Italy-What to pack for late March!

Mar 14th, 2000, 12:42 PM
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Italy-What to pack for late March!

Our family will be in Milan, Rome, and Venice late March. What clothes should we take? I'm assuming that light jackets would be good. What about white tennis shoes? I want to be comfortable when we walk all over Rome etc. What about jeans-the uniform for my 15 year old daughter? What are the clothes restrictions for St. Peters and the Vatican? We will be going by train so need to pack light-a tall order for us!! Since we will stand out as Americans with our blond hair, can we dress as Americans in good taste, or is it when in Rome...? Thanks again for your help! Judy
Mar 14th, 2000, 06:39 PM
Cheryl Z.
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Judy, skip the white tennis shoes and jeans even for your teenager in Italy at any time of year. Italians aren't so casual in their dress even compared to the rest of Europe. You'll see the locals wearing lots of black, and darker colors,and dressier clothing. Even on hot days, women (including the younger crowd) will be dressed conservatively, hosiery/heels. Besides sneakers there's alot of good walking shoes available that would be more appropriate. That's been a well-discussed topic on here (and you can probably find by a search). My favs are Aerosoles. Others swear by Mephistos, Easy Spirits and other brands. Even teenagers are dressed better in Italy. In most churches and the
Vatican you'll need to have your shoulders covered and NO shorts. Don't worry about standing out with blonde hair, or as an American. I'm blonde and I just blend in with most of the other travelers from all over the world that are in abundance in Italy at any time. And it seems to be hard to hide as an American, not that I want to anyway. End of March could be chilly, be prepared. I hope you have a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to our third trip to Italy in May/June, this time in Milan, Ravenna and the Lakes.
Mar 14th, 2000, 08:38 PM
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Not sure about your definition of light jacket(s). We're headed to Venice and the Dolomites March 27, and I am generally insisting that everyone take a COAT (but not necessarily hats or gloves).

From the website

Average (lows) for Milan:

March - 37.9 F
April - 44.4 F

On a more positive note, the average highs are 55 and 63 F respectively for March and April.

The data for Venice run about 1 degree warmer for the lows, and about 2-3 degrees lower for the highs.

Best wishes,

Mar 15th, 2000, 01:59 AM
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When we went to Rome last March, we were fine with sweaters, blazers, and raincoats, which we layered according to the changeable weather. Sometimes at night all the layers felt good. A few warm days, we didn't need anything but the sweater. However, Venice and Milan will probably be colder. I packed the most conservative items of my already conservative wardrobe and felt quite "in place" with all my black knits and ankle boots, which I find more comfortable than sneakers for walking. However, I would not have dreamed of making my 17-year-old son wear anything other than his normal clothes. He looked just like an American teenager in his jeans and sneakers, but no one refused to serve him at restaurants or was rude to him in any way, and he was happy and comfortable. (I did draw the line at the New York Yankees ball cap for evenings out! He also had a pair of khakis and some polo shirts for these more "formal" occasions.) Your daughter will be fine in her jeans.
Mar 15th, 2000, 06:55 AM
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You say you need to pack light. That is one of the best arguments against jeans. They are heavy and bulky. They take forever to dry if they get wet (rain or laundering). Yes, some Europeans wear them but those Europeans are going home every night--we're staying in hotels and must do handwashing or find laundromats. I took jeans once (when I was 19) and I'll NEVER do it again. I handwashed a pair of jeans in Florence (in July) and they took 4 days to dry. And white tennis shoes won't be white for long.
Mar 16th, 2000, 06:19 AM
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Judy, you are getting good advice. In Rome and Florence we needed a light jacket, maybe a scarf. The jeans are out for weight and sloppiness factor. Tencel is a good choice, slacks are fine - Italian women are wearing very fitted slacks. No bare shoulders or sleeveless clothes ( too cool in the am and eveinings anyway, and no mimiskirts in the churches. We felt (normally chic American women) frumpy compared to the Italians! Lots of Italians are blond, by the way.

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