If you’re wondering what to pack and what to Wear in Rome, this packing list will get you started.
If you’re wondering what to wear in Rome Italy, this Italy packing list for Rome will help you decide what you will need to bring.
Any time you travel to a new city, you never want to stand out like the tourist that you are! It’s best to do as the Romans do…you know…when in Rome and all! But you’ll also want to be comfortable while you’re touring all the amazing sites of the Eternal city!
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What we'll be talking about
- What to Pack for Rome – The Essentials
What do People Wear in Rome? The Rome Dress Code
What do Romans wear you ask? Roman attire is very classy, simple, and understated. But also very fashionable looking. You won’t see a lot of yoga or workout clothes on people who aren’t actually….working out! You’ll see Roman summer dresses, nice jeans, and heels…how anyone walks on cobblestone streets in heels is beyond me, but they do!
Deciding what to wear in Rome is all about balancing your comfort with style. Don’t stress too much about fitting in. Being comfortable is the number one priority, but it’s also important to understand how to dress in Rome.
What to Pack for Rome – The Essentials
Don’t go to Rome without packing the essentials.
The Best Luggage for Travel to Italy
I’ve had really good luck with the American Tourister brand of suitcases from Amazon. The price is decent and they are really sturdy. I love that they have strong zippers, elastic clips inside, and a zipper section. This one rolls really nicely with 4 spinner wheels that make it easy for even my kids to roll. I also love all the fun colors they have!
Packing cubes are life! If you haven’t used them, but you’ve heard people talking about them, those people are right! Not only do they keep your clothes organized, but they also help squish them down so that you can fit more into your suitcase, which is especially important if you’re only traveling carryon! I like these Amazon Basic packing cubes. They are cheap but sturdy and lightweight.
Having a backpack for things like a laptop, camera, snacks, water, passports, etc., is essential. But it’s important to be aware of pickpockets in Italy, especially in high tourist areas and while riding public transportation. Don’t ever put anything valuable in a front pocket of a backpack where you can’t feel if it’s being unzipped! I really like Osprey backpacks and think they are the most comfortable travel backpacks on the market. The Daylight pack is great for everyday touring.
Don’t laugh! Fanny packs (or bum bags for my Aussie and Brit friends) are totally back in guys! Obviously, because I wear one! There are so many cute ones out there too now! I love this fanny pack.
The Essential Rome Packing List Items
Now that you are prepared with all of your luggage and organizers, there are a few essentials that everyone should have when packing for Rome.
Passports: Always the number one essential when traveling internationally! You should always take a picture of your passport to have on your phone. Also, be sure your passport has at least 3 months left before it expires. 6 months is even better!
Visas: If you’re traveling from the US, you’ll need to apply for an ETIAS Visa starting in 2021. You can learn more about that here.
Tickets & Travel Documents: I organize all of my travel bookings in a Google Sheet with confirmation numbers, addresses, etc. I also like to use the Tripit App to keep a good visual of all my bookings. But if you have any tours or tickets that need to be printed, it’s good to keep them organized. I also like to have a special place to put all of our passports.
Cash: It’s always good to carry some cash when you travel anywhere, but not too much cash! I usually just get cash out from a bank ATM when I arrive in Rome.
Credit Cards: I always travel with a credit card. You’ll need one to rent a car, and I’ve been in situations in Rome where my debit card didn’t work. Be sure you have one that has no international fees like the Chase Sapphire Plus.
Italy Power Adapter: Don’t go to Rome without a power adapter if you plan on using your phone, camera, or anything else that requires power. I’ve tried many, but this is the best Italy power adapter I’ve used.
Portable WiFi Device: I take my Skyroam with me anytime I travel abroad. It basically works like a little WiFi signal that I can take anywhere. It’s cheaper than using my phone service and it can even charge my phone! You can use code WANDERLUSTCREW for a special discount and purchase one here.
Headphones: I’m obsessed with my Bluetooth headphones and they go with me everywhere. They help me sleep on planes even if I’m not listening to anything. They just drown out the noise! These are the ones I use.
Portable Phone Charger: I don’t leave the country, or even the house, without my portable phone charger. I’m not sure about you, but my phone lasts like an hour without it! I’ve tried lots of chargers, and MyCharge is my favorite. They have several different sizes with different cords. I love that the cords are all built-in so you don’t have to lug anything extra around.
Camera: You don’t want to travel to Rome without packing your camera! Trust me, nearly everywhere you look will be photo-worthy so don’t miss out. While your phones do a pretty good job these days, there’s nothing quite like using a real camera. I love my Sony cameras and always recommend the Sony a6000 for beginning photographers. It’s small and lightweight but packs a big punch in the quality department!
Water Bottle: Please help out the environment and bring a reusable water bottle! We love our Hydroflasks because they keep your water nice and cold, which is so important as we travel around Rome in the summer, especially!
Read about ways that you can be a more sustainable traveler.
Umbrella: If you’re visiting Rome in the winter, spring, or fall, I highly recommend bringing your own small umbrella. They take up almost no space and this one will be better than a cheaply made, but expensive one you’ll buy on the street in a downpour.
Travel Insurance: We never travel anywhere without travel insurance, and we use World Nomads. They have good prices and their customer service is good. You can check rates here, or use the yellow box below to get a quote. It’s super easy and affordable and I wouldn’t travel without it. Travel insurance covers anything from natural disasters, medical emergencies, and lost, stolen, or damaged belongings.
Travel Books for Rome
As much as I love reading blogs and online information, it’s sometimes nice to have a physical book to read. These are some of my favorite Italy travel books:
Rick Steves Italy 2019: I’ve always been a big fan of Rick Steves. Especially since he specializes in all things Europe and keeps his guides up to date! His Italy guide is top notch and once you know where you’re going in Italy you can look into his more specific guides.
Rick Steves Rome: If you’re only visiting Rome, this is an amazing in-depth guide to the Eternal City!
What to Wear in Rome Italy
While I like to be comfortable and practical in almost every other travel situation, I do think it’s important to put some thought into what to wear in Rome. Italians are generally well dressed but dressed simply. While you don’t want to overpack, it’s important to try and blend in a bit.
Roman fashion consists of simple, well-made pieces that fit well. This means not wearing workout clothes. I know, I know, that’s tough for us Americans, but I think it’s important to make an effort. Plus, it makes pictures so much cuter ha! Roman clothing isn’t over the top, so don’t overthink it.
When you’re thinking about travel clothes for Rome, I recommend packing around five outfits, then doing laundry every 5 days. There are laundromats all over Rome for a decent price, or you can stay in an Airbnb with a washer. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere with a dryer, don’t think I’ve ever stayed anywhere in Rome with a dryer, but hanging your laundry on the line is part of the charm!
What to Wear in Rome
You’ll want to dress a little more formally in Rome than you would for a day on the beach. Nice jeans, slacks, or a nice sundress will do. It will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so dress appropriately for doing a lot of walking and waiting around outside. Here are some of my favorite outfits for Rome
Tops: These are some of my favorite tops for traveling. They pack well and small and don’t wrinkle easily.
Bottoms: It’s always great idea to bring your favorite pair of jeans with you. I love these Levi’s!
Dresses: It’s great to have a basic dress, especially in the summer. I love dressing up for dinner and also sundresses are much cooler than jeans during the day! Both of these dresses are super cute and comfy and come in several different prints. Italian summer dresses are the way to go, especially during the hot months where you need that extra airflow! You know what I’m talking about ladies! These are some of my favorite Roman summer dresses.
Hats: The sun in Italy is no joke and you don’t want to come home from your Italian vacation with a sunburn souvenir! Be sure to pack a hat. You can keep it from wrinkling by packing your shirts into the bowl of the hat then laying it flat down on the bottom of your suitcase.
Shoes: I always tell my friends that the most important thing in your bag besides your passport is a good pair of walking shoes! This is true for anywhere you travel, but most importantly for Italy as you will be doing a great deal of walking and standing in line. Most of this will be done on cobblestone streets, which are not easy to walk or stand on.
These sandals are an absolute dream! I’ve had them for years and they’ve been so good to me. I can walk all day long with no problems. They are sturdy but lightweight enough that I barely notice they are there. I have serious arch problems and very few shoes make me happy, but these are my ultimate favorites and have been all over the world with me. They’re also cute enough to wear with a dress which I appreciate!
For colder months I LOVE my Eddie Bauer boots! They are comfy, waterproof, and have a lifetime warranty!
What to Wear in Rome in Winter
If you’re visiting Rome in winter, you’ll want to pack and dress appropriately. It will be cold in Rome, but not snowy. Comfortable boots, sweaters, rain jackets, and an umbrella should all be packed in your bag.
What NOT to Pack for Rome
- Valuables: It’s no secret that pickpocketers target tourists. Leave your valuables, like jewelry at home.
- Hairdryers: Unless you want to blow up your hotel, leave these at home (if you’re traveling from the US or Canada). The voltage does not convert well and will either kill your hairdryer or start a fire.
- What NOT to wear in Rome: Rome is probably not the place for heels. There are so many cobblestone streets that it could be really dangerous. Workout clothes (unless you’re actually working out) are not acceptable.
I hope this Rome packing list has helped you decide what to bring and what to wear in Rome. No matter what you pack, as long as you have your passport, you’ll have an amazing time!