General Question

awomanscorned's avatar

What should I pack for a trip to Italy in March?

Asked by awomanscorned (11261 points ) December 13th, 2010

I always pack way too much and don’t want to have to lug around a ton of crap that I won’t need. What will the weather be like? Do I need those outlet/plug converter thingies?

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40 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Clean undies and deodorant.

john65pennington's avatar

Take only a backpack. roll your clothes and stuff the pack full.

If you are going for no longer than 10 days, take only clothing that you can wash and rewear over and over again. take clothing for cool weather. the air is clean and you will love it. we wore mostly long sleeve shirts, bluejeans and bermuda shorts.

Go to the wineries and sample the free tastings. a taxi will drive you home.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Where are you going in Italy? They have both Alpine (the Alps) and Mediterranean climates, so depending on where you’ll be traveling you could pack winter ski gear or swimsuits.

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CyanoticWasp's avatar

Pack everything you think you’ll need a week before the trip.

The day before you leave, take out half the clothing and replace it with twice as much cash. Surely you’ll be shopping in Italy; let the Italians help you with your wardrobe while you’re there.

klutzaroo's avatar

I went at Easter one year and it was freezing almost all the way down to Rome. We worked our way down the country. Take a rolling bag with good wheels (samsonite spinners are excellent bags with great wheels) so you don’t feel like you’re lugging stuff. Take 8 shirts (mostly long sleeved), as small a number of pairs of jeans as you can stand, a couple of changes of comfortable shoes, two dressy outfits. You can wash clothes somewhere along the way, pack enough that you only have to do it once. Take a good coat, but a thin one. Leather or something like it. Leave plenty of room in your bag for shopping, but take enough stuff that you can survive even if you can’t find something that fits or whatever.

You do indeed need the converters. And they have plenty of perfectly clean forks.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Take a winter coat that is really WARM. Am not very sure how cold it can be in Italy but Europe around this time is REALLY cold!
Take lots of warm sweaters and hoodies, long warm socks, great shoes for walking in the snow, boots or something, jeans, tights and leggings to wear under your jeans so your butt and legs don’t freeze :)
GLOVES otherwise you wont be able to feel your fingers.
A backpack since maybe you have to walk and you can’t drag a suitcase in the snow can you?

well hope that helped…

p.s and Warm hat/s and scarf/scarves.

JLeslie's avatar

Average high in Rome is 60 degrees in March. Since you will be walking a lot most likely, check the weather right before you leave to see what the week will be like when you are there. Probably a warm jacket and gloves are a good idea, especially for the evening. Wear jeans, bring some t-shirts, and a sweater or two.

Yes, you need a converter for electrical items, but the hotels should have hair dryers if you are staying in hotels.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Not.. a.. fan.. of.. Italian.. food….... WHAT!?

The weather could depend on whether you’re north or south. At my mom’s in the NW, March is cold. You’ll want pants, long-sleeves, and probably a jacket or some sweaters.

I will totally travel along in your suitcase and eat your food for you. For free. Aren’t I nice?

JLeslie's avatar

@MissAnthrope Who said they are not a fan of Italian food? Italy is my favorite place to eat!

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JLeslie's avatar

@noelleptc Oh, it was you. I had missed that. If you are thinking Italy is just full of lasagna and stuffed manicotti you are wrong. In America we mostly think of Italian food as the southern Italian stuff with lots of red sauce. You will find a variety of food in Italy, and the Italians love food so they make everything yummy. If a restaurant doesn’t have tasty food it would not last long in Italy. I had great Chinese food in Florence. Also, in many ways some things are much simpler, like their sandwiches were just the best bread you have ever had and some meat and cheese, or whatever you order, and not a bunch of lettuce, tomato, mayonaise, and whatever crap Americans typically pile on to everything, so I think as a picky eater you might be pleasantly surprised.

janbb's avatar

Layers are the way to go. I was there in March; it was warm in Rome and cold and rainy in Florence. Check the 10 day forecast before you go. Fleece, good rainjacket, nice tees and overshirts with jeans and 1 pair of dressy pants should get you through. Bring plenty of money for gelato – you will want it daily. You will need a converter if your appliances don’t have dual currents and you probably will need a plug adapter. If you are taking the train, bring as few and as light bags as possible – some of those stops are pretty quick.

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HungryGuy's avatar

I was in Rome for New Years a few years ago. The weather was absolutely beautiful! Of course, March will be slightly warmer, but not a whole lot. Not exactly Bermuda shorts weather, but light summer clothing will do…slacks and a sweater or light jacket for cool evenings. Will you be staying in hotels or with people? If hotels, getting your laundry done will be hideously expensive, so weigh the cost/benefit of bringing enough clean clothes for your entire trip vs. lugging a couple of big suitcases on planes and trains. I tend to travel heavy (contrary to the advice of all the travel experts in the world), but I have wheeled luggage and make a “train” out of it when schlepping through airports and train stations :-/

BTW, I’m also a picky eater, so don’t listen to people who dis you for going to Italy and not liking Italian food. When I went to India, I lived entirely on grilled cheese sandwiches for two weeks :-p

JLeslie's avatar

@noelleptc I feel your pain, I don’t like tomatoes, blueberries, whipped cream, cream cheese, cheesecake, mayo, cold cheese (cheese has to be melted) creamy salad dressings, strawberry flavor (real strawberries are ok), peanut butter, avocado, and more; America is a nightmare for me lol. Northern Italy barely uses tomato sauce. My inlaws who are from a town near Venice make lasagna with a sharp cheese and mushrooms, no tomato sauce.

sliceswiththings's avatar

The #1 way to overpack is in the shoe department. My ideal travel shoes are my Keen mary-janes. They’re super comfortable, I can walk a lot in them, and fit layers of warm socks, but they’re pretty enough for more formal occasions. In my last Europe trip I found that packed other shoes but rarely wore them. If you can get by with one pair of shoes, your suitcase will be much lighter.

Also, you can always hand-wash socks and underwear in hotel room sinks and let them dry overnight.

Seelix's avatar

What should you pack for a trip to Italy? ME!

Really, though, be prepared for a little rain and some springish temperatures. When I went to Italy in May a few years ago, it was HOT.
You will need a converter, but a lot of hotels will have ones at the front desk that you can borrow. But it’s best to take one along; you can get them at Walmart or similar for around $5.
I ended up wearing the same shoes all the time, like @sliceswiththings said. (Strangely, the pair I wore were also brown mary janes, but not the same brand!) Try to take only one or two pairs – you really will not need six, as much as us ladies would like to imagine being swept away by a conte who will take us to balls and such, for which we just absolutely would need a pair of spike-heel strappy sandals.

And really, don’t worry about the food. I’m a picky eater myself (though not quite as picky as you, from what I can tell) and I was in absolute heaven. Italian food in Italy is not all pasta like we think it is. Like @JLeslie said, the sandwiches are soooo good. The best sandwich I ever had in my entire life was in Rome: a couple of slices of prosciutto and cheese on focaccia bread, heated for a few seconds in a panini press. Heaven.
But honest, you will find stuff you like. Promise.

Are you going to Florence?

janbb's avatar

(Great steak in Tuscany.)

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janbb's avatar

Don’t bother bringing an iron – you won’t want to use it.

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What kind of flat iron are you referring to. Clothing or hair?

Seelix's avatar

My hair was much shorter when I went to Italy, and had terrible bedhead too, because I used a LOT of product in it. What I’d do is shower before bed (sightseeing makes you feel icky, especially when it’s warm), then wet and dry my hair in the mornings. Most of the shower heads I saw there were adjustable height-wise, so I could shower my body without getting my head wet, then just shampoo in the tub in the AM.

janbb's avatar

@noelleptc Sorry – I thought you meant clothes iron.

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@noelleptc I’m male, so I’m lucky if I remember a comb when it comes to that stuff. :)

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@noelleptc Well, if you’re going to snag some nice Italian guy the chassis has to be in shape, so take the iron.

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JLeslie's avatar

Don’t bring it, then you have to worry about the plug fitting, a converter would be another thing to carry. Just bring a pony tail thingy, so if you have bed head you can just pull your hair back. Best thing about long hair, assuming your hair is long enough to pull back.

Florence is fantastic. Just beautiful to walk around that city.

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JLeslie's avatar

@noelleptc Then why ask? Sounds like you are bringng it. Which I think is fine. Shoes are the biggest problem, as someone said above. Bring clothes that go with one or two pairs of shoes and thats it. One pair on your feet when you fly. None or one pair in your luggage. You are going to love Italy. Happy trip.

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HungryGuy's avatar

One thing I never go anywhere without is my laptop PC.

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JLeslie's avatar

Don’t bring it. Your plane should have movies. What airline are you flying? What class?

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