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Rome/Assisi April Packing List

We just returned from a 15 day trip to Italy. Since I’ve learned so much from others on this forum, I thought I’d share my carry-on packing list to return the favor.

Our trip was about half hiking In Umbrian hill towns and half touring in Rome and Assisi. The weather varied from highs in the mid-80’s to the mid-50’s F. Lows varied from the high 30’s to the high 50’s F. I packed a 21” 2-wheeled Eagle Creek roller and a 24L Osprey hiking backpack as my personal item. My travel purse was an old Sherpani travel crossbody, about 9” x 6” with lots of pockets. The purse went into the backpack when flying. My goal is always to be able to carry my own luggage and lift it into the overhead. I could have gotten by with a 19” international roller but we were flying Delta, so the 21” was fine.

Packing strategies that worked:

  • I packed the roller unexpanded for the outbound flight and then expanded when we arrived in Rome. This gave more space to repack and for clothing that always seems to explode during travel. I (mostly) resisted the urge to add last-minute items to fill extra available suitcase space.
  • Every item mixed and matched. I used jewel tones on top and black/gray on the bottom.
  • I packed layers rather than one heavier jacket (which is what I would have worn at home).
  • Following a tip from the recent Rick Steves travel guide video, I put jackets and quarter zips on the very bottom of the suitcase on either side of the bar down the middle. It was a great way to make use of extra space.
  • I marked on the packing list where each item went in terms of packing cubes/placement in the suitcase, and everything always went back into the same place. (I believe this suggestion came from Jean – thank you!) This made it so easy to repack each morning during the inn-to-inn hiking portion.
  • I purchased some 2” x 3” ziplock bags for medications and supplements and small Travelon mesh bags (4” x 4”) to hold them. This saved a lot of space.
  • We used two-sided Eagle Creek packing cubes so could move dirty clothes to the other side of the cube protected by plastic.

Packing stars:

  • Ovcio thin cashmere scarf in bondi blue color - this was the star of the trip! It can be worn so many ways, adjusts to warm or cool weather and dresses up any outfit. The scarves are pricey (I got mine on a black Friday sale) but are worth it and fold up into a small square.
  • Wooland wool shirts for around town wear – so cute and aired out when hung up. I would not wear them for hiking though, as they are not as sturdy as Smartwool.
  • Stashbandz belt - SO GLAD I had this! We were on a Trestavere food tour, and one of the follow tourers had her purse stolen from her feet while we were sitting at dinner, in front of all of us. It happened so quickly and was very sad and inconvenient for her. I kept our passports in the Stashbandz and my purse under a napkin in my lap when at restaurants. If you are in between sizes, I suggest going down, as the Stashbandz stretch a bit with wear.
  • Soundoff sleep earbuds – I am a sleep princess and very sensitive to noise. These rechargeable ear buds play pink noise and have adjustable volume. Hotel room in Spoleto right next door to the dish washers in a restaurant? Noisy street sweeper working at 3 am? No problem with these!
  • Iphone case with strap – I purchased a clear iphone case with detachable strap that can be clipped on horizontally or vertically after reading Adventure’s with Sarah’s experience getting her phone grabbed. The strap helped to have my phone handy when looking at walking directions and was great for hiking pictures.

(to be continued)

Posted by
198 posts


One quick note:
I pack light because I find it easier to maneuver into hotel rooms and on transportation. I’m also tall with very long legs, so it is hard to easily find clothes that fit. However, my husband checked his 22” bag with hiking poles and threw mine in. I was very glad I had my poles! It appeared the Great Airport Luggage Meltdowns of the past couple summers are over. If you prefer to check, go for it. Do what works for you.

And for those that really love detail, here’s the packing list. If I weren’t hiking, I would have switched out some of the hiking tops/bottoms for additional around town clothes. For more summery weather, I would have switched out some tops/bottoms for dresses.

Clothing list:

  • 5 bottoms (had planned 4 but threw in shorts at the last minute)– gray Kuhl hiking pants, black Athleta trekkie wide leg crops, black Athleta trekkie ankle pants, black Athleta Brooklyn lightweight wide leg pants, 1 pair hiking shorts (worn on two really hot hiking days). The trekkie pants can be worn for hiking or around town. The Brooklyn pants were my “cute” option. All bottoms were quick dry and easy to sink wash.
  • 8 tops – Hiking: blue LS Smartwool wool shirt, blue SS Smartwool wool shirt, pink SS Athleta tech shirt, blue plaid LS Columbia button up sun shirt; Around town: LS teal Wooland v-neck wool shirt, ¾ sleve pink Wooland scoop neck wool shirt, SS dusty blue Wooland v-neck wool shirt, teal Athleta SS Renew (lightweight quick-dry) shirt. I could have cut back to 6 shirts but it was nice to have the variety.
  • Pajamas – bamboo leggings and thin LS bamboo T-shirt
  • Underwear – 7 pairs, 2 bras
  • Socks – 3 pairs wool no-shows, wool hiking socks, 1 pr wool compression socks for plane
  • Scarf – Ovcio thin cashmere
  • Outerwear – Eddie Bauer black high route grid fleece quarter zip, Mammut rain jacket, EB microtherm packable down vest, Target purple thin zip-up jacket (bought the day before we left and was a very cute add)!
  • Rain pants – 1 pair, did not use but happy to have them, as we hiked on some cold days with rain threatening.
  • Shoes – 1 pair hiking boots, 1 pair Altra Lone Peaks athletic shoes. If not hiking, I would have packed a second pair of cuter shoes but the Lone Peaks looked fine for around town. (And anyway, no one’s really looking at my feet.)
  • Stashbandz belt
  • Hats – foldable Outdoor Research teal sunhat for hiking, small fleece beanie

Personal items:

  • Small toiletry bag (included earplugs) and 3-1-1- bag
  • 2 small Travelon zip bags (4” x 4”) for first aid and supplements
  • Bamboo comb
  • Small Babyliss Pro travel hair dryer and hot sock diffuser. Could have gotten by with just the diffuser as almost every hotel had a wall hair dryer and the hot sock diffuser fit on all, including the old school ones that look like a giant vacuum cleaner.
  • Kindle, iphone, power cords, small portable phone power bank
  • Sunglasses, extra pair of glasses (I have a very high, hard to get prescription so always bring an extra pair.)
  • Hiking specific items – Wipes, ziplock bags to protect passport/wallet in rain, quick dry small washcloth, blister items, snacks, two Nalgene water bottles. Husband had packed sunscreen and my poles in his checked bag. (The poles clip onto the backpack when hiking.)
  • Small journal with pen and pencil, torn-out sections of Rome/Umbria guide book and Rome city map clipped together with binder clip.
  • Ziplock bag with Sheets laundry sheets (thanks, Mardee), 3 small foldable plastic hangers, a tiny Sea2Summit clothesline, small microfiber towel

Thanks for reading and happy travels!

Posted by
6823 posts

Sharon, I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing, and you have some great ideas in here! I'm glad the Sheets laundry sheets worked for you. With regards to blow dryers, I gave up on bringing them a long time ago. I've never stayed in a place that did not have one. Even self-catering apartments do.

I keep going back and forth about the iphone case and strap. I've never lost my phone or come near to it, but there's always a first time, so I might rethink that for my next trip.

I love those mesh Travelon bags! I have 3 in different sizes and use them for all my toiletries, meds and liquids (unless I'm at LHR or CDG of course, then I add a plastic zip lock bag).

Great report and it sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Posted by
2856 posts

Sharon, thanks so much for sharing your packing list! Great ideas. It’s a challenge to pack light.

Posted by
6363 posts

Thanks, Sharon, for your great list. Did you mention how much your bags weighed?

Posted by
198 posts

Mardee - Thanks, and great point on the hair dryer. I have fine, wavy hair so the Babyliss works well for me and is very light to pack. I don't think it would work well on thicker hair though. And it really should only be used on low power in EU voltage.

I went back and forth on the iphone case, not the least because I thought I'd look pretty dorky walking through Rome with my phone strap. But I found it very convenient to use for directions and to quickly take photos. When I wasn't actively using it, the phone had a slot in my Sherpani.

Horsewoofie - Thanks for the feedback. It's always a learning experience to try and pack light.

Jane - Great question on the weight. I usually try to add up everything to get to a final weight but was really busy before we left so did not get to that. The Eagle Creek 21" weighs about 4 lbs empty. All of the clothing I packed was very light and I was much more disciplined than usual regarding toiletries. So I'd guess the packed suitcase was under 20 lbs even when the hiking boots (about a pound each) were packed in it. It felt super light when packed with the Altras.

The Osprey backpack is 2 lbs 7 oz when empty but is heavier when carrying 2 Nalgene bottles (64 oz total) filled with water when hiking. It has a hip belt that distributes the weight well. If not hiking, I would have picked a different personal item. I kept the Sherpani purse packed very minimally because I don't like too much weight on my shoulder.