What to Wear in Italy By Season (2024)
Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by Dana Berez
What to Wear in Italy
Have no idea what to wear in Italy on vacation or need some Italy outfit ideas? You have come to the right place.
I am obsessed with traveling in Italy. I’ve been to 7 regions of Italy during different seasons. During these travels, I have visited some of the most popular cities and destinations such as Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, Lake Como, Sicily, Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi Coast.
I have many years of experience packing for Italy and figuring out what to wear in Italy for nearly all the seasons.
And trust me, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way such as not packing a jacket in April.
Depending on where you are visiting and the time of year you visit Italy will determine your Italy packing list.
Keep in mind that each region is unique and has different weather. I’ll go over what to wear in Italy as well as give you Italy packing tips and Italy outfit ideas along the way.
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How to dress in Italy
Generally, depending on where you are in Italy, the major cities like Rome, Florence, and Milan Italian fashion is stylish, yet practical. In smaller towns and regions, clothing is more traditional.
Now, when you are touring around Italy it is important to be comfortable.
Wearing shoes that you can walk thousands of steps in is essential for a pleasant trip. Don’t buy new shoes to break in on vacation. Wear new shoes around the house before you visit.
Here are my favorite white walking shoes from Amazon. They are under $60 and I bring them on all my trips to Italy.
During the day think of wearing casual sightseeing clothing, and during the night dress up slightly.
Remember that the most important thing when packing for Italy is wearing what you feel comfortable and confident in.
And if you are visiting popular cities during high season, you’ll see tourists and Italians wearing all kinds of clothing- so don’t overthink it too much! Always remember if you forget something, you can probably buy it on your trip.
Tips for Packing Italy Outfits
Before you start packing for a vacation in Italy, here are some top tips and questions you have to ask yourself before planning what to wear in Italy.
- Don’t forget that Italy has 4 true seasons, colder winters and hot summers. Don’t forget to pack jackets when visiting from November- April.
- Italy is a country with 20 regions. Places in the north of Italy tend to be cooler than the south of Italy. Milan’s yearly weather will look a lot different than the yearly weather in southern Italy like Sicily for example.
- What to wear in Italy will depend on where you are going. Clothes for sightseeing in cities like Rome or Florence will be different than packing for a Summer Coastal trip to the Amalfi Coast.
- Italy is an old country with plenty of cobblestone walkways and stairs. Keep this in mind when you are packing your footwear. A stylish white sneaker is always a must no matter when or where you’re visiting.
- Because of the cobblestone walkways, packing a durable suitcase is essential to keep up!
- Remember to cover your shoulders or bring a shall when visiting religious sites.
Questions to ask yourself:
Where are you going in Italy?
Where you are going in Italy makes a huge difference in what to pack.
If you are going to cities like Rome, Florence, Milan, Naples or Venice pack comfortable clothing and shoes as you’ll be doing plenty of walking.
Depending on the season, be sure to wear light breathable fabrics in summer, and in winter bring a jacket and layers.
If you are heading to the Italian Riveria, Amalfi Coast, or other coastal towns I would wear more resort casual wear with elegant beach coverups and swimwear.
When are you going to Italy?
Remember that Italy has 4 true seasons. Don’t think that it will be warm all year round.
Even the warmest places like Sicily have an average temperature of 50 in winter. When in doubt, always pack a light jacket just in case the temperatures drop.
How long are you going to Italy?
The length of your trip is important for how much clothing you’ll bring. Per day I like to bring one sightseeing outfit, and one dressier outfit to wear to dinner or evenings out.
A capsule wardrobe is a good idea for packing for Italy. Bring pieces that work together so you can extend what you are wearing.
Types of Shoes to wear in Italy
Let’s start with what kinds of shoes to wear in Italy because no matter what part of Italy you are visiting, great pairs of shoes are essential.
I will never forget the time when I was the only person wearing sandals in Milan in April. While my shoes were completely acceptable, it was still too early to be wearing open-toed shoes for the locals who lived there.
So the first thing you must pack is a pair of sneakers.
Comfortable Day Sneakers (Year Round)
It would help if you packed a pair of comfortable day sneakers to do your sightseeing in. Keep in mind that Italy has plenty of uneven cobblestone streets, plenty of stairs, and perhaps some hiking.
White plain sneakers are my favorite because they match with every outfit and they look more stylish than a traditional athletic sneaker.
I love these Adidas sneakers and have brought them on all my trips to Italy. They are comfortable and affordable.
Is it acceptable to wear sneakers to dinner in Italy? In a tourist city, you can of course wear sneakers, but I would say a plain white leather style looks the most appropriate for dinner.
If you are visiting in Summer, a nice comfortable pair of sandals is a great item to pack. Keep in mind they should be easy to walk in, and have some sort of grip on the bottom for slippery stone pathways.
I also find sandals with a backstrap on the heel help keep them on more than a slide sandal.
You can wear sandals during the day sightseeing in warmer weather if they are comfortable enough (I’ve done 20K steps in a slide sandal) or they make a great option to dress up your evening outfit.
The best thing I brought on my trip to Italy was my Birkenstock Big Buckle Arizona sandals.
These are the most comfortable sandals to tour around in and are super popular in Europe, so you’ll fit right in like a local. I love the new design they came out with the big buckle which makes them look a bit more feminine.
And if this doesn’t convince you to get these I don’t know what will – I even climbed a mountain in them. Seriously the Birkenstocks sandals are a must for any city or small town in Italy.
Dressy Flats or Heels (Year Round)
For dinner, you’ll want to wear something a bit nicer than the sneakers you’ve worn all day depending on what kind of establishment you are visiting.
Wearing heels in Italy is not something I would recommend, especially in coastal towns like Positano or the Cinque Terre. Remember there are many stairs and uneven surfaces.
Opt for a thicker block heel sandal that adds some height, yet will give you some support while walking. Or you can wear an espadrille wedge sandal for a comfortable look.
Ankle Boots (Fall-Winter)
Touring the major tourist cities in fall through spring, I’d bring a pair of chic leather boots.
These work great to wear during the day or to dress up an evening look. Early Spring places in Italy still have a light chill in the air, so a leather boot is appropriate.
What to wear in Italy in Summer
Summer Weather in Italy
The summer starts in late June, July, and August, and through early September, Italy’s summer is hot and humid. The high temperatures can range from 89 to 108 degrees.
With that in mind, it is essential to bring lightweight clothing, and breathable fabrics like linen.
If you are touring cities in summer, it gets unbearably hot during mid-day and you’ll want to find AC or shade.
I visited Florence in June and it was easily over 100 degrees. I lived in linen dresses, lightweight trouser shorts, and linen tank tops.
Italy Outfits Summer
Linen is the unofficial fabric of summer in Italy. It’s such a great material because linen is lightweight and extremely breathable. It also dries extremely fast, so if you end up sweating through your shirt, it will shortly after, keeping you cool in the warmer months.
You’ll find plenty of shops and clothing boutiques selling clothing items made with linen.
You will also see many Italians and tourists alike wearing linen shirts, shorts, tops, and linen dresses in the warmer months.
Sundresses & Skirts
My favorite items to pack for a trip to Italy are sundresses because it’s easy to just throw on and you’ll look put together instantly.
I like to wear dresses that are lightweight and I look for materials like linen.
One of my favorite dresses I brought on my trip was this thin strapped Amazon white maxi dress that worked as a coverup and a dress to tour around in.
Shorts are another great option to stay cool during the summer heat. While you won’t find many Italians wearing jean shorts, a stylish option that’s even more lightweight is tailored shorts or Linen shorts.
T-Shirts Breathable Tops
Opt for linen tops, and cotton t-shirts, to regulate your body temperature during the summertime. Look for sleeveless tops for optimal breathability.
Swimwear and cover-ups
If you are visiting coastal towns in summer, you can at least cool down in the refreshing sea.
You’ll be wearing a swimsuit underneath your cover-up heading to the beach, so keep in mind breathable cover-up options and ones that aren’t too revealing.
I tend to bring all kinds of swimwear on my trips to Italy and my favorite affordable swimsuits on Amazon, I also love Everything But Water for elevated designer swimwear.
What to Wear in Italy in the Fall
Fall Weather in Italy
The fall starts in late September, October, November, and early December.
Temperatures in the fall range from 45-65 degrees in northern Italy and 55-70 degrees in southern Italy.
During the fall, Italy still has the summer heat lingering through September and early October, so you can expect pleasant temperatures. But the colder weather starts in late fall where you’ll need to pack warmer clothes.
I visited Sicily in mid-October and it still felt like summer. I was still on the beach laying out with a refreshing Aperol Spritz with full days in the sun. Read more about my trip to Cefalu Sicily here.
So during the fall months, it’s important to look up the weather where you are visiting to understand what the weather will be like.
In general, if you were to visit major cities like Rome, Florence, and Milan I would pack the following:
- Jacket: Depending on how far north you are visiting, a jacket is essential for the cooler fall nights. You could opt for a leather jacket, a lightweight puffer jacket, or even a jean jacket.
- Long sleeve T-shirts: Because the temperatures are just beginning to get lower, a long-sleeved T-shirt is great for sightseeing during the day. You can layer this with a jacket if you get cold, yet you won’t get too warm mid-day.
- Light Sweater: Later in the fall, a lightweight sweater is a great option to stay warm touring during the day.
- Long Pants: Rather than shorts, opt for long pants or dark-wash jeans to wear with your tops.
- Maxi Dresses & Skirts: You can still bring your dresses and skirts, but opt for a longer length in case it’s too chilly to wear a shorter style. I’ve worn maxi dresses with leggings underneath for extra warmth during the cooler months.
What to wear in Italy in Winter
Winter Weather in Italy
The winter starts in late December, January, February, and early March, and this is the coldest time to visit Italy. Remember Italy does have 4 seasons, and in some regions, it can even snow.
This is the low season, so you can find great deals on hotels and flights and it won’t be as crowded, but you’ll have to bring some winter clothing with layers.
Average temperatures in Winter range in each region but for example, Rome’s winter weather ranges from 38 to 54 degrees. But if you are headed to the Italian Alps, expect freezing temperatures.
- Jacket: Instead of a light jacket for fall, I would bring a heavier-duty winter jacket like this puffer style, or a stylish long wool coat for an ultimate Italian look for the cold weather. You want something that will keep you warm enough when you tour outside.
- Sweaters: Pack different kinds of sweaters for different temperatures. Cashenre is a great material that is extremely warm, yet breathable to wear.
- Long Pants & Trousers: Long pants are a must for wintertime. Be sure to bring a darker style to dress up for the evening.
- Winter Accessories: I would bring a winter hat, gloves, and scarf to layer up on cooler days.
What to Wear in Italy in Spring
Spring Weather in Italy
The spring starts in late March, April, and May through early June. Spring tends to be more wetter and winder than other seasons with average temperatures in central Italy being 43-59 degrees.
Don’t make my mistake of packing for spring in Italy. I visited Milan, Lake Como, and Venice in late April and was expecting warm pleasant temperatures. The reality was it was nearly 55 degrees and I only packed summer dresses and sandals. Thankfully I did pack a leather jacket!
Italy Outfits Spring
Generally, the weather is crisp and cool in the morning and night but warms up to a pleasant temperature during the day.
- Light Jacket: A trench coat/rain jacket is a great jacket to wear in Italy during spring because you’ll find it to be dewy and cold in the morning. But any light jacket will do, as long as you bring one, it’s essential. I brought a leather jacket and wore it during the morning and night during my spring trip and it matched with all my outfits.
- Long-sleeve lightweight shirts: Bring lightweight long-sleeve shirts that you can wear comfortably all day long.
- Pants: It’s still cool for long pants, but because it’s spring a lighter color brightens your outfit and goes with all kinds of tops.
- Maxi Dreses & Skirts: In spring you can wear dresses in Italy, but it’s still a bit cold for short styles. Opt for long maxi dresses if you want to wear a dress. Plus this is a great option for what to wear during dinner. Also, a long skirt is great to wear during the day or night!
What Kind of Purse to Wear in Italy
When packing your purse or handbag for Italy be sure that it can fully close via a zipper or have some sort of button. This is to prevent any problems like pickpockets, etc. (just like any major city it’s best to be vigilant)
No matter when or where you are visiting, a cross-body bag is a perfect bag that’s comfortable to wear on your body & fits your essentials inside like your phone, room key, wallet, etc. Plus you’ll be confident walking around because your valuables are right in front of you.
My mom went on a trip to London and swore by this crossbody that fit all her essentials inside.
A backpack is also an option when touring around Italy to fit even more essentials than a cross-body bag.
I would keep it to a small/ medium size and avoid an overly athletic-style backpack. I love this sleek backpack for the size and that it would match all your outfits.
Large Beach Tote (Summer coastal town)
Headed to the coast during summer and plan to hit the beach or pool? A larger beach tote is a great option that can hold everything in one place.
You’ll want something that you can fit your day essentials inside like sunscreen, towel, camera, book, sunglasses, water bottles, etc.
Other Things to Pack in Italy
In the summertime, it gets hot throughout Italy. Sunscreen is essential to protect you from the sun! I’d bring your own kind of sunscreen as it can get pricy if purchased in Italy.
Pack a hat during summer to protect your scalp from the sun. If your trip involves a coastal beach town I would recommend bringing a larger stylish hat. You can clip your hat on your bag with these handy hat clips!
I always find that sunglasses dress up your look, so bring your favorite pair. If you are worried about damaging your nice sunglasses, Amazon has great options under $20!
If you wear contacts like me, consider getting prescription sunglasses so you don’t have to wear contacts all day long! I love the styles from Warby Parker. They are stylish and affordable.
Here are some of my favorite Amazon Sunglasses.
While I don’t want it to rain on your trip to Italy, rain happens throughout any time of year (that’s why it’s so lush and beautiful) Pack an umbrella for those just-in-case moments. You don’t want to get caught in a rainstorm.
You need to pack a plug adapter to charge your electronics. I’ve been using these converters on Amazon on all my trips and had no problems. I even use it for my curling iron with no issues. P.S. This curling iron is great for travel!
If you are a jewelry lover like me, you need this hanging jewelry organizer! It’s under $13 on Amazon and keeps all your earrings, and necklaces organized in one place.
Insulated Water Bottle
I like to pack my insulated water bottle on any trip to Italy to keep my water cool throughout the day you’ll find perfectly clean water fountains throughout the major cities in Italy that you can refill your bottle up for free.
What NOT to wear in Italy that Make you Look Like a Tourist
Overly Revealing Clothing
Italians dress more modestly, and when you are showing too much skin wearing short shorts or a low revealing top you look more like a tourist rather than a local. Also don’t wear a sheer swimsuit coverup walking around town.
Are wearing leggings to the store in the US totally fine? Absolutely, but in Italy you’ll definitely look like a tourist.
In fact, leave all your athleisure at home. In Italy, you won’t find people in leggings and casual athletic wear. Even in the summer heat, you’ll see people dressed casually yet chic. Think tailored shorts, with a plain t-shirt for an easy casual summer outfit.
Same with the guys. Overly athletic basketball shorts or US sports jerseys are a clear indicator that you are a tourist.
I’m not saying you can’t wear jean shorts, however, I do find that the only people wearing jean shorts in Italy are Americans. Instead of jean shorts, I would opt for a pair of linen shorts, or trouser shorts.
You know those random T-shirts that ended up in your home that you usually wear to bed? Leave those colorful printed T-shirts at home.
If a t-shirt is your style, you can order a pack of plain-colored t-shirts on Amazon. They will look a lot dressier, yet you’ll still be comfortable.
You’ll definitely stand out as a tourist wearing flip-flops or thong sandals. Instead, opt for a pair of sandals or sneakers.
Best suitcases for Italy
Remember how I said there is cobblestone everywhere in Italy? Make sure you bring a suitcase that can keep up with the uneven roads and steps.
My Samsonite suitcases are actually champions because they have lasted me years on Italy’s cobblestones and they are still with me today!
Like I mentioned I love my Samsonite suitcases for their durability, but I’ve also had great luck with Delsey and Travelpro luggage.
When you are packing for Italy, many will recommend packing light by just packing one carry-on bag because it’s easier to manage once you are in Italy.
I agree it’s easier to manage, but let’s be real… if you can’t fit your items in one small bag don’t think twice about bringing a large checked bag. Plus, you’ll want to bring back souvenirs and wine!
To help you keep organized packing, using packing cubes is a great option. I like to sort my bottoms, tops, dresses, etc into different cubes so when I arrive at my destination I know exactly where everything is.
Italy Outfits FAQ
Are leggings appropriate to wear in Italy?
My biggest tip is to wear what makes you feel comfortable, but if you want to blend in with the Italian style leggings are not appropriate to wear in Italy. You won’t see any Italians wearing leggings, and it will be a clear indicator that you are a tourist.
Do people wear jeans in Italy?
Yes, people wear jeans in Italy, however, the jean styles tend to be of a darker wash without any rips or holes. A darker pair of jeans is a great bottom basic for fall, winter, or spring trips to Italy.
Where to shop for Italy Outfits?
- Amazon: Amazon is a great place to shop for your Italy Vacation, You can find great basics like t-shirts, accessories, sundresses, and jewelry. I’ve put together a list of Italy
- J Crew: Classic stylish pieces and beautiful dresses made with great quality materials like linen and cotton.
- Revolve: You can find trendy one-of-a-kind dresses, swimsuits, and coverups on Revolve.
Summary of What Tourists Should Wear in Italy
I hope you enjoyed this Italy Packing List and tips on what to wear in Italy for your next vacation. But to sum it up:
- Remember that Italy has 4 seasons. Know when and where you are visiting to help pack for your trip. Winter in Sicily feels a lot different than Winter in the Dolomites.
- Wear clothing that makes you feel comfortable, but to avoid looking like a tourist leave leggings, short shorts, and athleisure at home.
- Your shoes will make or break your trip because there is a lot of walking. Always bring a pair of shoes that have optimal comfort to walk in for the uneven cobblestone pathways.
- A crossbody bag is the best option for touring around Italy.
- There is a dress code for religious sights. Be respectful and cover your shoulders and knees when entering churches or cathedrals.
I hope you found this post helpful on what to wear in Italy and have new Italy Outfits to wear on your next trip. Save this post to refer back later on Pinterest and share it with your friends: