Italy in the Spring is not as warm as you think, I’ve touched upon inappropriate tourist dressing in this post. For example, tomorrow will be 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) and sunny, however, today was 15 Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) with wind and rain!
What to Pack : The Essentials
These 6 years in Italy have taught me a few things about dressing in the spring in Europe, especially while on vacation with a toddler. You will need:
A rain proof (preferably fashionable) hat. You can’t comfortably hold an umbrella while pushing a stroller, which means if you want to keep your hair looking decent you must keep it dry! I own 3 stylish rain hats that I alternate between! I keep my eyes open at Zara and H&M for nice rain gear and have also found a super stylish grey and pink rain poncho at TopShop that is perfect for bike riding in the rain!
The italian spring means LAYERING!! You’ll need cotton undershirts, light cotton/wool blend cardigans and sweaters plus a light trench or wool and linen blend coat.
A SCARF is a must and I’ve written here about the dreaded Italian “draft”. If you want to survive the Italian Spring you NEED A SCARF becuase your neck MUST be covered at ALL COSTS. One of the worst illnesses that you can have in Italy is the awful “mal di gola”………God that sounds terrible doesn’t it? That’s right ……”MAL DI GOLA” otherwise known as “a soar throat”!! To Italians it’s as bad as saying you suffer from a flesh eating disease.
You shoes must be Closed Toe! Meaning no flip flops until June, and only at the beach!
The WORST thing you can do is SWEAT ….I’ll get to this later
The Art of Packing
So I’ll admit that I’m not the best packer in the world….or at least I used to be AWFUL at packing before I became a mom but I am slowly getting better.
As a traveling 20 year old, I would often vacation with a 25 kg (like 55 lbs) suitcase! When I met my husband, my suitcase was something like 70 lbs and I had to pay a $250 weight surcharge fee at the airport ….what the heck was so important that I needed to spend that kind of extra money to bring it with me on vacation?
Now, I realize that I just wasn’t very good at planning in advance and thinking about the weather at my destination.
Fast forward to now.
These days I often take vacations alone with my toddler and am responsible for lugging around stuff for the both of us. I’ve taken him on trans-atlantic flights alone, to the beach for two weeks alone (two times) and recently returned from a 6 day trip to Rome alone.
Lugging around a kid with stroller and his bag of toys, snacks, diapers and water + a purse + his stuff for 6 days + toiletries + my stuff for 6 days + a computer, camera and chargers on the Rome subway, tram, bus and trains is not an easy feat!
To prepare for what I would want to wear I spent the night before doing some outfit combinations.
I started off with a few basics and worked from there. I only needed to dress for 6 days and these are the outfits I came up with using:
- 2 pairs of shoes Chelsea Boots and Nike Runners
- 2 Belts
- 3 Scarves
- 2 pairs of pants and
- 8 tops
I came up with 13 outfit combinations that did NOT include repeat outfits. My conclusion?? TOO MANY!
That’s when I figured I had too much stuff in the mix and for 6 days all I needed was
- 1 pair of shoes (the Chelsea Boots)
- 2 pairs of pants
- 2 scarves (but 1 would have been fine)
- 1 belt
- 6 tops (but I would have been fine with less….but hey, variety is the spice of life)
I was comfortable the whole trip, had plenty of changes of clothes and took up very little packing space.
I know there are backpacking moms that can get away with one top and one pair of pants etc. but hey it is important to remember that I’m in Italy, quite possibly the most fashionable country on the planet AND I’m definitely not a backpacking type. Having said that I would love to hear what you pack for week long trips and what the spring is like where you live!
I’ve linked up with the #SundayTraveler at Chasing the Donkey!