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What to Wear in Italy in May?

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Mar 4th, 2016, 08:03 PM
  #1
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What to Wear in Italy in May?

So we are visiting Italy (Venice, Florence and Rome) during early May. What kind of clothing to pack? Would a jacket be necessary?
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Mar 4th, 2016, 11:00 PM
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We visited Italy in early May last year. Most days temperatures were in the low 80s, but the couple from whom we rented an apartment in Rome said we had just missed cold, rainy weather. I would bring a warmer layer just in case.

If you plan to visit any churches, you and whoever you're traveling with need to dress appropriately - no sleeveless tops or shorts/skirts/dresses above knee length.

Lee Ann
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Mar 4th, 2016, 11:10 PM
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Layers are your friend. Bring a light rain jacket because in May you will almost certainly have some rain.
Venice can definitely be cool in the evenings.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 02:38 AM
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Don't worry about style. It's always best to maintain your own personal style rather than trying to ape the people who live where you're going. There are people in Milan who keep up with the fashion fads, there are people who stick to classic styles, and there are people who don't worry about it at all. Just dress appropriately for any given activity, as you would at home.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 03:32 AM
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I confess that when we are going anywhere warm/hot, we take thin waterproofs that pack down into almost nothing and carry them in a backpack.

They don't look very fashionable but they keep us dry, and we can layer up underneath. and if we want to picnic, we have something to sit on!
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Mar 5th, 2016, 05:20 AM
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I'm confused.

Are you male or female? What do you mean for a jacket?
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Mar 5th, 2016, 05:23 AM
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You should definitely look at an Italian weather forecast the night you do your final packing, just so you have a general idea of the upcoming temperature range. When it comes to sunshine vs rainfall, Italian weather forecasts are "guestimates" at best (so pack that waterproof jacket) but forecasts for temperatures are more helpful. Sometimes May in Italy is fairly warm (can even hot for days) and sometimes May is decidedly cool. Looking at temperature forecasts can be a help for deciding what type of clothes to emphasize when packing.

http://www.ilmeteo.it/meteo/Venezia

http://www.ilmeteo.it/meteo/Firenze
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Mar 5th, 2016, 05:32 AM
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We were in the Roma area in 2014 in May and during the day we were generally in short sleeves during the day and jackets at night. Someone earlier mentioned layering and that is a good idea.

We would much prefer comfort over style.

Buon viaggio,
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Mar 5th, 2016, 05:41 AM
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I'm even more confused.

Is the OP American?

Just as pants means (outer) trousers rather than underpants, does a jacket actually mean an outer jacket (or capispalla) rather than a jacket?
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Mar 5th, 2016, 05:57 AM
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I think the OP means a warm jacket. And if that is what they mean - no not necessary.

I always take a tissue weight rain jacket with hood that folds into a tiny pouch. If you somehow get a very cool evening - or even a day - would put a thin sweater under this.

But unless you are in the mountains May in Italy is really almost summer temps.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 05:58 AM
  #11
 
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Sorry - if the OP means a sport jacket or blazer that really depends on where they are going - good to have for dining in fine restaurants or special events in the evening. But should be a lightweight jacket.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 06:45 AM
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My sister and I love to travel in May. Last May we were in France. This May we'll be in Italy. We pack light and plan for layers. We both have lightweight nylon jackets with hoods that fold into pouches. We have a mixture of long and short sleeve shirts, plus a pair of jeans and lightweight pants. None of our clothing is waterproof. We both carry travel umbrellas. We remove the layers as the day gets warmer.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 07:15 AM
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Much of the valley lands and the coasts of Italy do not regularly have "summer temps" in May.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 07:23 AM
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You can look at real-world weather archives for Italian cities on this website. For instance, in 2014, temperatures in Florence only sometimes got out of the 60s during the daytime (I don't consider the 60s "summer temps")

http://www.ilmeteo.it/portale/archiv...ze/2014/Maggio

or you can look at May 2013 for Venice, where it was nothing like summer: cool temps and lots of rain:

http://www.ilmeteo.it/portale/archiv...ia/2013/Maggio

Rome often heats up earlier than other parts of Italy, and any part of Italy can get a mini-heat wave in May. Unless you really have a problem with heat -- which nytraveler repeatedly posts that she does -- you need to take into account the fact that May is spring in Italy, not summer, and has spring temperatures generally.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 07:54 AM
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We also take lightweight rain jackets that fold into their own pockets if there's any chance of rain. It's not just an American term for outerwear.

In Italian, these are called "giacche a vento", o "K-way", pronounced "keeway". Around here, people call outerwear either a "capotto" if it's long, or a "giacca" if it's short and informal. "Capospalla" (pl. capispalla) is a word I've seen only in advertisements. Nobody around here uses it in everyday speech. I'm not sure whether this is regional or more diffuse.

For temperatures, you have to check the forecast just before you leave home. Even then, I usually make some provision for sudden unpredictable changes.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 08:43 AM
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I wonder why they removed that post about how stylish Italians, especially Milanesi, are. I don't remember any advertising in it, nor anything offensive. They left my reply, but without the post I was replying to, it looks totally irrelevant.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 08:50 AM
  #17
 
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Use your own normal clothes for springtime at home. Figure out things that go together and use the layering method as mentioned by many above.

A couple pair of pants (or capris or skirts if female), shirts/tops of various sleeve length and weight, one outer something like a cardigan or lightweight jacket, a couple pair of comfortable walking shoes. Good to go.

I don't think you need a cold weather "jacket" but you do want one outer layer for when it's cool, starting with the plane trip (assuming you are flying into Europe).
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