Like I mentioned yesterday, I’m headed to Italy next week and I could not be more excited! I’ve actually never been to Italy so back in February when a group of six of my college friends told me they were going to Italy for another friend’s wedding in July, I jumped at the opportunity to travel with so many of my friends at once. Especially as we get older, it seems like these trip are fewer and farther between! I extended my trip a bit, so I’ll be arriving a few days early and traveling alone until I met up with them after the wedding.
I’m leaving this coming Monday for almost two full weeks… I honestly don’t even know the last time I’ve gone on such a long trip. (If ever!) But since I’ll be in each place for only a three nights at the most, I have a feeling it’s going to fly by!
I’m starting my trip on the Amalfi Coast in Positano for two nights, taking a day trip to Capri, and then heading to Maiori (farther East on the Amalfi Coast) to meet up with my friends for three more nights. From there, we’re heading to Florence for three nights, complete with a day-trip to Tuscany. (#wine) And after that, we’re spending our final three nights in Rome! There are quite a few other places I want to visit in Italy (Venice, Burano, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Cinque Terre, and Portofino to name a few…), but I’ll just have to save those for another trip. 😉
My type-A planning side has really come out while planning this European excursion. I’m blaming it on my starting the trip solo… No one else to figure out what to do, where to go, etc! And to be totally honest, no one else to annoy to with a tight schedule! I’ll be sure to share my full itinerary, broken down day by day, once I get back.
I’ve traveled solo in the US a lot for work (and some play), but this is the first time I’ve truly traveled alone in Europe. I’ve spent days by myself in Europe, but I’ve always had friends to meet back up with at night. I think nighttime will definitely be the weirdest part… There’s so much to do during the day, but going for a a drink (or aperitivo) and to dinner alone will be different than most trips I’ve been on. I oddly like eating by myself from time to time, so hopefully it won’t feel too weird! Have you ever traveled in a foreign country by yourself? Would love to hear any of your tips or recommendations! I usually just have a Wifi hotspot that I bring along when I’m traveling in Europe, but I went ahead and finally got an actual international phone since I’ll be by myself for a few days. The piece of mind of being able to call and not have to fire up the hotspot just makes me feel a lot more comfortable! I plan to grab an early-ish dinner each night, with plenty of time to get some work done after, and to wake up early and seize the day. I’ll definitely be reporting back with any and all tips for traveling solo that I learn along the way! (My friend Merritt recently wrote a post about this that I found very helpful.. You can read that here!)
Alright, now on to the fun part… Packing! Or maybe not so fun if you aren’t really sure what to bring. Luckily for you, I’ve been researching for days and have a pretty good idea of what to pack! Since I’ll be in a few different places, I figured I’d share two different guides… One for the cities and one for the coast!
I’m usually fairly strict about my carry-on only rule, but I’m going to give myself a pass for this trip. I’m flying United both ways (I have status with the airline so I get to check a bag for free.) and I’m flying direct in and out of Rome from Chicago (less of a chance of the bag getting lost, etc.). I’m going to be sure to pack my valuables, toiletries, and at least one set of clothes in my carry-on bag just in case, but it’s not every day that you go to Italy, you know? So if I want to pack an extra pair of shoes for a cute Instagram on the Amalfi Coast, I’m friggen doing it. ✌🏼 My plan is to try to pack everything into my carry-on suitcase (21″), but I’m not going to stress it if I end up having to use my mid-size suitcase (27″). With my four hotel/city changes, I really don’t want to be shlepping a huge suitcase so we’ll see what ends up happening. But on the other hand, it’s not that big and it has four spinner wheels on it, so we’ll see. Can you tell how much back-and-forth is going on in my head?!
What to Pack for the Amalfi Coast
Striped Hat | Yellow Necklace | Sunscreen | Mirrored Sunglasses | Orange Romper | Pom-Pom Clutch | Bright Lipstick | Striped Towel | Orange Tassel Earrings | Lace-Up Sandals | Pom-Pom Tote | Striped One-Piece
The Palette: Brights and Whites! The picturesque colorful fishing villages and lemon groves along the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean are the perfect backdrop for crisp whites and bright colors.
Straw Hat // What’s more fabulous than a floppy hat while sunbathing on the coast of Capri?! A chic hat is a must-pack!
Flat Strappy Sandals // There’s no shortage of colorful sandals this season, and I think they’ll be the perfect compliment to the colorful backdrop that is the Amalfi Coast! I plan on buying a pair of local leather sandals there, too. With the steep walkways and countless steps throughout these coastal towns, I’m not going to risk a rolled ankle with flimsy sandals. Ankle straps only, please! (Also loving the look of these espadrilles!)
Bathing Suit // For our boat tour around Capri and my day-trip to a Capri beach club, I knew a blue-hued suit was absolutely necessary. I’m packing this bikini that I got at the beginning of the summer, and I just ordered this striped one piece, you know, just in case I’ve already indulged in too much pasta. 😉
Straw Tote // There’s nothing more chic than a straw tote when you’re vacationing along the Mediterranean.
Sunglasses // I don’t think I’m going to pack any of my designer sunglasses this trip. With so much travel, I’m bound to misplace a pair. Nordstrom has so many great pairs under $100, so I’m going to pick up a pair of two for the trip. A goes-with-everything gold pair that’s perfect for boats and beaches, and a tortoise pair that will go perfectly with my city wardrobe.
What to Pack for Italian Cities in the Summer
The Palette: While I’m typically all about the color, my wardrobe choices will be a bit more subdued when we travel inland to Florence and Rome. Lots of white, with hints of navy and black.
A Straw Hat // While this probably isn’t the most practical for walking around (Am I the only one who has a problem with hats staying on my head while moving?! I seriously think my head is misshapen.), I definitely want something to keep the sun off of my face all day. I just picked up this one and love it!
Lace-Up Sandals // With the cobblestone streets and all of the walking I plan on doing, I’m not packing a pair of heels. Flat lace-up sandals, a pair of espadrille wedges, and a short block-heel sandal are the three pairs of shoes I’ll be living in in both Florence and Rome. (Also going to bring a pair of sneakers in case of blisters or if my feet really need a break!)
White Dresses // Little white dresses are going to be the name of the game for me! It’s going to be H-O-T when we are there… The forecast rages from 93-96 degrees Fahrenheit each day we are in Florence and Rome. I can’t imagine wearing much else than breezy LWDs!
Sneakers // I think this one goes without saying. I’m sure my feet are going to be killing me by day nine when we get to Rome. Cute, comfy sneakers are a must!
Italian Churches and The Vatican // While it’s preferred that you wear long pants and long sleeve tops to visit churches in Italy, the temperatures are going to be in the high 90’s when we are there. From the research I’ve done, the absolute bare minimum (no pun intended) is to make sure your shoulders and knees are covered. (This goes for both men and women!) I plan on wearing a longer midi dress that hits well below the knee (or this cropped maxi!) and a denim jacket over the top that can easily be removed before and after our tour.
Crossbody // When I’m doing a lot of exploring in a new city, I like to keep my hands free because I usually have my giant Canon strapped around my shoulder like a true tourist. (Anything to get the shot! haha) Believe it or not, I don’t have a black crossbody bag… Need to get one ASAP. (Or maybe just buy this one in Italy?! Kidding… Kind of.)
And lastly, it’s worth noting that I’m not bringing anything remotely tight. I fully intend on over-indulging on pizza, pasta, and gelato! 😉
What did I miss?! Anything else you’d recommend bringing along?
My Italy Itinerary + Packing Guide!