Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

How do I carry my stuff around in Italy (i.e. camera, water bottle)

How do I carry my stuff around in Italy (i.e. camera, water bottle)

Old May 6th, 2005, 11:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10
How do I carry my stuff around in Italy (i.e. camera, water bottle)

I'm a first time Europe traveler and am wondering how to best/safely carry my stuff around Rome while site seeing (i.e. my camera, water bottle, souveniers I purchase -- not my money/credit cards). I'm thinking backpack but is that safe?
mitchm is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,683
I'm assuming by the name Mitch that you are male. We recently came back from our first trip to Italy ( and Europe) and my husband carried a canvas bag with leather bottom and straps (kind of like a book bag) that slung across his shoulder. He carried it almost everyday and found it very convenient and not too heavy. I think having something go across your chest is safer than the backpack and also looks nice if that is an issue.
I also carried a Coach bag (canvas with leather bottom) that slung across my chest. I loved it as well. Canvas is a bit lighter than all leather.
jgg is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
I carried something similar to what jgg described but mine was black canvas wore across my chest. I kept the flap of the bag next to me and it was big enough to put my small video camera, a guide book or map that we needed for that day, my notepad for trip report information etc.. I've used the same bag for 4 European trips and while it is not the most stylish, it makes the most sense for all the things I want to have with me during the day. In the evening when we're out to dinner I have a smaller more stylish purse to carry the essentials in.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 16
We recently returned from our first trip and my husband carried a backpack. We never put any cash or credit cards in the backpack and we always placed our non-valuables (light sweater, guide book) on top of the camera and other stuff. We didn't have any problem, though on the subway, etc. we always kept it in view of one of us. Our backpack had many, many compartments - I think it's an OGGI or something like that - and served us well as it expanded and collapsed based on the contents. Those contents ranged from a kilo of parmigianno reggiano purchased at the S. Lorenzo mercato in Florence to three pieces of ceramics in Assisi to an antique print in Rome. Have a great time!
TwoRavens is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,485
A messenger style bag works well for a guy (strap that can cross your torso and flap that hangs down on the front). Or a small daypack.
suze is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 128
If your just in Rome you may not need to carry water with you since there are so many fountains, many of which may be drunk from. A sign will be present if it the water is not potable.

Most of the smaller drinking fountains don't look like it would be easy to get a drink from becuase the spigots face down at a angle. But if you look closely at the spigot there usualy is a little hole on top of the spigot. If you place your finger over the spigot hole. The water is forced up the top little hole and shoots out like a drinking fountain.

Some of the larger fountains which would not enable access for a drink may have a little spigot nearby for drinking water. I believe the Trevi is one such.

If you use a back pack try this little tip, as I have heard , not experienced, that some of the thieves are light handed enough that they can unzip your back pack & remove contents without you feeling a thing.

Secure a piece of string or such to one of the zipper handles. When your pack is closed, secure the 2 zipper pieces and throw the string over your shoulder so it rest on your front torso.
If someone is sneaky enough to pillage your pack while it is on , they won't be able to do so because once they start to move that zipper that string will start to move.
Lorenzi is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,283

Just another tip to add onto what Lorenzi said, since I WAS one of those people who got ripped off with a backpack without feeling or seeing anything! (in Lake Como I might add -- not in a crowd, WALKING briskly with my husband next to me -- those guys are good)!

After that experience I took some extra precautions -- I used a variation of the messenger type bag that others have mentioned, I guess it could be called a soft-sided briefcase (cotton/nylon); except mine has 2 straps with plastic clips that have to be undone, AND my husband attached velcro to the flap as well, so it makes a "rpppttt" noise. (my backup security system in case they get past the clips) I also have that side facing my body.

wlzmatilida is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,305
A canvas bag over the shoulder gets my vote.
I would think it inconvenient to carry a camera in a backback, i.e., it would be such an ordeal to get it out every time you wanted to use it.
HowardR is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
Last three jaunts to Italy were entirely backpack...no need to worry about security if you are sensible, i.e. do not put your valuables in the most vulnerable outside pocket, keeping them instead in an inner pocket, next to your body.
LJ is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 865
Drinking from the fountains? No thanks.

I've seen a few too many pigeons perch on those spigots and drink from the water stream. They know just how to bend their little heads in all sorts of contorted ways to get to that water on a hot summer day.

I've been using a black Eagle Creek daypack for years. Its just big enough for the essentials, lots of pockets, durable, has an adjustable strap with a leather shoulder pad.
platzman is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,374
Because of safety concerns, a lot of travellers in Rome carry their daypack on the front of their body, and while it looks ugly it seems sensible. Failing that, as others have suggested, a sturdy bag slung across your soulders and placing your hands on the zip or buckle gets my vote. I tend to carry my compact digital camera in a belt pouch, with its strap attached to the belt loop. Or if you have a slim camera you can carry it round your neck like a pendant and put it into your breast pocket.
Alec is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,318
Do what I do and hire a humble local peasant to carry your things.
Edward2005 is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 683
When I was in Rome I used a daypack. I put my camera and some money in it.(moneybelt for everything else) I used a carabiner as a lock on the zippers, locking two zipper heads together. Some carabiners(climbing hardware)screw the ends together. I put it threw the zipper holes and screw it tight. Maybe I am fooling myself but I think I would know (or hope I would) if someone was trying to unscrew the carabiner. I usually wear my daypack on my side. In the crowded metro I put my daypack in front of me, front side to my body. My first trip to Paris I was pickpocketed, but being that I read my fodors, all they got out of the pocket of my coat was one used wadded up kleenex! By the way I felt the pickpocket but they were fast!
hester is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,107
I've always used a daypack, for decades of travel, everywhere in the world.

If I'm in a crowded place (on the subway, in a market) or somewhere I'm distracted (watching street performers, for example), I have the unfailing habit of slipping off one strap and swinging the pack around under my shoulder, with my arm over the openings.

I do carry my valuables there on many days, but if I'm somewhere particularly dicey, I put them in a "sock safe." I'm not foolish enough to think I'm invulnerable, but it's worked for me for a very long time and a lot of places.

I am one of those who believe that awareness is your best defense.
Marilyn is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
I like Edwards idea although there are times that I seem to be the humble servant..my bag holds the camera etc, he holds the wallet,money etc and we stop for water along the way.
I still think backpacks are the worst way to carry things, big bulky and in other peoples faces too often. IMHO.
Scarlett is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,107
I know what you mean, Scarlett, but mine is small-ish and I try to remember it's there before I bash somebody. For me, the important advantages are:
1. Both hands are free, for photographing, etc.
2. If I carry even a small purse over one shoulder all day, my muscles start to ache. It must throw my alignment off or something. I need to try one of those healthy back bags and see if it makes a difference.
Marilyn is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Agree that there's no reason to carry a water bottle in Rome--or pretty much any other western European city--while sightseeing. I have a digital camera that is small enough to carry in a shirt or jacket pocket, so I don't carry any type of backpack or daypack any more (when in a city).
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,323
It's de rigeur to carry a bottle of volvic/evian/voss in your hand, it gives you a little sport chic with the merest hint towards a healthly lifestyle...unless of course you're a fat slob, but they that's just a lost cause!

Carry a wallet in your trouser pocket, a bi-fold with coin purse is the neatest solution.

Or if you're a man with a secret passion for handbags, buy yourself a small shoulderbag, or if you're more masculine then a messenger bag is that much more suitable a shape.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,323
Oh and I forgot to mention specifics...

Dior Homme do their usual black vintage Dior canvas, which isn't bad, but it's more due to the influence of LVMH group rather than the creative director Hedi Slimane. I prefer their suede bags with canvas accents - in brown this season which is always more serviceable for a man who rarely wears a bag in the evening. Or Miu Miu and Dries Van Noten have more of an hippy chic look happening which is quite fun for the summer, but not serviceable for the rest of the year. Prada/Gucci have their classic lines, but that's all a little predictable!
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Old May 8th, 2005, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
Marilyn, I was thinking of the typical BackPack, like the kids wear .. big and knock you down on a train type.
My son carries a sort of goes across the chest with the zipper part in front, got it in Japan so don't know exactly the type it is but it looks great on a guy.
Even if he is not as lovely as my son LOL
ok ok, just playing..
I carry a Longchamp bag that has long adjustable straps that can go across my chest, bandolier style, no stress on shoulders or back. There are a dozen pockets and it looks great. ( which is SO important)

m_kingdom, I think it was Prada that came out with a great bag that is sort of a rough khaki fabric with a canvas strap and pockets in the front, a great traveling bag!
Scarlett is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information