What to wear when travelling to Italy ask the Italian

Today I want to write about a very popular topic that many of you asked me about, “What should I wear to go to Italy?”

It is well known that Italian people are into fashion and aesthetics, maybe because we have been surrounded by magnificent buildings or because we studied a lot of history of art and literature or it is just in our blood. Italians don’t really have a dress code, not even rules that you can follow, but some suggestions are always welcome.

Many tourists just want to wear something comfy while traveling in Italy (and they are completely right, from a walking point of view) but many of them want to be both sporty and stylish.

Here’s how to survive the Italian fashionistas and to avoid being spotted as tourist and maybe protect you from becoming a pickpocket’s target.


First of all you have to think about where are you off to in Italy.

People and lifestyles can be very different from city to city.  If you are going to visit a very lively city as Milan or Rome, be sure you bring something comfortable to walk with during the day like a pair of jeans and sneakers, of course your top can be as creative as you want! If instead you are going to a sea place you have to be more careful. In some cities by the sea it is forbidden to walk by the streets wearing just swimsuit, you must be covered with a dress of some shorts and a t-shirt otherwise you will get a fine. In Italy you should always avoid going “uncovered” in a restaurant or even a bar, unless you are by the beach and just run for a gelato.

Please pay special attention to what you wear when you visit a church or Vatican.  You cannot enter with bare shoulders, miniskirts or shorts. If you have a hat on it is respectful to take it off.

By night, the preference is to wear something nicer and elegant, especially if you have dinner out. Do not worry too much about high heels but believe me flip flops better be left in the room!


Cities like Rome or Naples tend to be very crowded and overpopulated by tourists, especially during summer.   Every day people are stealing, so be very cautious, you should always use a bag that zips closed or cross body bag that is in front of you.  Also, check your belongings frequently.


Like in the US, Italy’s climate has been changing a lot. We cannot predict anymore what the weather is going to be but more or less I want to offer some advice.

If you are travelling in Summer, it is going to be extremely hot in the entire country. Most of the cities are very humid, so take with you light and soft-colored clothes, prefer dresses to jeans and sandals to sneakers.

Sometimes unexpected storms can occur so remember to always take an extra layer as it can suddenly turn chilly outside!

Winter weather strongly depends on where you are going. In the southern regions of Italy, winters are very mild and snow is very rare but the north gets cooler. Autumn and Spring can change rapidly; I would recommend wearing layers.

Tips: Autumn is high tide season in Venice, check the municipality website to track it and be ready to wear your rain boots! Anyway it is going to be a unique and unforgettable experience.  Autumn and winter are very foggy, in the Veneto, Emilia and Lombardy region as cities reveal all their mysterious air.

DOs    thumb-up-sign

Always use sunscreen protection

Wear sunglasses in the summer

Go shopping, most of stores are open seven days a week and in January and in July we have tremendous final sales in every shop.

DON’Ts    thumb-down

 Do not wear expensive jewelry

Do not wear expensive watches; it may be dangerous for you…especially in some cities

Always keep an eye on your backpack or any belongings, especially in crowded place

Try not to be more “fashionable”, just be yourself, simple is always better.


By Linda Russo

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