After spending the past decade traveling throughout Italy, I’d like to think I’ve finally mastered the art of packing a suitcase and wanted to share my essential Italy Packing List with you. Here are some of my favorite organizers, gadgets and accessories I can’t leave home without – and many of these products are Made in Italy or inspired by the Bel Paese. Ps the lovely lady pictured above is Jennie, the founder of Lois Avery cashmere scarves (see them below!)
I bring my Eastpak Tranverz Cabin Luggage on every trip and it’s the best cabin bag I could have hoped to find: this sporty, lightweight suitcase fits on every airline (even Ryanair!), has extremely smooth wheels and a soft exterior with adjustable straps so it can expand to fit all your contents. It also comes in a variety of prints and sizes. I’ve convinced many friends to purchase this bag and everyone loves it!
The classic Superga trainers are the perfect sneaker for a long passeggiata in the city and will help you blend in with the locals! They’re cute, sturdy and come in a huge array of colors – I love them in white and am on my third pair.
The biggest game changer in my travel routine has been keeping doubles of all my toiletries in a beauty case so I’m ready to go at all times – double tooth brushes, double razors, double everything. Now I never forget any essentials on a trip because I don’t have to remember to pack them at the last minute. I love that the Cuyana travel set comes with two pouches so you can pack toiletries in one and fit things like make-up, jewelry or tech cords in the second.
Did you know Moleskine is an Italian company? The notebook brand was founded by Maria Sebregondi in Milan in 1997 and continues to be designed in Italy. I’ve been using these journals for years and they’re my favorite place to jot down thoughts and story ideas while I travel. I’ve tried out different styles but my favorite are the Ruled Cahier Journals that come in a pack of 3 – they’re extremely lightweight, easy to carry around in your purse and lay flat when you’re writing.
Lois Avery’s Italian-made cashmere scarves are inspired by the color palettes of the Bel Paese and are oh-so-soft to the touch. Cashmere is a breathable fabric so it’s perfect to wear throughout the year – and they come in handy when you want to peek into a church but your shoulders are bare. Don’t leave home without one!
Enjoy the scents of Sicily (and some seriously beautiful packaging) with an Ortigia Travel Set that includes shampoo, body wash, bath salts and hand soap in an array of rich scents including black amber, bergamot, pomegranate, almond and sandalwood.
Italy has excellent water and Rome is well-known for its nasoni drinking fountains dotted around every corner of the city. Instead of buying plastic water bottles each day of your trip, bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated while you tour the Eternal City. I love the stainless steel bottles by 24 Bottles, an Italian brand with an emphasis on design and commitment to reduce waste. Choose between the extra lightweight Urban Bottle or double-insulated Clima Bottle which keeps drinks chilled for up to 24 hours.
Travel Yoga Mat
A foldable travel yoga mat is great for morning stretching and feeling centered – even while you’re away on vacation. The Gaiam Yoga Mat is thin and light but sticky enough to grip onto hardwood floors and carpets so it’s great for hotel rooms.
BENE is an Italian-inspired and made brand offering luxury accessories that feature interior artwork by female artists. Born in New Orleans, the brand combines NOLA funk with Italian luxe to create fresh but timeless purses, totes, book bags and more. The Caffery Clutch is the perfect accessory to store all your essentials during a night out on the town (it even fits an iPad).
Ensure you get uninterrupted sleep on planes, trains and or your hotel with a luxurious eye mask by slip. The brand even alleges the sleep masks are even anti aging thanks to their 100% silk material which help prevent tugging and stretching while sleeping.
How many times have I found myself in a park at sunset with a bottle of wine and no corkscrew in sight? Too many times. If you’re an enophile like me and you enjoying drinking al fresco, pack a corkscrew. I love this cute design by True Fabrication.
I just bought my first pair of Beats Solo3 Wireless and can’t imagine traveling without them. These noise canceling headphones are super comfortable, have a great sound and boast 40 hours of battery life while wireless so they’re great for long-haul travel – they are also collapsable and come with a detachable headphone jack so you can use them to watch movies on the plane.
Investing in a small, lightweight umbrella has changed my life in Rome. Although it’s sunny most of the year, the city has its fair share of impromptu rain/hail storms so you don’t want to be caught without an umbrella in your bag. This chic umbrella by totes is open-close and windproof, meaning it’s super practical for all weather conditions.
I love my Fujifilm camera and would highly recommend the brand to anyone looking for the perfect travel companion. The camera is sturdy and compact, with a vintage feel and a great lens that captures all the colors and nuances of the Italian landscape.
Italians love their sunglasses: they’re a staple in every season and most wouldn’t dare leave their home without a stylish pair. Opt for shades by Italian-brand Persol to fit in with the locals.
My Cluse watch never leaves my wrist: it’s the perfect complement to every outfit and doubles as a beautiful piece of jewelry. And the Swedish brand recently rolled out a new collection, La Garçonne, with a gorgeous square face and metal and leather bands. I love every watch style on the website and with most models under €100, you can’t beat the price.
I love to listen to music while I’m getting ready in the morning so I always pack a small portable speaker in my suitcase – its way better than the sound of my cell phone.
Although jetsetting in Italy is pretty glorious, long journeys can leave you feeling a little under the weather and in need of a boost. Avène’s Eau Thermale is a great pick-me-up that hydrates your skin in dry climates and keeps your makeup looking fresh all day long.
For a chic, convenient, lightweight hold-everything purse that can go from day-to-night, the Longchamp Le Pliage can’t be beat. I have this purse in multiple colors for each season and love that I can fit everything I need in its roomy interior, including my camera, water bottle and an umbrella. They also fold up so you can easily pack one in your suitcase as a spare bag for your purchases.
Roman brand Ballerette makes comfortable and stylish ballerinas in every color of the rainbow. These easy flats make walking on Rome’s cobblestones a dream and come with rounded or pointed toes in smooth leather or suede.
The humble handheld fan must be the more overlooked, and least appreciated travel accessory, of all time. And yet it’s one of the most essential things I carry with me all summer in Italy. Italians aren’t fond of air conditioning and many buses and trains have broken A/C systems so these are a really handy accessory to pack.
Chez Dede is a lovely boutique in the heart of Rome and a treasure trove for those with good taste. I love the patterns of their roomy Le Grand Sac bags – sporty, unisex totes with fanciful prints dedicated to some of Italy’s dreamiest summer destinations like Salina, Capri and Forte dei Marmi. These fit everything you need for a day out at the beach or shopping in the city.
Soak in some sun and lighten your hair – naturally – with Ouai’s Son of a Beach Ombré Spray. This works on all hair types and colors, adding a natural glow to your strands (without any brassy undertones).
Reusable Wine Protectors
Don’t risk transporting expensive or hard-to-find bottles of wine without wine protectors – these will save you piece of mind (and may even save your suitcase and belongings from destruction). These reusable and leak-proof wine bottle protectors by Winevinci contain two layers of bubble wrap while remaining sleek and lightweight so they don’t add extra bulk in your suitcase.
Travel Alarm Clock
A small travel alarm clock is handy to pack for the times when you don’t have a plug conveniently located by your bedside table. This one by Peakeep is compact, lightweight and doesn’t tick so it’s a nice solution for travel.
I always set my phone to Low Power Mode when I’m out and about all day and also bring a portable charger just in case.
Long Lightening Cable
I can’t live (or travel) without a long cable to charge my phone – I’ve been to too many hotels that don’t have conveniently-placed wall sockets and I like to sleep with my phone on my bedside table so a long cable solves all my problems.