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Welcome to our Rome Series! Rome was our home for a collective six years so we wanted to share everything you need to have a perfect time in the Eternal City. Visit Rome and learn how to love la dolce vita!
Here is what you can expect from this series:
Ultimate Rome Packing List – You’re Here
The Ultimate Rome Packing List
You are here right now because you have made some brilliant decisions in your life to land you here. Your most important decision? Well, buying that ticket to the Eternal City of course. Your childhood dream of strolling down the streets of Rome is finally becoming a reality. One thing stands in your way though, yup that empty suitcase. You’re clueless on what to pack and wear in the beautiful city of Rome. Well, we might not be Cher Horowitz when it comes to “totally fab style’ but after living in Rome for a few years we have learned a few things here and there to help you blend in with the local style
Italians pride themselves on how they dress and can be very judgmental of how tourists dress. If you are anything like us, you like to blend in with the locals. Well, we are here to help and we all know the saying, ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
The style in Rome is a little more dressed up than casual so be ready to dress to impress when in the Eternal City. Which means, yoga pants are a big no-no for you women and men, your flip flops have no place in the city as well and the same goes for wearing running shoes for comfort.
Let us help you, let us guide you so that you can blend in with locals and skip over those very embarrassing flip-flop and yoga pants faux-pas. Without further ado, he is our ultimate packing list to Rome.
Ultimate Rome Packing List Essentials
These essentials are great for anytime you want to visit Rome. We would suggest keeping these essentials in neutral colors and then jazzing up your wardrobe with the seasonal extras. Romans are not super flashy when it comes to their fashion so think classic pieces and neutrals with pops of color.
Women’s Packing List Essentials
Skinny jeans are going to be your best friend in Rome because you can wear them all the time (except maybe during the daytime in the summer – it is way too hot!) and they are super fashionable. Opt for a darker pair that you can dress up or down and you will blend in with the Romans!
A nice blouse is a definite must in Rome. The style there is more dressy than some European cities so you won’t find too many people wearing t-shirts but if you have a versatile blouse that you can wear with jeans or a skirt it is going to take you far.
I wear dresses all the time and Rome is certainly no exception. Rome is a city made for wearing a dress, just think about twirling around in front of the Coliseum or having a picnic in Villa Borghese. I personally love this striped Madewell dress with its big playful buttons in the back. Plus this dress can do double duty if you unbutton the lower buttons and then wear it with jeans!
You have to bring a skirt to Rome, just think of Audrey Hepburn zipping around Rome on her Vespa in that adorable skirt and tucked in shirt. I personally love midi length skirts so that you never have to worry about being able to get into the sights of Rome, as the churches and a few other sights require that skirts and shorts be past the knees and your shoulders must be covered.
A nice fluttering sleeveless top is perfect for Rome. There is just something about a playful ruffled poplin top that draws me in. All I see is myself drinking an Aperol spritz in a beautiful piazza while rocking this top!
Ladies, I am going to be real with you. LEAVE THE HEELS AT HOME. Seriously, the cobblestones of Rome are downright dangerous to walk on in heels and you do not want to ruin your Roman holiday with a broken ankle. Yes, you may see Romans walking around in heels without a care but they have somehow mastered this talent. You have not.
So when you head to Rome instead opt for a pair of fashionable flats. I love these black Lucky flats that are stylish, simple and go with everything. They also have a bit of padding to them as well because you will walk A LOT in Rome and your feet will need some protection!
Men’s Packing List Essentials
Okay men, Get ready to look good when you are in Rome. Italy is one of those countries where men dress equally as well or better than women. If you want to do as the Romans do, then be prepared to dress well!
Nice long sleeve collar button downs are my go to when it comes to dressing in Rome. Don’t worry, for the most part, you won’t even have to tuck the shirt in. The untucked look with a couple of rolls in the sleeves is just fine for this city. You are also prepared if you need to look formal for that romantic dinner out. Make sure you get dress shirts that are slim and fit to your body type. Baggy clothing is just not a thing in Italy.
Some of you guys out there are just not button down type of people. I understand I used to be the same way. So, If you have to have t-shirts make sure to pack some nice ones. Think shallow v-necks or some nice fitted plain colored or light pattern t-shirts. Pack t-shirts that can be dressed up; keep the ironic ones at home.
Just like the rest of the world jeans are a very cherished item of clothing. Personally, I like to bring fitted dark 501’s, but really any dark fitted jean will do well in this city. They can be worn casually and be dressed up with a suit jacket. Dark jeans are super versatile and a must for any Rome packing list.
In addition to a nice button down, I always like to have on hand a collared shirt, whether we are talking about a nice polo or a simple short sleeve button down. Something that is comfortable but still looks like you put in some effort is key for your Rome packing list. Polos a are big item for the Romans but don’t worry about popping the collar like they do. Only Italians can really pull that off and that is still a bit of a stretch.
I am bow tie guy, I love the classic look that a bow tie brings especially when you are enjoying cocktails at the Jerry Thomas Project speakeasy in Rome. For me though I think it is always important to have a tie on you especially if there might be a chance to go formal. They don’t take up much room or weight so why not be prepared.
Loafers are stylish and comfortable and perfect for your Roman holiday. They are a classic shoe to walk around these ancient streets.
When it comes to actual packing, there are a few things we can’t live without. In terms of luggage, we are obsessed with eBags. Their hardside spinner luggage is ideal for any kind of travel since they come in a multitude of sizes and colors. I am partial to my bright red giant suitcase but they also have carry-on sizes which are incredibly light and perfect for your trip to Rome! In fact, Alex is going to be switching to an eBag soon because of how much I love mine!
In addition to my lovely eBag, we also ALWAYS use packing cubes. Not only do they help compress your clothes a bit so more fits, they also help keep you organized. There is nothing worse than an exploding suitcase where you can’t find anything. Packing cubes completely solve this problem. All you do is have to pull out the bags and open the one you need. No more mess and way less likely that you will lose things because you threw them across the room looking for something at the bottom of your bag…. Not like that has ever happened to us….
Spring Rome Packing List Extras
Spring in Rome can be described in one word, unpredictable. It can either be absolutely gorgeous with bright blue skies and sunny days or it can be downright miserable with intense rain and flooding. Packing for spring is a balancing act. Also, the Romans dress by season and not by weather so it may an absolutely gorgeous day but the Romans are still wearing their winter jackets. If you want to blend in keep on wearing those heavy jackets but then again you may want to embrace the sunshine!
Women’s Spring Rome Packing List
A rain jacket is key during the spring in Rome. You may never know when it might start raining. I would definitely suggest a lightweight jacket so that you can pop it in your purse to bring with you. Also, don’t worry about carrying an umbrella, the second it starts raining someone will be selling you an umbrella.
Rome is a city that routinely floods and the metro shuts down. Believe me when I say you are going to want a pair of rain boots. The floodgates open and the city is very quickly engulfed in rain. Rain boots will be your lifesaver during the spring!
Rome’s weather can boomerang in the spring but the nights are still relatively cool. You are going to want to have a sweater on hand for those chilly spring days and nights. This sweater has a contrasting button down shirt panel at the bottom to really amp up the style of this otherwise plain grey sweater!
A longsleeve shirt is what you need to layer underneath that sweater. This is definitely a shirt you can dress up with some jewelry for a casual night out at a wine bar. While it may seem simple, it oozes classic style and that is something you can never go wrong with!
For those days that Rome decides to bless you with a sunny day, you are going to want a fun and flirty spring dress. The flower pattern screams spring and you are going to want to spend the day by the Trevi Fountain or eating gelato at the Pantheon. When the sun shines in Rome, you have a cute dress and the background is as perfect as a movie set, why not?
Scarves are a spring essential and I always carry a few around with me in my luggage. They are perfect for covering those shoulders when visiting a church, as a quick headwrap when it starts raining and to warm up on a chilly night. This blanket scarf can probably do all three at once and there is nothing as cozy as a blanket scarf.
Men’s Spring Rome Packing List
Light Rain Jacket
If you are visiting Rome in the spring prepare for the rain. In Rome, when it rains it definitely can pour. Since the temperature won’t be freezing in the spring a nice lightweight jacket to keep your bones from being soaked will take you a long way when visiting Rome in the spring
The nights in Rome will still be quite chilly at night so a fashionable light wool sweater will be your best friend. I always suggest wool because even if it gets wet in the rain it will still keep you nice and toasty.
Now, when I talk about khaki pants I am talking just about the material and not the color so feel free to choose any color of khaki. It is just nice to have some good looking pants that are not jean. They help you look that much sharper with a nice button down on.
Chambray button downs are just a classic look. They are clean looking and are very versatile especially if you want to dress up a little. I like throwing on a bow tie with them and I am ready for those cobblestone streets. Plus, they can be a little heavier to help keep you warm on those chilly spring nights.
Gentlemen make sure in the spring you bring a nice light scarf to keep you warm during the Roman downpours in the spring. Bring one especially if you are going early spring because those nights will drop in temperature quite quickly.
Summer Rome Packing List Extras
Summer in Rome is HOT! There really is no escaping the heat in Rome because even when you go inside there most likely won’t be air conditioning. So you are going to want clothing that can breathe. Summer in Rome is all about lightweight fabrics!
Women’s Summer Rome Packing List
Romans don’t really opt for casual shorts like jean shorts or khaki so if you want to beat the heat in Rome then look for lightweight and nicely cut linen shorts. These shorts are stylish and will look effortless as you climb around the ruins of the Forum!
Sightseeing in Rome inevitably involves some covering of the knees so linen pants are perfect on the day you decide to pop into the Vatican or one of the myriads of important churches across the city. These breezy linen pants will keep you cool and effortlessly stylish!
There is something about this light halter top that I have just fallen in love with. It is breezy and can go with anything from jeans to shorts to a skirt. Whatever you have in mind and whatever activity you have planned while in Rome, this top will work perfectly.
The Roman sun can be absolutely unrelenting and when you are out visiting sights there is little to no shade so be sure to bring along a nice hat. I am partial to straw fedoras and always pick one up for my summer travels. Plus they are a nice vintage throwback!
Summer in Rome is all about nights spent outside and this flirty navy dress will be perfect for any occasion from sipping wine outside Bar San Callisto or hanging out along the Tiber. It also is a great dress for a fun photoshoot in front of the Trevi Fountain or the iconic Spanish Steps!
Jumpsuits are my new favorite item of clothing. I am sure most of you have figured out how great they are long before this though so I have to hardly reiterate why a jumpsuit is a perfect Roman outfit. This stylish and sleek jumpsuit looks great on all types of figures and is perfect for the hot summer days and nights!
Now most Romans do not wear flip flops except to the beach (and even then they change into them when they get there) but a lovely sandal with some nice detailing is a perfectly fine shoe to wear throughout the city. The Roman cobblestones can be rough on your feet though so look for a pair with a nice cushion like these Sam Edelman sandals.
Men’s Summer Rome Packing List
While the Romans really do not really wear shorts they are still really nice to have on those hot and muggy summer days. I would stay away from the baggy cargo shorts but go with more fashionable shorts. I am a khaki guy when it comes to the material so I tend to bring a light pair of khaki and dark pair of khaki shorts. If you want to be really Roman you can buy a pair of man capris.
Light Linen Button Down
The summer is miserable in Rome. It is blistering hot and the air is so thick you have to swim through it. A nice light linen button down will breathe and help you try to stay cool. This is a staple for any summer Rome packing list.
Chinos are a great lightweight pants that are perfect for those warm summer evenings in Rome. You can get them in a variety of colors and dress them up if you would like. It is nice to have pants with you in the summer especially if you want to go out to the club for in this city pants are a must.
Short Sleeve Collared Shirt
Longs sleeves shirts can be hell in the summer heat of Rome. Yet, you still want to look good. I would pack my bag to the brim with short sleeve collared shirts. I like wearing short sleeve button down as they breath a little more. Italians love their polo so if you are polo guy then you will right in.
When it comes to sandals I tend to break the rules when I am in Rome. The Italians and the Romans do not understand wearing flip-flops in the city, even when the sun is melting your face off. Flip-flops are beach attire only. Rome does have a few beaches that are easily reached through public transit so it always nice to bring some sandals along. Don’t tell anyone but I still wear them in the city because hey, you can’t completely take the Californian out of me.
Fall Rome Packing List Extras
Fall is probably my favorite season in Rome. The rains often don’t start until mid-November and the summer heat is abating. You have lovely warm days and nights that are just starting to cool off but are not chilly yet. In addition, the summer crowds have left the city and the Romans have returned from their August holidays. There is just something about fall in Rome that is magical.
Women’s Fall Rome Packing List
A cardigan is the perfect fall accompaniment. I always choose a lightweight one in a neutral color so that I can throw it over anything. I also love when they are a bit oversized and nice and cozy. Seriously, a cardigan will be your best friend in Rome in the fall.
I also grab a pair of leggings for fall travel. They are perfect to wear underneath my dresses and skirts to transition them to cooler weather. They also can be worn underneath jeans in a pinch if for some reason the weather turns for the worst.
Longsleeve Black Dress
There is something just classic about a longsleeve black dress and it is the perfect fall dress. This dress can be dressed up or down and you will blend in with the locals when you wear this dress. Plus think about how classic a black dress and a light trench coat is?
Light Trench Coat
Speaking of a trench coat…. I always travel with my London Fog trench coat during the fall. This coat is absolutely amazing because not only is it a classic piece but it also has a detachable quilted liner and hood, just in case Rome decides to surprise you with a downpour!
Chambray is my go to fall top. I love that I can wear it alone and that it pairs with almost anything and that I can also use it as a light cover up. Seriously, versatility is key when you are trying to keep down the size of your luggage!
Ankle boots are a great option to pack for Rome in the fall. Look for boots with a low or no heel though thanks to those treacherous cobblestones. These caramel boots are perfect for crunching through the fallen leaves and taking a “selfeet” (really, that’s the name people chose for that?) with some beautiful Cosimati floors.
Men’s Rome Fall Packing List
Fall is Rome is probably one of the best times to go and visit. Ash and I give our strongest endorsement to go and travel this ancient city in the fall. The weather has cooled but you ar not freezing from the rains in the winter or spring. Also, the best style is the fall style.
Quarter Zip Sweater
Here I go again talking about my nice wool sweaters. I am telling you guys, wool is the best for keeping you warm. It is perfect for fall, winter, and spring and you can get some pretty snazzy looking wool sweaters. For fall let’s look for one that has a little more weight but has a quarter zip to allow yourself to breathe.
Blazers make anything look good and if you get a nice neutral color one they can almost go with anything. I am a fan of the dark jeans, t-shirt and a blazer look. It is comfortable, stylish and perfect for the early fall. In late fall just add your sweater and you will be ready to go.
Okay, we are back to scarves because when you are in Europe you should have some scarves on you. Pick out a nice medium warm scarf that can go with any of your clothes, because come night time when that wind picks up you will be enjoying that scarf.
Can’t you tell that I absolutely love button downs! I mean hey I am not a kid anymore and it feels good to look good. Plus, it fuels your confidence. For the fall go with a fun patterned button down that is a little playful. Show your whimsical side in the fall.
These are my ultimate travel shoe and actually, I go nowhere without them. I love having these Australian boots. They are durable for any weather and also look really good especially with some nice dark jeans. I swear by my bloodstone.
Winter Rome Packing List Extras
Winter can be dreary but despite the rain and the cold, this is the perfect season to come to Rome and indulge in some of their delicious and hearty cuisine plus embrace the festive Christmas spirit. Also, you will probably be one of the few tourists in the city as long as you avoid the days around Christmas. Embrace the chilly air and don a peacoat and go out and explore an empty Rome!
Women’s Winter Rome Packing List
I love jackets and peacoats. And this peacoat is dramatic and fulfills everything I want from a jacket. When you spend so much time in jackets in the winter, you want something with a bit of drama.
I think I enjoy winter purely because I can wear dramatic jackets and hats. Perhaps, it goes back to my love of Carmen San Diego… This hat is a perfect Roman winter hat and did I mention it comes in red??
Boots are a Roman staple in the winter. Honestly, I don’t know if anyone wears anything other than boots. Look for a durable and weatherproof pair with a minimal heel once again and you will be blending in in no time!
¾ Length Blouse
When you are outside you will want to be bundled up but once you get inside take off your jacket and reveal this simple black blouse. This shirt can’t be described as boring though with its stripe knit and bell top sleeves!
Cozy sweaters are one of the benefits of winter and there is nothing I like more than donning a cozy, tad bit oversized cable knit sweater. So throw on that sweater and head to a classic Roman osteria for a Roman night out.
I think by now we have realized my obsession with dresses? They are so easy and effortless but always look chic. A winter dress is exactly the same. This slimming dress will look wonderful underneath that dramatic peacoat and will look chic as you glide effortlessly from aperitivo to dinner to the speakeasy!
Men’s Winter Rome Packing List
It is winter and it is time to bring out those layers! Rome is windy, rainy, and cold! Be prepared to bundle and unbundle throughout the city of Rome.
I am all about the layers when it comes to staying warm in the winter! So I nice wool or fleece v-neck sweater will be a great second layer before you bring out the coats and scarves.
Rome is windy, raining, and just down right freezing when it comes to the winter. Yes, I am a California kid and we are not talking about snow but we are talking about ice cold rain. A good peacoat will go a long way in the winter. Also, they are stylish and you can pretend to be Sherlock Holmes. Invest into a nice one and you can thank me later when you are protected from all the elements of the Roman weather.
Beanie, Gloves and a Scarf
Beanie, gloves and a scarf are the Roman winter trifecta and are a must for a winter Rome packing list. Especially, if you like not to freeze and feel your fingers. If you are not a glove guy I understand but at least get a nice wool beanie to keep your head nice a toasty and a scarf to brave the Roman winter nights.
Here I go again about layers but I am telling you layers are king when it comes to staying warm. So make sure to have some of the comfortable yet stylish longsleeve Henleys. They are a perfect first layer and even when you unbundle you will still be looking good.
For the winter I would pick up a nice pair of darker grey pants to bring in some color with the sweater. They look nice and are extremely versatile. Also, it is winter so the more pants the better.
There you have it! That is our ultimate packing list to Rome! No matter when you visit this beautiful ancient city, you will be looking super stylish and blending in with all those locals. You will be thanking us after your amazing trip to Rome!
Read On to Read the Rest of the Series!
Ultimate Rome Packing List – You’re Here!
Heading to Rome soon? Don’t forget to buy travel insurance! Sure you may not use it but its always good to have. We recommend World Nomads which we have been using for years and have always made us feel secure as we travel around the world!
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