth. I have a boiled wool jacket, but it's pretty bulky.
  • 1 waterproof or at least water-repellant layer that will fit over the warm layer. This will also serve as a windbreaker. If the weather report is really grim (cold and much rain expected), I'd consider a full-length raincoat or quality poncho, but those are a royal pain to drag around when you don't need to wear them.
  • hat/headgear, ideally at least water-repellant. Consider that it may be windy, too, so umbrellas may not be too helpful, and unsecured hats may blow off your head.
  • gloves if last-minute weather forecast suggests temps will be low enough you'll want them.
  • scarf if you are so inclined.
  • supportive, broken-in walking shoes with grippy soles that will be safe on wet cobblestones. I wear nothing but lace-ups, but some people manage with other styles. Waterproof or not is something worth thinking about. Cold wet feet are no fun, but it may not be that cold, or that wet. Breathable waterproof shoes are expensive.
  • other shoes if you must (I take only one pair for summer-long trips, but I don't dress up). If your shoes are not waterproof and are not the type to dry quickly, you probably should have some sort of second pair.

The shoes are critical. If you're cold, you can buy a sweater in Italy. Finding a good pair of shoes is a much more complex (and probably costly) process. If you opt for style over comfort when you pack, you will regret it. You will be walking and standing on very hard surfaces, possibly for 8 hours on some days. Sore feet and lower-back pain are a real risk if you don't wear good shoes that are right for your feet. There is no perfect brand/model of shoe that is right for everyone. You may already have shoes that will be fine if you do a lot of walking at home.

To keep the weight of your luggage down, be ruthless about the toiletries and cosmetics you pack. Decant things into bottles that are just large enough for the length of your trip. Your hotels will almost certainly provide at least hand soap and shampoo. They likely will not provide washcloths, so you'll each need one of those. I take something colorful so it doesn't get mixed in with the hotel's lines (which will probably be white).

There are other handy-to-have things that we can suggest to you, but I'm focusing here on the things we all take, to one degree or another.

Posted by
7898 posts

Just follow Rick Steve's packing list that's on this website--making minor adjustments.
Try to take a 21" or 22" rolling bag that weighs under 7 lbs.
Put the bag on the scales and limit yourself to 22 lbs. (10 kg.) If it goes over that, start removing stuff.

My travel trick is to take jeans and khaki pants to the laundry for heavy starch. I can wear a pair fo jeans 2 weeks if they're heavily starched and they still look reasonably good. (Remember, yuu'll never see'em again.)

Posted by
792 posts

Check the weather before you go but I would plan on brisk spring weather- long pants, long or 3/4 length shirts, closed toe shoes. Bring a couple of lighter weight, short sleeve shirts for some warmer days in Rome. Bring a heavier sweater for the chillier nights. And prepare for rain- a good raincoat and/or a good umbrella.

There are many great threads on the forums about packing light. A good place to start is shoes. I wear my heaviest pair on the plane and pack one other pair- that's it. Both have to be comfortable enough for walking around all day and "go" with multiple outfits. I will occasionally sneak in a pair of thin old navy flip flops if it's summer and I plan on swimming or going to a beach. But others pack them to wear around the hotel room.

Posted by
6472 posts

Sometimes people over-pack because they're thinking other people will see & remember what they're wearing. Since you're traveling by yourselves, you don't need to worry about repeating outfits several times. Also, you'll probably be wearing a coat except in Rome.

For your trip, this is what I would be packing:
2 pair of long pants, 2 pair of legging-type pants
1 pair of tights (in case I'm cold a day or two)
4 long-sleeve tops, a black scoop-necked micro-thermal top, 1 short-sleeve top for Rome (wash it to wear on 1st & 3rd Rome day) The black thin top works under other tops if needed and also is fine by itself to add a colorful scarf for dinner.
Underwear - 4 pairs - wash twice.
2 pairs of shoes

Posted by
630 posts

A nice scarf will change up the look of your outfit - and they don't weigh hardly anything at all. You can get some nice scarves in Italy - so that will be double duty - some nice souvenirs for yourself and a change up in your look. :) Have an awesome time!

Posted by
19 posts

These are great suggestions. I'm also curious about types of shoes. I love boots but don't want to be too warm! I love leggings so those are light and easy. The only other thing I may need to get is a coat but I do have a fleece that could work possibly!

Posted by
1620 posts

Taylor- Do you have Pinterest? I have a whole board on using a carry on only, some great ideas. About the boots, I wear ankle boots and they are great. I hate Hot feet,, but even worse I hate wet feet, so ankle boots fit the bill. Choose ones that will do well on cobblestone streets and can then go into the slick floors of a museum.

I pack with a color scheme in mind usually packing tanks in black, grey and white them layering over that with beige or black and a pair of leggings (wear on Plane and can use as jammies), jeans, capri pants and a maxi skirt. Then just mix and match with a scarf for accent and warmth. 4 pairs of shoes for me, a pair of sketches sneakers (slip on), sandals, flip flops (walking around hotel, apartment, beach if visiting) and ankle boots. The sandals and flip flops take no room at all, I wear the sketchers on the plane and the boots get stuffed with scarves and other small items. After walking all day it makes a difference to change shoes for night. I wear stuff out of my closet or similar to what I always wear, I have no special travel clothes or special quick dry anything. I also take simple jewelry and do not wear my wedding ring.

Posted by
19 posts

Yes I have Pinterest! I'm interested in the board! Good tips about the shoes - I'm going to look for a pair of ankle boots!

Posted by
1620 posts

On Pinterist just search for "carry on only". There are also some great you-tube videos on the subject. I take ideas from all and make up what works best for me.