Must- have packing list for spring in Italy

spring in Italy packing list

What to pack for traveling in spring in Italy: must have items to be comfortable and stylish while visiting Italy in spring. Updated 2020

It’s time to get hold of my packing list and get the bags ready for my spring trip to Italy!

Or rather, this time last week was the time to get hold of my packing list for Italy… Now it’s time for me to unpack.

I am just back from a great week in Rome and I am currently taken by the very ‘interesting’ task of sorting out my stuff: what goes in the laundry?

What did I actually wear? Do the things I bought there still look as good as they did in the shop?

You know yourself: a soul destroying exercise that seems made to remind you that your holiday is over.

Still, while my stuff lies piled up in my room, I decided to make use of this moment and write a post about packing.

I think this is the best moment to do it, because as well as providing me with an excuse (‘I can’t unpack now, I am working at my blog!’), this is the moment when I have  very clear ideas on what I used/didn’t use which I hope can make for good advice for everyone else.

Or even for my next trip.

Please note: this post was originally written in 2015 but the packing list has been updated in late 2018 and again in 2020.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

woman in Italy taking photo + overlay text what to pack for spring in Italy packing list + style guide
When packing for Italy we recommend you add some cute and stylish pieces to feel chic and blend with the locals!

Spring in Italy: what weather to expect

The official start of spring in Italy is the spring equinox (21 of March) and spring officially ends on the first day of summer, the 21st of June.

However, on an average year, you can start feeling the start of spring in the air already in February, when mimosa blossoms start to appear, and by June you feel you are very much in full on summer temperatures.

How you actually experience spring in Italy depends largely on where you are and on the year. Italy is over 1000KM long and its geography is made of mountains, valleys and a long coastline.

The country enjoys a Mediterranean climate but this variety of landscapes means that you will experience seasons differently depending how North / South and how close to the mountains you are.

As a general rule:

March is very much a transition month and can still feel wintery. If travelling to the North of Italy in spring, do bring a jacket, scarf and umbrella and leave summer clothes behind: March in Italy is not shorts season yet.

April can be lovely in Italy: temperatures start to rise and you can usually unwrap from scarves and coats. However, April can also be quite wet and it is not unusual to have heavy showers. A light jacket and windbreaker are good to have at this time.

May usually sees pleasant temperatures: days are bright, long and usually mild, sometimes even warm. At this time, you don’t need to travel with a coat but especially if visiting the North it is wise to still have with you an outer layer.

June is technically spring in Italy but Italians think of it as summer and with good reason.

In June, temperatures rise steadily and you are likely to be wearing sandals and shorts at least in the warmest part of the day. 

June in the south of Italy is a summer month and you are likely to experience hot and sunny days for the whole duration of your trip.

My packing list for Spring in Italy

Italy is known for being stylish but to feel like a local you don’t need to splash out on the latest designer clothes. Rather, opt for good quality basics and dress them up with accessories.

Here are the staples of my Italy in spring wardrobe. If you are travelling with young children, have a look at my kids packing list  here

Please note this post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Packing list for spring in Italy
Packing list for spring in Italy: what to expect, what to wear and what you must carry on your next trip to Italy in the spring

Good quality jeans

Italians have a real love affair with jeans and a good pair will go a long way, being out of place only in obviously dressy situations like the opera, a ceremony or a really posh restaurant.

In most other occasions jeans are perfectly acceptable: just make sure that they fit well, are not ripped (unless you go for that look but then versatility is gone) and  they are paired up with a nice top and some nice shoes.

Long and short sleeved tops for layering

Layers are a traveller’s best friend in spring. I usually bring dark coloured long sleeve tops and brighter short sleeve ones that I can mix and match.

One day-to-night top / shirt

I always make sure to include at least one top who can bring me from day to night. 

I always  notice that in Italy people show less skin than in many other countries (surely much less than if you go out here in Ireland) so my rule of thumb for something versatile is to choose a nice but simple top for the day that I can dress up with accessories for the night.

For men, my husband always packs a shirt and /or a polo shirt. If you want to blend in with the locals, it is worth noticing that Italian men tend not to wear short sleeved shirts (or short socks!).

A casual dress

I love wearing dresses when travelling.

My favourite types are simple dresses I can dress up or down with boots or heels. In spring, you are likely to feel cold on your legs so my advice is to do like the locals and embrace tights!

Italians love tights and you see them in all colours, worn at all ages.

A good crossbody bag

A good crossbody bag that is big enough for daily essentials but not so big to be excessively heavy and a hindrance when visiting museums is a must-have when packing for Italy.

Make sure it is big enough for your travel wallet, documents, phone and camera charger and ideally a reusable water bottle and guide book.

You can find my selection of the best crossbody bags for travel that are handy and stylish here.

A light jacket or trench

Temperatures rise steadily in Italy in spring so depending when you go, I would bring wither a short, puffy jacket or a light one. Leather jackets are popular in Italy, faux ones growing in popularity every day.

A cardigan

Cardigans are a great mid layer.I usually bring two in colours matching my tops.

Scarves

Scarves are maybe the one thing Italians love more than jeans. Both men and women use them extensively to keep warm and as a fashion accessory.

Also, if you are a woman scarves can come in handy when visiting churches as you can wrap them around your shoulders and disguise your strappy top.

Shoes

Italian cities are best discovered on foot and a good pair of walking shoes is essential.

I usually bring a pair of runners (my favourite walking shoes are these adidas) and in usually also pack a second pair either cute flats or boots.

Whatever style you choose, make sure that for spring in Italy you pack closed toe shoes as you are unlikely to use sandals except on the warmer days from May onward. A great selection of good shoes for Italy travel is here.

Sunglasses

Necessity of fashion obsession? A bit of both! Italians love sunglasses as a fashion statement but they are also a must have item in spring in Italy.

Necklaces

This might sound funny but necklaces can change up a look and are a good way to make a simple outfit look dressier for a nigh out. Also they are a very ‘Italian’ thing to wear if you fancy feeling a little like a local: bold, colourful ones are popular in spring.

As well as the above of course I had my basics, my travel document, handbag, camera and of course an Italy guide.

Please always remember that in Italy you should always have your ID on you so make sure you have a day bag that can keep it safe!

Other Italy travel essentials

I hope this packing list for spring in Italy came handy. Safe travels!

For additional ideas on what to pack specifically for Rome, you might want to have a look at my previous post about packing, which you can find here 

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3 thoughts on “Must- have packing list for spring in Italy

  1. fioretta says:

    Great blog, a pleasure to read even for an italian abroad like I am at the moment! Since you encourage contributions, let me tell you something peculiar (as well as novel) about rain in Rome. No sooner the first drop starts falling, silent smiling fellows magically appear at most street corners providing foldable umbrellas for as much as 4 or 5 euro. Their look suggests one geographic origin (south east Asia), their promptness suggests they are well organized at many levels, from distribution over the town to setting the best prices to meteorologic alertness. I once wondered what is of this occasional economy when the weather stays fine for weeks, but then I realized they are probably the same fellows who wipe off the dust from the windscreen of your car while you wait in line at a red traffic light, smiling at you whether you give them a coin or just say thanks. Helpful and cheap assistance under any weather, a small fruit of creative minimal scale economy that could come handy on that deceptively sunny day in Rome when you felt safe to leave your umbrella in the hotel room!

  2. Un po' di pepe says:

    I always pack a small water bottle to take advantage of the ‘nasone’ fountains in Roma, and my favourite, La Barcaccia. Oh-and also zip-loc bags as they don’t seem to sell them in Italia. Ciao, Cristina

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