What to Pack for Italy in Summer: Our Top 17 Essentials for International Travel
Updated: Feb 13
FREE Printable Packing List for Italy in Summer
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Italy is a wonderful travel destination year-round. If you’re planning a trip, we’ve got you covered when it comes to packing! After spending a month in this beautiful country, we want to share our experiences with you so you can have a great trip too!
The weather stays very warm in Italy throughout the summer. You might even be surprised by how hot it can get in places like Rome (up to 98° F). Be prepared for some hot days even if you’re visiting in May! While it’s not as hot as summer, Italy in May is already very warm.
Most days you’ll want to wear shorts and t-shirts. However, bringing a few layers to Italy is the best idea. You might not need a jacket all day, but once the sun goes down, it tends to get a lot cooler, and you’ll most likely be enjoying dinner after the sun goes down. It’s common to eat later in Italy!
Read Also: Rome 3-Day and 1-Day Itineraries
Italy Packing List
1. Rain Jacket or Small Umbrella
The weather is quite unpredictable in Italy. You never know when it might rain, which is why it’s always handy to have a rain jacket or a small umbrella on you. The good thing is that the rain tends to be more of a drizzle and doesn’t typically last more than a couple of hours.
While you won’t need a winter coat when visiting Italy in summer, it’s a good idea to bring a jacket as the evenings tend to be quite chilly. It’s also very common to eat dinner later (at least later than in the U.S.), so if you’re eating outside and the sun is down, it will be much cooler.
3. Comfortable Shoes
Nice walking shoes are a necessity for Italy. While places like Rome have buses and trains to get around (which are super convenient), many historic sites and must-see places are within walking distance of each other. You’ll most likely find yourself walking miles a day to see as many incredible sights as possible. Our all-time favorite walking shoes are Allbirds!
I highly recommend packing mostly shorts or dresses, but you might also want a pair of long pants. You’ll likely be outside a lot as there are so many sites to see everywhere in Italy, so staying cool will be a necessity. It will likely be too hot for long pants, but having a pair for nice dinners or maybe even a specific activity, such as hiking, will be a good idea. We both wear pants for travel days when we know we’ll be taking trains or buses for a longer period of time.
Short sleeve shirts and a couple of tank tops are a must. When it gets very hot, you’ll see more people wearing tank tops and dresses, but we found that very few men wear tank tops. I’m not sure of the reasoning, but don’t let this stop you from wearing them. It’s still socially acceptable, just don’t wear extremely baggy tanks that don’t even cover your sides.
Don’t forget these! I’ve added these to the list so you don’t forget to pack them. Make sure you bring underwear, bras, socks, camis, and whatever you might want to wear underneath. You will want one pair of longer socks if you plan on hiking or mountain biking or anything of the like. MeUndies is our go too for all of our undergarments and loungewear.
7. Sunglasses or Hat
Summer in Italy is hot, and when the sun comes out, it is bright. Like, BRIGHT bright. A pair of sunglasses or a hat will definitely come in handy. Just remember to throw them in your day bag or purse so you can actually wear them!
Sunscreen is also a great idea. We walked around Rome for a few hours on a sunny day, forgot to put sunscreen on, and were actually sunburned. I definitely recommend throwing face sunscreen and a travel-size sunblock (also reef friendly) in your suitcase or backpack.
9. Day Bag
I recommend bringing a small backpack or some kind of day bag with you. You’ll most likely be out and about all day, so rather than bringing your big bag you probably traveled with, you’ll have a small bag you can throw just the things you’ll need for the day in. Think sunglasses, water bottle, wallet, etc. Just be wary of people around, as pickpockets exist everywhere. Don’t bring a bag that can easily be taken from you, such as an over-the-shoulder purse.
10. Water Bottle
Along with a day bag, a reusable water bottle is a good idea to bring. In many cities, there are freshwater fountains you can fill your bottle up with. In Rome, for example, they’re on nearly every street, and people even stop their cars to fill up their bottles. You also have to buy a water bottle from a restaurant if you want water with your meal, so having your own you can just refill will save you lots of money.
If you’re coming from the U.S., you’re probably used to having a nice little bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc., waiting for you in your hotel room and often in Airbnbs. This is not the case in Italy. However, this is no issue, just bring a small bottle of your own, or buy some from a market or pharmacy when you arrive. Keep everything organized in a toiletry bag, it will make your life easier. And you can even share one if you have a travel partner!
12. OTC Meds
If you are prone to headaches or anything similar, bring a travel bottle of ibuprofen or your preferred painkiller. While there are pharmacies available here, it can be confusing to find exactly what you need when everything is in a different language. It also might not be exactly what you wanted, so it's not a bad idea if you can fit a small bottle from home.
Don't forget a plug adapter or converter so you can charge your electronics! You will want a converter if you plan on using anything like a hairdryer or straightener, as the standard voltage is higher than it is in the U.S. in Italy. They will just get fried if you don't use a converter for these appliances. You only need an adapter for your phone, though, and these are our favorite universal adapters we highly suggest buying!
You will definitely want to take pictures while you’re traveling in Italy. Everything is incredibly beautiful and picturesque. From the quaint flower-covered balconies to the ancient Colosseum, Italy is a place you’ll want to remember forever. If you prefer to use your phone camera, that is perfect as well. Just don’t forget your charger and adapter!
If you have remote work of any kind, obviously don’t forget your laptop. When you arrive in Italy, you can get a SIM card for your phone to have internet access, or you can always get an international hotspot. We love our KeepGo hotspot. It worked really well for us in Rome and Cinque Terre, so I can imagine it works well in most places around Italy. If you have any other electronics you often use, maybe a Nintendo Switch for the plane/trains, then make sure you throw that in your bag too.
If you are flying to Italy internationally, you definitely need to pack your passport. While you’re traveling, I recommend keeping it somewhere that is accessible, as you’ll need to have it handy multiple times (flight check-in, customs, etc.). This is also a great form of identification to have while abroad. You can use it to buy drinks, rent a car, and more. Remember to take a photo of it and send it to someone for safekeeping back home just in case something happens to your physical passport. Check out these RFID Passport and Credit Card covers to protect your valuables too!
It's a good idea to pack a swimsuit if you're visiting Italy in the summer, especially if you're going to the coast. There are also many lakes in Italy that you can swim in, and some hotels have pools. While the ocean water is very cold, the sun will be very hot, and jumping into the ocean will be very refreshing if you're up for it! Grab my favorite one-piece swimsuit here!
We highly recommend you pack these essentials for traveling to Italy in the summer. Remember that May can be very warm in Italy as well especially if you're visiting Rome or anywhere further south.
What to Pack for Italy in Summer
Rain Jacket / Umbrella
TIP: We like to add the city of our destination to our weather app a few weeks before we go so we can see what the weather is generally like and if it’s been getting warmer or colder, rainy, etc.
Read Also: First Trip to Italy Suggestions
We hope this packing list for Italy in May is just what you’ve been looking for! We experienced summer in Italy first hand and highly suggest following this packing list.
Read Also: 2-Day Cinque Terre Itinerary
Now get packing and enjoy the picturesque streets, tiny markets, lively people, beautiful architecture, incredible food, and more that make Italy an amazing place to travel to. What cities are on your Italy itinerary? Have you been to this beautiful country before or is it your first time?