Packing for long stays in Italy

Packing for long stays in Italy

Packing for several months whether studying, teaching, or working abroad in Italy presents some challenges.

In order to avoid having to buy forgotten items in Italy or bringing an entire closet in a mountain of suitcases, here are some simple tips when packing for Italy for several months.

Dealing with Packing Several Seasons of Clothes

Whether a trip is planned from September to December or from January to June, travelers face the daunting problem of packing several seasons into one to two bags. The best ways to handle this problem are to simplify, eliminate, and layer.

For warmer months in Italy, Italians still keep their clothes polished. Pack a few sun dresses and skirts in order to not only blend in with the stylish Italians, but also to beat the heat. Dresses are one of the easiest outfits to put on, requiring no top and bottom pairing, simplifying the packing process a great deal.


During cooler months in Italy, travelers encounter the biggest bulk to pack in their suitcases. Instead of bringing several coats, bring only one to two to go with brown and black clothing items. It does cool down quite a bit in Italy so scarves and gloves should also be packed. When it rains in Italy, it truly pours. Most Italians bring out their boots during this time of year. Plan on packing boots to avoid cold wet feet.

The Laundry Situation in Italy

Most apartments in Italy do not have dryers. The stereotypical image of an Italian town filled with apartments hanging their clothes on clothing lines through the streets holds true. This lack of drying can present some problems for those staying a long time.

During spring and summer, clothes dry within a day. During winter months however, clothes can take several days to dry on clothing lines. Packing more tops and shirts can alleviate this problem somewhat. Tops generally take up less space in bags than pants. By packing just a few pairs of jeans, space will open up in suitcases.

Bringing Bags Within Bags

Italy is filled with day and weekend trips every traveler should see. Whether travelers are stationed studying, teaching or working in a particular Italian town, weekends present the perfect time to visit other cities.


Throwing in a small bag for day trips or weekend visits will more than be of use. An over the shoulder bag or duffel makes train travel to smaller towns easier with no bulky luggage to hoist on and off trains.

Packing travel size toiletries such as shampoo and lotion is also a must for Italy. Weekend trips seem to arise more as there is so much to see and do within reach.

Extra travel size items may seem strange to pack for a long stay in Italy. For those shorter stays within Italy though, small toiletries will come in handy. Finding such travel-sized items will be like looking for a needle within a haystack. They generally are not available.