Packing for Italy in July


Feb 10th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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Packing for Italy in July

I know I have LOTS of time to think about this - but I'm excited about my first trip to Italy & starting to think about what I might want to pack. I will be going on a tour and staying in very good hotels. I know it will be HOT in Italy in July - are shorts okay for touring - or do I really need slacks & skirts, etc.? Any tips for looking put together but still being cool & comfortable. I'm in my mid-fifties and not thin - although not huge either.

Has anyone ever used a PacSafe Sling style purse? I guess they have lots of security features to help ward off the pick pockets in Italy. I don't want to have sore shoulders from lugging a big bag around with me everywhere I go - but I know I'll need to have some things with me during the day. What do you think I'll need to carry around?

I've been thinking about purchasing an international mini flat iron (for my hair) from Travelsmith. The prices seem high from that company. Does anyone know of another good source?
Barbara_BertolaWeiss is offline  
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Feb 10th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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Where in Italy are you going?

I think you should dress to be comfortable. If you are uncomfortable if you feel you don't fit in with what Italans are wearing, pick the coolest version of what Michelle Obama is usually seen wearing and you'll have no worries about scolding looks from Italy's fashion police (who are innumberable). It is not normal for even slender Italian women in their 50s to wear shorts unless they are hiking in the Dolomiti.

I doubt anyone knows what you need to carry around, but most places in Italy do not require security purses.

You might want to leave the hair iron at home too. Let your hair frizz. It's stylish in Italy.
zeppole is offline  
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Feb 10th, 2011, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for the advice - I know I'm a bit crazy to even be thinking of this stuff now - but I'm excited We will be in Venice, Florence and Rome with side trips to Sienna & Pisa. Guess I will leave the shorts at home & pay more attention to what Michelle Obama is wearing these days!
Barbara_BertolaWeiss is offline  
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Feb 10th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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No shorts. Please. Sundresses, skirts, capris, anything cool, breezy, and comfortable.

I don't make special arrangements for purses for traveling in Italy.
StCirq is online now  
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Feb 10th, 2011, 06:00 PM
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A couple of notes:

Adults are not allowed in major churches (Vatican and San Marco) in shorts - knees and shoulders have to be covered.

Additionally locals - esp ladies of mature years who are not petite- would NOT wear shorts in cities.

You are obviously perfectly free to wear whatever you want - but it's not the way the locals would dress (shorts for mature adults are kept for resorts or actual sports - just like in NYC or San Francisco)

As for restaurants, anyplace even a little upscale will expect something more presentable that shorts and a tee. I always take 3 or 4 silk or light weight linen pantsuit or dress with cute shoes that are comfy walking (perhaps a low wedge). I wear pumps only if going to a special event - since the cobblestones aren;t conducive to 4" heels.
nytraveler is offline  
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Feb 10th, 2011, 06:10 PM
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Agree with the no short suggestion..Haven't seen many on the last 2 trips to Europe..Especially Paris, Rome and Barcelona. I find light weight gauzy skirts with tees the most comfortable. Next linen capris..Long pants???Maybe a black silk pair for evening dinner and definitely flats..Pumps are very hard to handle as noted. Walking sandals and flats will fill most slots. As far as Michelle goes she certainly is not the last word in fashion as far as many are concerned!!!
amer_can is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 12:48 AM
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1000s of words....

If it helps at all, here's a photo picked more or less at random from Flickr, showing visitors in Saint Peter's one day last July...

For all those from that month...

You might do worse than trying something similar for other places you're going to - use the "Advanced Search" facility to narrow down to a particular date range...

A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 01:15 AM
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No special bag. Just what you'd usually wear in hot weather.
alihutch is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 01:52 AM
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Regarding the purse - I use a SportSac cross body purse. It's nylon and light weight and water proof. There are plenty of zippered compartments. One thing I noticed on the PacSafe web site (you didn't give a link to the purse you were thinking of so I'm not sure which one you want) is that the photos showed women carrying their purses behind them. This is definitely a dumb idea.
adrienne is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 02:51 AM
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I pack knee length skirts and simple dresses for daytime wear during summer trips to Italy (I am in my 50s). Choose fabrics that drape nicely and are not high maintenance. I carry a scarf/pashmina in my messenger bag to drape over my shoulders as needed.

In the evenings I favor wrap dresses (jersey packs well and looks nice) accessorized with jewelry, belts and cute mid heeled sandals. I always pack a pair of tailored slacks as well.
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Feb 11th, 2011, 03:50 AM
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You don't have to let your hair go frizzy, but curling irons are cheap, and you know they won't blow the fuses, as my friend's 110-220 travel dryer did for her whole floor in a Paris hotel. Hotels that are *** and above will have dryers,

Have fun!
Ackislander is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 05:23 AM
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If you are a skirt wearer I find those cooler than pants/capris. I try not to wear sleeveless because of the sun, but if you do, carry a large lightweight scarf to cover your shoulders in churches. You've already gotten the correct response on shorts. I bring 2 pair of sandals for shoes - find that the most comfortable in summer. Good thing too about summer clothing is that it is so lightweight. I bring more tops in summer than in winter and still do carryon.

As for Pac Safe - I ordered one and returned it as I felt it was too heavy and stiff. I too use a Le Sport Sac bag with many zippers, usually carried cross body. I like that it is lightweight to start as I carry a water bottle and usually the guidebook.
AtlTravelr is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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The same thing happened to me in Barcelona, so embarrassing! My dryer stays home now.

In addition to all the good advice above, I recommend a good pair of Merrell sandals. They're comfortable enough to walk around in all day, and they actually look nice too.
abenedek is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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Even when I go in September (when it is still warm for my blood), I usually pack knit dresses or skirts which I find much cooler than shorts or capris. And I can wash them out and hang them to dry in the shower overnight. If I were going in July, I would pack the same, but bring short-sleeved t-shirts or tank tops to wear with the skirts and a scarf to cover the shoulders for churches. My problem is finding cute shoes to go with the dresses and skirts in which I can walk around all day, as most of the comfy walking sandals are too bulky for my taste.
I wouldn't buy a special purse, just bring a lightweight one you can wear cross-body.
I was really bit my mosquitos in Venice, so I would suggest bringing Skin So Soft wipes for repellant.
ekc is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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If you really want a flat iron, check your local beuty supply stores. I've been able to get a dual current hairdryers there in the past. But remember - the less you take, the happier you will be - so I also recommend skipping the flat iron.

I'll answer about what to carry around in your handbag-

water bottle
make traveler's pack of tissue (for when there is no TP)
guidebook or downloaded self tours
Streetwise city maps!
moleskin and tiny scissors to cut with - most important
Dayle is offline  
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