How to Dress Like an Italian: Spring Edition

The perfect spring outfit in Italy: light jacket, bright pants, and big shades! From Nicoletta Reggio of the Italian Fashion blog, Scent of Obsession
The perfect spring outfit in Italy: light jacket, bright pants, and big shades! From Nicoletta Reggio

The perfect spring outfit in Italy: light jacket, bright pants, and big shades! From Nicoletta Reggio of the Italian Fashion blog, Scent of Obsession

The perfect spring outfit in Italy: light jacket, bright pants, and big shades! (Photo: Nicoletta Reggio of the Italian fashion blog Scent of Obsession).

Everyone’s heard about Italian fashion—which means some travelers worry about what to pack for their trip to Italy.

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to dress exactly like an Italian, and no one will expect you to! The most important thing to keep in mind is to wear what makes you most comfortable. That’s not always (or even usually) what Italians will be wearing… and that’s perfectly okay.

That said, a lot of travelers do want to try to dress like the locals when they travel. They see it as a way to “blend in” a bit more (although, of course, keep in mind that you’ll still be given away by something, like your hand gestures or even makeup—before you even open your mouth!). Plus, we love the idea of cultural immersion while traveling. And since fashion is an important part of Italian culture, what could be a more fun kind of cultural immersion than dressing as the locals do?

Italy fashion

A great spring jacket on Scent of Obsession‘s Nicoletta Reggio

Need some tips to get started on how to dress like the Italians?

Here’s your checklist of items to look out for—and that you’ll see lots of Italians wearing—in the spring. With any luck, you’ll be strolling through the ultra-chic Brera neighborhood on our Milan in a Day tour in style!

A light jacket, or trench coat, for women

When the air’s still slightly crisp, but there’s already been the cambio di stagione (change of seasons) rendering winter coats unnecessary, Italians don’t reach for a parka or a sweatshirt. They layer—and top those layers off with an elegant exterior. For stylish Italian women, that means a chic jacket or trench coat (like on Nicoletta Reggio, left and at top!).

How to dress like an Italian

Italian fashion, for men, often includes a well-tailored jacket—even a casual one! (Photo: bluumwezi on Flickr).

A well-tailored jacket, for men

Italian men prove that you don’t have to be going to work, or a fancy shindig, to pull off a jacket. Pair one with white or beige pants, or even jeans—and, of course, leather shoes—and you’re good to go to lunch… or a museum. Just don’t be surprised if you’re mistaken for an Italian while you’re there.

A great pair of sunglasses

Even if you don’t mind whether you dress like the locals do, you won’t want to forget these! The sun comes out in force in the spring, so protect those peepers with a pair of shades. Of course, Italians love their designer sunglasses—but any frame will help you blend in, as long as it’s not too tiny. And quirky’s okay, too. Just check out the amazing range of sunglasses worn by Eleonora Carisi, Italian fashion blogger and shop owner (and the sunglasses-wearer below), for inspiration! 

Don't leave home without your sunglasses!

Don’t leave home without them!

What to wear in Italy

Red pants: a pretty common sight on the streets of Italy!

Pants in fun colors—like green, red, or pink (yes, for men, too!)

Italians tend to wear basic blue jeans a lot less often than their counterparts elsewhere. It’s not that women are always in dresses, and men in suits; it’s that when they do throw on trousers, they’re rarely basic jeans or khakis. Instead, pants come in a rainbow of colors. And yes, that’s true for women and men. So in honor of spring, embrace some color and throw a pair of bright trousers into your suitcase.

When it comes to fit, remember that in Europe, baggy has never been in—and again, that’s true for both sexes.

If you really want to blend in, then you can't forget those leather shoes! (Photo: Xelcise on Flickr)

If you really want to blend in, then you can’t forget those leather shoes! (Photo: Xelcise on Flickr)

Leather or suede shoes

Although the kind of shoe changes with the season, the basics don’t. Year-round, the stereotype is true: Italians, especially those out of university and older, tend to wear leather shoes. For women in the spring, that can mean heels or ballet flats. To get those amazing leather shoes at more affordable prices, try one of Italy’s major outlet malls.

Jewelry, for women

Italian women accessorize. So if you’re keen to be mistaken for one, remember the little details: in the past year, chunky bracelets and bib necklaces have been trendy, but so are delicate necklaces and drop earrings. Wear whatever jewelry you like… but if you want to look like an Italian, do wear something!

Scarves, for both genders

Again, when it comes to both fashion and comfort, spring in Italy is all about layering. Scarves are especially great for travelers: They can spice up an outfit that you’ve already worn three days in a row and can be thrown into a bag or purse to pull out when the sun sets and the weather gets chilly.

Plus, in Italy, scarves can be even more useful, since it’s disrespectful (and often downright forbidden) to go into a church without your shoulders covered. It’s unlikely you’ll be wearing sleeveless tops in the spring, but if you do, then you’ll definitely want to have a scarf with you so you don’t miss out on ducking into any churches.

And yes, scarves are “in” for both men and women. Nothing looks more European than a man in a scarf!

Italian spring style

This Italian woman has it all: cute coat, scarf, and big handbag (photo from street fashion blog Think Runway)

A chic handbag, for women—or a “man bag,” for men

The biggest giveaway of being a traveler is a bulky backpack (or a fanny pack!). Trade yours in for a handbag; a big one can hold just as much as a small backpack (we carry a DSLR camera with two lenses, a wallet, and a sunglasses case in ours). For safety, make sure that there’s a secure way to close it, preferably a zipper—while pickpocketing isn’t something you have to be anxious about all the time, it does happen in Italy’s major cities.

For men who really want to go local, they also have the option of a bag. Lots of Italians use messenger bags (what those in the States sometimes call a “man purse”!) or briefcases. It especially makes sense when you think about how hard it is to transport your stuff while, say, zooming around on a motorino. So if you’ve ever wanted to try one out, a trip to Italy is a good time—we promise, not a single local will bat an eyelash.

Want more Italian style inspiration? Stay up-to-date with our Pinterest page on Italian style!

100 Comments

  • John says:

    Nice looking fashions, certain to make one look like a tourist. I like the girl in the pink skirt but the guys in the background of that photo are more typical than the two in the jackets.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi John,
      That’s an interesting take—living here, we have to say we often see Italian men dressed like the ones in the photo, and women dressed similarly to the other photos, too! Of course, though, everyone is different, and Italian fashion even varies city to city, so there’s no one way, of course, to dress Italian. These were just some of our favorite trends. Glad you liked them!

  • Jackie Basnight says:

    Thank you for the lovely pictures of Italian street fashion. I love that you actually give advice in full details on what to wear. Looking forward to more…..

  • Yellowchristi says:

    I hope you update this for fall. I am going in October 2013 and was told by friends that Italians wear mostly black/grey/neutral colors. I’m glad to see the bright pants and skirt in the spring photos. Maybe fall will be back to black? Please keep me posted!

    • Hi there,
      We’re glad you like the post! Yes, we’ll do an update for fall. What your friend told you is right, although there are usually a couple of “in” colors every season (usually deeper/darker in the fall than in spring and summer, of course) that you’ll see a lot of, too. We’ll keep you updated! In the meantime, you might want to follow us on Pinterest or at least check out our Pinterest Italian style board, where we try to pin the latest trends going on. :-)

      • K says:

        Do italians do consignment with their clothing, or do they recycle it in any other thrifty way?? Or does Italy have any retail chains that offer fashion-trendy styles on a prudent budget?
        I’d love to pack light, and pick up some cool threads once I get there, but am uncertain if it’s as common as here in the US.

        grazie!

        • Hi there,
          Consignment isn’t as common as in the US, but there are plenty of places to pick up cheap threads, at least in the cities. Big markets like Porta Portese or Via Sannio in Rome have lots of stalls of cheap clothing, while vintage shops (although, since these are getting trendy, are getting more expensive) are another nice way to “recycle”. Otherwise, the cheaper retail chains tend, unfortunately, to be similar to those you’d find elsewhere, including H&M and so on.

          Happy shopping!

  • Isabelle says:

    Thanks you for all the practical fashion advice. I will be in Salerno and visiting the Amalfi Coast including Capri mid to late September. Are summer clothing and colors still worn then or are fall colors more appropriate?

    • Hi Isabelle,
      Great question! In Italy, there’s something called the “cambio di stagione,” where everyone suddenly seems to get the memo at the same time to switch their wardrobe… often regardless of the weather! :-) But the fall switch doesn’t usually happen until mid-October, so in September, you’ll be fine with summery wear, which is especially good because it will still be very warm. Happy packing!

  • stefania says:

    I’m italian from milan, and I want to tell you that your article is right just in part. Fist the real faschions is in Milan and there is a big difference between the stile of the people from the south and the people from the north of Italy. Here in Milan the people don’t wear bright color ( we love black, grey, beige)maybe we use colors just for the accessorize but you will never see a “milanese” with a red jacket ( maybe a woman from the south). Second never wear sneakers and flip flop, for us it is the bigger mistake in term of stile, and remember in milan we like be fashion also if it mean wear uncomfortable shoes, and we never complain about that in public, it is not chic. But remember in Italy the fashion change a lot region by region, in the south the people are less slaves of fashion, and they use a lots colors and many thing that for us are just horrible.

  • Patricia Durastanti says:

    I am traveling to Italy for two weeks in September. I would like packing info and the best shoes to bring. We are on a group tour, busy schedule. Thanks

    • Hi Patricia,
      We’re happy to help! First, take a look at our blog post on how to pack for your trip to Italy, which should answer a lot of your questions. For shoes, comfort is the most important thing—you’ll probably spend a lot more time on your feet than you’re used to! Of course, if you want to dress “like an Italian,” women usually wear nice (and often heeled) leather sandals in the late summer months (and rarely sneakers)… but if you know that will give you blisters, don’t do it! Being comfortable is the most important thing. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Maria La Rocca says:

    I’ll be going to Salerno on 9th August and I’m 4 months pregnant. Do you know of any nice clothes shop in Salerno for pregnant women?

    • Hi Maria,
      Hmm, that’s a good question! The only place we know that might have maternity clothing is the COIN department store on Via Vittorio Emanuele. Let us know if you find anything else, and enjoy your rip!

  • Mia H. says:

    Hi,

    My husband and I will be in Italy (Venice, Florence and Rome) October 14-20th before heading to Greece (Athens and Santorini) for a week. So whatever I pack will need to do double duty for both countries.

    I want to look chic and stylish and not like an American tourist. I lived in Paris for a year so I’m aware of how “not” to dress but this is my first time to Italy. Can you give me any tips for the fall season and any ideas for acceptable/comfortable walking shoes?

    • Hi Mia,
      We’re happy to help! By late October, the “cambio di stagione” has happened, so unless it’s very warm weather (and sometimes even then!), most Italians will definitely be dressed for autumn. Expect to see lots of long, slim coats, scarves, and boots. Italians also tend to put a lot of thought into their details and accessories, so a good way to dress like a local is to pay attention to your shoes (which should always be in tip-top shape!), purse (something big and leather is always in, and has the added bonus of being great for travel), and jewelry (pile it on!). More specifically, this season, expect to see lots of leather ankle boots, prints (especially checks and plaid), and neutrals (along with some pops of color; forest green and deep teal are especially in). For shoes, we’d recommend either ballerina flats or leather boots. We hope that helps! You might also want to check out our Italian style page on Pinterest for more ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Mia says:

        Thank you so much! This definitely helps because I had it all wrong in my head. I was thinking it would still be a bit warm but it’s definitley not like the beach cities in California. We wear dresses and sandals until late October (sometimes even in November).

        Guess my sassy, leather boots are going to Italy! Thanks again!

  • Gipsy Dharma says:

    Lovely outfits! Liked the girl in the pink skirt too. Thanks for posting, love your blog as always.
    Gipsy.

  • Patricia says:

    I am a mature woman and will be travelling for a month in March 2014 throughout Italy. We will be staying in cities and rural areas. Will beautiful “riding boots” be appropriate this time of year? I am taking a beautiful short black trench as well…too “wintry”. Thanks!

    • Patricia says:

      Sorry, I mean to end “too wintry”??? :)

    • Hi Patricia,
      We’re happy to help! It depends a bit of course on what the weather’s like. If it’s still a little crisp with variable weather, which it likely will be through March, then yes, riding boots and a black trench will be perfectly appropriate.
      Enjoy your trip!

  • Brad says:

    Help! I was in Italy a couple years ago and saw a beautiful winter outdoor sportcoat in a shop in Florence. I didn’t buy it at the time (now regret), and would love to figure out what that was. I’m thinking it was either Italian or Swiss.

    It’s a very stylish insulated sportcoat. Any idea what that is or the brand?

    • Hi Brad,
      Thanks for stopping by! Unfortunately there are far too many sports coats (and brands in Italy) for us to be able to help you with this! You’ll just have to come back to Italy and do some shopping and exploring yourself 😉

  • kim says:

    I am planning a trip to Rome in April 2014 and am looking for some fashion advice. I am a Florida girl so I will probably be chilly but do not want to dress in clothing that would appear to be winter clothing to Italians. I am wondering if Italians continue wearing boots, leggings, sweaters, etc this time of year and around Easter. Any suggestions would be great! Thank you.

    • Hi Kim,
      At that time of year, expect lots of layering: light jackets and trenches, scarves, and a mix of boots and flats. Don’t come with your full-on winter coat and hats, but be aware that Italians tend to dress fairly modestly in general, but especially until it gets super hot, too!

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Stephanie says:

    I was told by an Italian male that all or most Italian men wear white sneakers. I was just curious to why?.

  • Kim says:

    We are traveling to Venice, Florence and Rome in mid March and need to know what you suggest to wear during the day while seeing the beautiful sights and in the evening going to nice dinners. Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Kim,
      Definitely go with layers, since the weather can be changeable at that time of year. Remember that little details — like a nice silk scarf, handbag, and jewelry — can do a lot to dress up an outfit for dinner. And stay away from sneakers.

      Enjoy your trip!

  • Kris says:

    Hello. great article. Thank you for the tips. I will be travelling to Italy for two weeks in the beginning of May 2014. we ;ll be starting along the Amalfi coast and ending up in Venice. Quite a ew climates to move through. Do you have any tips/hints on what to pack?
    Thank you for your help

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Kris! While the weather is generally warm in May, we’d suggest packing lots of layers – from sweaters to tank tops – to be prepared as you travel. Buon viaggio and be sure to let us know about your experience!

  • Gina says:

    Hello to your wonderful website!

    We just planned a trip to Venice and Positano for August. I am really concerned about what kinds of shoes to wear for sightseeing. I have lots of nice clothing and many pairs of shoes that are high heels and not suitable for sightseeing. I don’t wear sneakers outside of a gym, but I am trying to avoid the blister disaster of Florence one summer, where it was brutally hot and my Tod’s loafers became too tight in the heat.

    What would be suitable to walk in Venice? I was told to wear flats because like Florence, there are many cobblestones. I am assuming that at night, I can handle heels as we would not be walking quite so much. But I do want to look nice during the day with my dresses.

    Please help! Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Gina, thank you for your compliments! Venice has very few cobblestones, so we would suggest wearing comfortable flats and sandals to walk around. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Tina says:

    Ciao, I will be taking my 8 year old son to Italy this summer. We will be in Venice, Salerno, Rome and Bologna. Any tips on clothing for myself and my son for the trip? Is it okay for him to wear Nikes? Also tips on safety, should I pack a nice handbag or leave it at home?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Tina! We suggest bringing lightweight clothes as the summer can get very hot and you should also pack a light jacket or sweater for the cool evenings. If you would feel more comfortable to not wear expensive clothing, accessories and jewelry you can leave them at home, although you should not have any problems if you use your travel and street smarts while traveling (ex. not leaving your bag open on the subway). Nike sneakers are absolutely fine, and we recommend packing comfortable walking shoes. Do let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Susan says:

    I am so glad I found your blog! I will be in Florence, Tuscan hill towns and Rome in a few weeks (the end of April until the middle of May). I am almost 60 (but blessed to look 40-ish!) and I want to be somewhat age appropriate. I have some not too skinny black jeans black capris and red cropped pants, a mid-calf reversible print/black skirt and a mix of long, short and sleeveless tops, and lots of scarves. Should I avoid sleeveless or tank tops (I know about inside churches). I will be layering but expect I may get warm enough to be down to that layer! And is it true what I read that as a size 10 I will have a difficulty finding this “huge” size in clothing?
    Many thanks for any advice, this will put my mind at ease! I don’t want so much to blend in (how could I will my red hair and pale freckle-face) – as to not STICK OUT! :)

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Susan! It looks like your packing list is great, just be sure to add some light jackets and sweaters if you plan to wear sleeveless tops as some evenings may be cool or chilly. You should not have a problem finding the Italian equivalent of a size 10 as Florence and Rome have a wide selection of stores and most shops and boutiques carry up to a 12. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Italian Men’s fashion has such a huge sense of sophistication attached to it. It all looks effortless yet intricate at the same time! It seems as though it might be easier for men to blend in as sartorial fashion seems hugely popular everywhere, particularly here in the UK.- Richard

  • Rita Shaheen says:

    My husband and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in Rome.We’ll be there late May to early June. Please offer suggestions on style or brand of shoes for walking, walking and more walking! Can we wear shorts when taking a bicycle tour? Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rita, we suggest looking into sandals and flat shoes that are made for walking like Birkenstocks and Geox. Stylish sneakers work well for men, too. Shorts are acceptable for a bicycle tour around the city. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  • Emily Lim says:

    We’ll be going to Italy(venice,Florence,Cinque Terre,Rome) on the end of May till the beginning week of June.I have been googling around to see what to wear and not to during this season.I’m a bit confuse since some suggested to wear shorts and summer dresses while some other websites suggested me to wear long denim pants and long sleeve shirts.I don’t know what exactly to wear during this time.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Emily! The weather tends to change during the spring from warm to cold – even one day to the next – so we suggest bringing lots of layers from sweaters to tank tops to be prepared for all types of climates. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Anick says:

    Hi! Just loooooove your blog! Will be in Sardinia and Rome in july and was wondering how is the weather at night or on rainy days? Do i need closed shoes ( like a ballerina) or sandals will do it?

    And about ballerina: are the pointy toes or rounded toes in style?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! July will be hot in Italy, especially in Sardinia and Rome. We would suggest bring comfortable sandals for walking around during the day and closed shoes if you prefer for the evenings. Ballerina flats are a classic in Italy – both pointed and round toe. Let us know if you have any questions :)

  • Katimae says:

    I will be studying abroad in florence for 6 weeks this summer (from may 17-june 27) and i am wondering if dressy tank tops are appropriate? also, should i wear more dresses and skirts, or capris? thank you for your help and this site is amazing!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! Dressy tank tops are appropriate, but we suggest traveling with a sweater or shawl in case you want to visit museums and churches that prohibit uncovered shoulders. You’ll also want to pack some layers because the temperature may change depending on the day and evenings tend to be cool. Both capris and dresses work – whatever you prefer! Enjoy your study abroad experience :)

  • wvuflu says:

    I love reading your blog! I’ll be in Florence/Milan in early July for a tradeshow and to visit. I know it’s going to be hot, but what clothes and shoes would be appropriate for the summer months? Would a peep toe shoe be ok with a dress? I need to have shoes that will work for both work and sightseeing. Grazie

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you! Peep toe shoes will absolutely be appropriate, and many Italians even wear dressy sandals for work occasions. Temperatures can be quite high in the summer so be sure to wear comfortable clothing. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Isabelle says:

    I will be in Rome for 3 weeks in the fall. Are there shops that sell Italian leather shoes at reasonable prices (under 200€)? I am not looking for designer brands but I do want good quality leather.

  • Grace says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for such a well written and informative description of Italian Style, beautifully illustrated with good photos to sum it all up.

    I’m going to be in Venice next week (June 22nd) for 10 days and have my wardrobe planned – I have my own unique, vintage late 50s early 60s style, so while I want to look chic, I also don’t want to loose my image. I’m packing a few 50s style circle skirts (Navy with white polka dots and red with white flowers) to wear with a simple cream cropped t-shirt, several dresses, inc a turquoise tea-dress with leopard print, a blue and white vintage 60s polkadot shift dress, a cream/black/coral stripe dress with a wide boat neck, a strapless black/white/red geometric patterned dress and a short-sleeved b/w silk dress with a blue ‘band’ around the hem. All my dresses are below the knee and I’m taking a couple of neutral coloured cardis (black and beige) and a dusky pink shawl to cover my shoulders in church. Shoes, I plan on taking ballet flats, and peeptoe sandals (to show my red painted nails) and one pair of wedge heel snakeskin shoes for dinner etc

    I’ve selected a few classic pieces of jewellery to take with me (pearl earrings etc) and will do 50s make-up (winged eyeliner and nude lips for the day, red at night)

    Will this still appear chic to the Italians or would they deem it ‘vulgar’? Italian dressing always seems to elegant and simple, whereas my look always contains a lot of elements/colour/pattern etc. I don’t wish to ‘blend in’ merely not stand out as completely unstylish or cheap! Your help would be much appreciated!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Grace! Italians love to show off their unique style with different colors and patterns, and we think your wardrobe will be great for Venice. Buon viaggio!

  • katelyn says:

    thanks it really help alot know i can look italian when i am not even from italy

  • Kathy says:

    Hi, I will be in Sorrento and Rome mid September and was wondering if white and coral colored jeans are ok to wear? I know flip flops aren’t really appropriate, but what about leather sandles? thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kathy, colored jeans and leather sandals are both a great option as the weather should still be warm in Rome and Sorrento. Buon viaggio!

  • Cindy Dell' Amico says:

    My husband and I will be in Rome for 4 days – Oc t1,2014 thru Oct 5,2014 and on to Positano /Amalfi Coast for 7 nites Oct 4 thru Oct 12.

    What is appropriate dress for first 2 weeks of Oct especially in Positano. Is it too late for us both to bring a pair of white pants? How much rain are we going to encounter.? I have always traveled in Sept so am lost on what to pack for Oct.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Cindy! We suggest packing layers (t-shirts, sweaters, scarves, pants, dresses, etc.) as the weather tends to be warmer during the day and cooler in the evening. October weather varies from very warm to light rain, so we suggest checking the forecast before leaving. White pants are also a great, stylish option for the Amalfi Coast! Let us know if you have any questions.

  • Isabelle says:

    I am travelling to Salerno for 1 week in early October and then 2 weeks in Rome. I am wondering if sandals are still appropriate or if closed walking shoes are a better option.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Isabelle, we suggest bringing both! Weather tends to vary, so you may want to wear sandals on warmer days and closed shoes on colder days. Let us know if you have any questions :)

  • Mandy says:

    Hi,

    Is it a good idea to wear leather sandals in spring (end of April to early May)? I will be travelling to Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, and Florence. Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Mandy,

      Yes, it will likely be warm enough to wear leather sandals, but we recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes. You will be walking a lot to sightsee and tour those cities and you want your shoes to be comfortable. Many Italians wear comfortable flats or even low sneakers.

  • Syma says:

    Hi, great info! We are planning to visit Rome and Venice n May and I was wondering if Riding boots will be appropriate. I was reading there might be chances of rain during that time, so I thought boots..does it get warm ny that time? Any advice is appreciated!te

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Syma,

      Boots are always a great option for the rain, but we suggest bringing a pair of regular walking shoes as well. It tends to rain more in the autumn and winter in Italy and May tends to be rather warm, especially in Rome. While it might rain, riding boots might be a bit too heavy for the spring temperatures!

  • Emi says:

    I am going to Florence and Venice for a week in mid-march. Would it be appropriate for me to take one tighter skirt, or is that not necessary? Don’t worry, I am not planning to wear them to a church, maybe for a fancy dinner? Also, I am thinking of taking two pairs of super comfy flats and one pair of low heels. Can I wear boots, or is is a little too warm for that? Last question, what should I wear to a super fancy restaurant? Are black jeans with no rips, heels, chic trench coat, and blouse okay? Thanks : )

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Emi,

      A tighter skirt is appropriate, as long as it’s not in a church or to a mass. Boots in March are not only acceptable, but suggested as it can still be rather chilly and rainy! Also your outfit to a super fancy restaurant sounds perfect – it can work across the board!

      • Emi says:

        Hmmm… I’m stumped! What kind of boots should I wear? I was thinking cutout booties or maybe closed heeled and closed toe booties? What would be more appropriate for the weather? Thanks : )

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Emi,

          It depends when you visit and what the weather is. Most of those options seem appropriate, though if you’re worried about the temperature, perhaps closed heel and toe booties are the best! :)

  • Adam says:

    Ciao, great site! Traveling to Milan for a daytrip in late April and I hear the temps are still cool with highs averaging 11°C. I’m thinking about wearing a blazer, collared shirt, and a scarf. For the lady, I ordered a nice wool round neck coat because she tends to get cold. I’m thinking she can pair it with a nice crop top underneath. What do you think? Grazie!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you Adam. You’re right, April can still be chilly in Italy, especially in Milan. You’re outfits seem fine! It’s good to have a jacket of some sort and, as all the Italians do, dress in layers!

  • Sabrina says:

    Thank you so much for posting this article!! I will be travelling to Italy in March (from Canada ) with a group of other Canadian youth and I was wondering what shoes would be appropriate for mid march? Our group is heading to Rome, Capri, Palermo, and Taormina. I’m assuming that the weather will differ from the -15 C in Canada? Thanks for being so so helpful!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sabrina,

      Yes it will definitely differ from March Canadian weather! :) Mid-March in southern Italy is quite mild, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so a pair of normal walking shoes or tennis shoes will be fine. A pair of boots for the ladies will be useful also. Have a great trip!

  • Jasmine says:

    Hi! I’m going to Italy for a week from March 14 through March 21, and I am having trouble packing lightly. I know for a fact that I will be doing a lot of shopping.
    Here’s what I am thinking of bringing:
    – 6 T-shirts
    – 1 blouse
    – 3 sweaters
    – 2 jackets (1 anorak and 1 trench coat)
    – 1 dress
    – 1 Sweater Jacket
    – 1 vest
    – 3 scarves
    – 3-4 shoes
    – 4 pairs of earrings
    Here’s where I need some help:
    – 8 necklaces (too many?)
    * – 5 pairs of jeans (white, light wash, dark wash, coated black, black)*
    * – 3 skirts (floral chiffon, blue pleated, basic tight black skirt)*
    I think I’m overpacking, so can you tell me what I should take and leave behind?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jasmine,

      We understand – it’s not easy to pack lightly! However, it’s also not easy to lug around a huge suitcase. We suggest packing two pairs of jeans instead of 5 and leaving the necklaces behind. Italians wear scarves indoors and outdoors and that will be more than enough to accessorize your outfit. March can often be cooler, so you might not need the skirts. Maybe consider packing on instead of 3. As for the shoes, we suggest a pair of walking shoes and a pair of boots only. Heels are very difficult to walk in on the cobblestone streets and especially difficult after a day of sight seeing – leave them at home! Have a great trip!

  • Hi, we came by your article and such a lovely article it is. Truly reflects the ambience of Italy- the culture, the fashion and the authenticity. Thank you :)

  • Cherine says:

    Hi,

    I’m traveling to Italy(Milan, Florence, Venice n Rome) from 8th to 18th May. I’m thinking to wear knitted long sleeves blouse and jeans, will it be too warm? Do I need to bring both sweater and wind breaker everyday when out for sightseeing? For your info, I’m from Malaysia.. Is the weather still chill? Thanks for your advice in advance.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Cherine,

      The weather in May can get rather hot. The average for Rome is 17°C (63°F), though it’s also been as high as 23°C. We see that Malaysia’s averages are much warmer, so it all depends on what you’re used to, but we suggest bringing some lighter clothes as well, in the event that the weather is warm. Have a great trip!

  • Jo says:

    I’ll be in Venice the first week of May. Will people be wearing sandals there by then, or is it still a bit too early? I walk a lot in my own city, so no worries about that. And I love wearing attractive-but-flat sandals– I just don’t want to look out of season.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jo,

      That all depends on the weather! If it is rather warm, you won’t likely be the only one in sandals, and it’s perfectly acceptable to wear them. Italians themselves often wait a bit further into the season to pull out their sandals, but on a very hot day even they will choose sandals!

  • Cathy says:

    Plans for a trip in September-October in Italy (Tuscany, Lago Maggiore, etc) to be with friends will include cycling in September on the Via Francigena and helping at the L’Eroica tour in October. Traveling light is essential but I don’t want to forget the potential of an evening out during my stay. As a woman amongst athletes (I’m definitely not one) it is a challenge… Any ideas about what would be wise? Beyond the basics, and my biking clothes, I’m stumped. We may have time to visit Rome as well. Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Cathy,

      That sounds like a great trip! For an evening out, perhaps a nice black dress and maybe even tights (depending on the weather) will be a nice, lightweight option for your bike trip. Though there’s no need to get too elegant. A nice pair of jeans and a dress shirt or t-shirt with a scarf will certainly be ok for an evening out!

  • Cathy says:

    One other question, please. Is it even possible to find decaf coffee/espresso in Italy? Sorry, the real stuff can be trouble! I know this isn’t a clothing question, but…
    Thanks.

  • Peggy says:

    Hello— we are going to Italy for the first time on Sept 21. It is a 14 day trip-= and it’s a tour , I am 66 and my husband is 65. My question is will the weather be in the 55–65 degree area?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Peggy,

      Yes, that’s basically right, and it mostly depends on where you are in Italy. In Rome the average temperatures are around 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Farther up north in Venice the average temperature for early October is about 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Joanne says:

    We are traveling to Rome, Florence, and Venice late May to early June. Is it okay for the men to wear jeans and sneakers for sightseeing and casual dinners? I plan on packing jeans, tee shirts and flats for daytime and black slacks for evening with a slightly dressier top. Can the men wear shorts if not touring churches?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Joanne,

      Besides shorts and tank tops in churches, you both can wear whatever you like during your trip, even shorts! While most adult men and women don’t wear shorts in May in the major cities, opting instead for jeans or slacks, there are still plenty of people who will be in shorts, especially men. Jeans and sneakers are definitely ok – your husband will be happy to have the comfortable footwear! Have a great trip!

  • Kakolee says:

    Hi
    I will be travelling to Italy (Rome, Sorento, Florence and Venice) from 22nd May to 6th June 2015. Can you suggest what kind of footwear works well for that time if the year?As a tourist who will be walking about a lot I had walking shoes in mind and maybe a pair of sandals if I got tired of wearing shoes all the while. And also if I need to bring along a warm coat/ sweater? I am from India and we are more adapted to temperatures ranging from 20 deg C to 38 deg C.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kakolee,

      You’ll definitely want a comfortable pair of walking shoes! The average weather in Rome during that time is about 20 degrees C to 24 degrees C and it should be similar, if not slightly cooler in Florence and Venice. While we wouldn’t suggest a warm coat, we would suggest bringing a cover-up or light jacket to layer on for the evenings!

  • Adrienne says:

    Hi,
    Is it very warm in mid-June in Rome? Im thinking of renting a place but w/o air-conditioning and fans in Via Taurasia area. So, that means I’ll have to leave the windows open and I hear it can be noisy; there may be mozzies and it’ll be hot. I’m worried. Should I think of getting a place with a/c?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Yes, it is typically warm in Rome in June, with averages often being up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That said, there is very little A/C in the city outside of major hotels and the locals typically don’t use it. Maybe this site can give you more of an idea of the heat in Rome and how to handle it. We hope you have a great trip!

  • Lisa Krumwiede says:

    My 18yr old daughter and I will be traveling to Rome, Florence, and Venice the week of June 20-28. We would not like to dress like an american tourist so I am looking for suggestion for types of shoes to do all the walking around in the summer. Also I have been told locals do not wear shorts….so are sun-dresses more acceptable? What are the average temps during the days/nights?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lisa,

      We completely understand! Teenagers do actually wear shorts, but she’ll have to be careful about wearing them if you want to visit churches as she won’t be allowed in with her knees exposed (a sundress that grazes the knees is likely ok). They also wear tennis shoes like converse or vans. Adults often wear fitted sandals or tennis shoes for a bit more comfort, so you should both be fine with your footwear for all your walking. Sun dresses are acceptable as well as summer pants with a light-fabric to keep you cooler in June. Average temperatures in Rome in June can be about 80 degrees Fahrenheit and about 75 in Venice, so you’ll want light, comfortable clothing!

  • Hi-

    My husband and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding Anniversary in Milan, Monterosso, Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice from June 4th to June 17th. My husband can wear anything and look great! He has a tailored jacket, dress shoes, Merrell-clogs, dress pants and short sleeve shirts and he looks great at 63. However, I am 52 and a size XL or 1X and I don’t fit in but would like to be respectful and dress the best I can. I do have a couple of black palazzo pants, black capris, beige capris, short sleeve dressy black dressy shirts and I thought about getting a couple of scarves-I don’t know what type of fabric. Also, I have been blessed with wide feet and I have to have arch support. Therefore, it has been a struggle to buy shoes. I do have a new pair of Merrell black sandals, black leopard skechers and my black danskos. Also, my husband says we are only taking 2 carryon bags for he and I. This should be interesting. Any other suggestions for us and is there any shopping there for me?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Loretta,

      We’re sure you’ll look great! With two carry-ons we suggest that you pack with layering clothes, that way you can mix and match the same pieces for your time in Italy. It seems that you have neutral colors that you’d like to bring so that already makes it easier to layer. Scarves are always stylish here in Italy and a great way to change up an outfit. We suggest a light fabric since it’s usually pretty warm in June, especially in Rome. Also, wide feet or not, anyone wants to have comfortable shoes during their visit to Italy. You’ll likely do a lot of walking and don’t want your day ruined by sore feet. Tennis shoes and supported sandals will be perfect. Let us know if you have any other questions and have a great trip!

  • kira says:

    I am visiting Tuscany on a painting course for a week in July followed by three days in Florence. Can you suggest what would be appropriate for the Florence part of the trip please as I am comfortable with what I wear in which to paint. I do not wear dresses but like the occasional long skirt. Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kira,

      You can wear the same things in Florence as you would in Tuscany – Italy is certainly used to artists! If you’d like to dress up a bit more though from your usual painting clothes, you’ll want to keep in mind the July heat! Though its true that most Italian adults don’t wear shorts, you can certainly wear pants or a long skirt, which would be cool as well. Florence is a small city seen best by walking, so you’ll definitely want comfortable walking shoes, such as a nice pair of tennis shoes (beyond your usual running shoes) or sandals.

  • Ann Jakobsen says:

    Hi: My daughter (18 years) and I are traveling to Florence end July first of August. We were wondering what type of clothing would be best? We would like to, as best as possible blend in, so to speak. Anything that we absolutely shouldn’t wear?
    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ann,

      Besides the tips in this post, I’d reiterate about shorts and dresses. Your daughter will be in good company in shorts, but usually women don’t wear shorts, opting for pants instead. Since it will likely be very hot, we suggest some sundresses for you for your visit! That said, Florence is a very popular tourist destination, and you’ll see people in all kinds of garb!

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