A Look Back: Packing Tips for Italy Travel

Angie Spitalieri Ianiro, Publisher Angie Spitalieri Ianiro, Publisher

We hope you are enjoying your summer! It is now festival season! Please remember to let us know of local church and community festivals. We will share the events with our subscribers. As we head into summer travel time, please enjoy this article from July of 2019 from our friend Margie Longano Miklas.
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Quando si è in procinto di partire, il primo passo da affrontare è la preparazione della valigia, per molti un vero e proprio incubo. Cosa metterci? E’ la domanda che si fanno inevitabilmente tutti i viaggiatori fissando l’armadio di casa. I timori riguardano soprattutto la possibilità di dimenticare qualcosa o al contrario di portare troppa roba, con il risultato di doversi trascinare un peso inutile. Il problema, prima ancora di dover fare la valigia, è quello di quale tipo scegliere in base al viaggio che si va ad affrontare e poi come orientarsi tra le infinite tipologie oggi disponibili. L’abbigliamento da portare dipende dalla destinazione e dalla durata del viaggio, ma il segreto è optare per capi semplici e versatili di colore neutro indossabili a strati in caso di maltempo, assieme a scarpe comode e resistenti. Essenziale avere con sé medicinali di prima necessità da tenere sempre nella propria borsa a mano e tutti quegli accessori come caricabatteria, caricatore portatile e adattatore di prese di correnteche tengono in vita cellulari e tablet.

After 10 trips to Italy in 12 years, I’ve learned a thing or two about packing. I’ll never make the mistake I made the first trip when I dragged a 30-inch suitcase with me. I still remember cursing every time I navigated steps, especially in the train stations. From my own experiences, these packing tips for Italy travel are my best suggestions. 

First, luggage. Use luggage with wheels, preferably with the four spinner wheels. Make sure there are separate pockets and zippered spaces for efficient and organized packing. I also prefer to use packing cubes. I use a set of four in various sizes and they are versatile and ultra-lightweight. 

How much luggage should you take? I promise you will be able to get by with a medium-sized checked bag and a carry-on. You’ll thank me later when you’re lugging your bags up and down countless footbridges in Venice, up steep steps at train stations and up multiple staircases to reach your room in a hotel without an elevator.

Always be sure to leave extra room in your luggage to bring back special Italian mementos! A bottle of wine or olive oil, hand-painted ceramics or a made-in-Italy leather bag make great souvenirs. Just remember to put the wine in your checked bag! When the security personnel confiscated the 750 ml bottle of wine in my carry-on, I watched with disappointment as they smiled at each other. Someone enjoyed a nice, complimentary wine with their dinner that evening, I am sure. I made that mistake only once.

I pack for five days, not counting the travel day. I used to spend hours washing my clothes by hand in small bathroom hotel sinks and then stringing clotheslines for them to dry. Now, I splurge on having my laundry done at a nearby laundromat or by the hotel. On my most recent trip to Taormina in Sicily, the reception manager directed me to a laundromat on the street above the hotel, up a flight of stairs. Not only was I able to leave the clothes to be washed and dried, but the laundromat owner delivered the clean clothes back to the hotel. For a huge bag of clothes, the price was an incredible 10 euros – well worth it! On the same trip, a laundromat in Venice provided the same services for 15 euros per load.

It is not necessary to pack a hair dryer. All hotels provide them. But, if you have Italia hair like me, best to bring your own hair straightener. I pack minimal jewelry in a small, fabric case. Toiletries and medications take up space, so bring travel sizes when you can or purchase toiletries from a tabaccheria or a local market upon your arrival. 

Italy’s weather can vary throughout the country. Packing options for layering makes the most sense. I always bring a scarf or two. They occupy little space and can enhance an outfit from casual to dressy.

When packing electronic necessities, be sure to include charging devices for your phone and other gadgets and an international travel adapter in your carry-on. I also always bring a portable extra battery charger for my phone. I’ve needed these more times than I care to remember.

Your U.S. TSA pre-check won’t apply in Italy so give yourself enough time at airport security checkpoints. 

Be sure to wear or pack comfortable and supportive shoes because you can count on walking at least five miles a day, especially in cities like Rome, Florence and Venice.

Although these packing tips for Italy travel just barely scratch the surface, they might make your trip a bit easier. Are you thinking about planning a trip to Italy? What are you waiting for?

Buon viaggio!

Look back July1