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The "perfect" packing list for a winter trip to Italy

Since this topic comes up quite often, I thought I'd post my recent packing list for a 2 1/2 week trip to Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan) over the Christmas holidays. Although it might not be "perfect" for everyone, it was for me so I thought I'd share it in hopes that it will help others (ladies I'm talking to you) with the age old dilemma of "what do I pack???"

Background: I only do carry on and am a 52 year old female. Objective was to be warm, comfortable and "somewhat" stylishly attired. Weather ranged from high 30's/low 40's to high 50's with 5 or so days of rain. Color scheme - black, grey, teal and burgundy. So, what did I take?

3 pairs of pants - 1 pr. trouser styled jeans, 1 pair black skinny jeans and 1 pr. dark denim boot cut jeans. Wore the trouser jeans on the plane.
3 long sleeved, crew neck t Shirts (black, charcoal and burgundy). Wore one on the plane.
2 lightweight merino wool cardigans - grey and teal. Wore the grey one on the plane.
1 lightweight merino wool v neck pullover (grey)
1 lightweight merino wool turtleneck (burgundy)
3 Uniqlo heat tech t shirts in teal, burgundy and grey (these were absolutely key!!)
1 pr. pj's
1 pr. velour sweats (we rented apartments so I wore these to cook and lounge in)
2 bras (wore one, packed one)
4 pr. underwear (wore 1, packed 3)
4 pr.smartwool socks (wore 1, packed 3)
1 pr. black long underwear
1 pr. black leather clarks walking shoes
1 pr. black short boots (Born)
3 scarves (1 wool, 2 modal)
1 pr. gloves (zipped into pockets of raincoat)
1 black rain coat with liner (carried onto plane)
1 black Primaloft packable women's jacket (the jacket stuffs into it's own pocket and I put it in a velour pillow cover and used as my pillow on the plane)


1 black leather crossbody bag (fit into "personal bag")
1 small tote bag (personal item) - pillow, Kindle, ipad, camera, headphones, velour sweats, liquids bag
Overall, this wardrobe worked really well - the key pieces were the Uniqlo t shirts which I wore every day as my base layer. I washed these out in the sink and they dried by the next day. Second key piece was the Lands End primaloft jacket. It provided great insulation under the raincoat and I wore it with just the t shirts/sweaters on the warmer and less rainy days. Last key piece was my long underwear.

Posted by
8767 posts

Thanks for sharing your list Nancy. I'm a jeans wearer too. Did you find you wore your boots more or your shoes?

Posted by
503 posts

I think I wore them about equally - my boots are a bit warmer than my shoes and a bit more waterproof so on cold and rainy days/nights I wore them instead of my shoes.

Posted by
503 posts

No RS suitcase - used an old Delsey 20 inch carry on and packing cubes.

Posted by
420 posts

This is a great list! Thanks so much. Do you know which "model" of Clarks walking shoes you have? I'm still looking for the perfect walking shoe (winter & summer). Were you able to wash items in your sink and have them dry or did you go to the laundromat? Happy Travels!

Posted by
35 posts

We did a similar trip last February & your packing list looks "perfect"to me too! I think that the black long underwear was my most versatile garment/s - I wore the turtleneck top with skinny jeans & a scarf & boots for "dress up" & also wore the pants with boots like leggings. In fact, I loaned them to my daughter for a trip to Germany over Christmas & I've yet to get them back!

Posted by
1 posts

Thanks, Nancy - this list is very helpful. My husband and I will be traveling to Great Britain for 30 days in May (England, Wales & Scotland - as far north as Inverness) - similar temps to what you describe, so we were wondering how to pack for colder weather than we are used to (we live in San Diego) and still pack light, in one carry on suitcase. Since I'm not familiar with Uniqlo t shirts or the Lands End primaloft jacket, I will check those out - they may be key to packing light and still having the warmth we will need for these cooler and rainy temps. We did a similar trip to yours in Italy last May - 30 day driving tour of the entire country - it was awesome. A bit warmer though..........