What to Pack?

For the majority of people, one averaged-sized suitcase and a single carry-on should suffice for a ten-day trip. Remember to pack light on the way there so you can fill up with goodies on the way back.

A suitcase with wheels is almost a prerequisite these days, but as there are stairs everywhere in Italy even the wheels won't relieve the burden of lifting your bag every once and awhile. Also be aware that Italian pavements can be rather uneven and narrow, so even pulling a wheeled suitcase can be cumbersome.

Remember to pack all your personal cosmetic items since more than likely they're not available in Italian stores. The Italian culture just hasn't seemed to grasp the necessity of having 400 types of toothpaste, or 200 types of shaving cream. If you take medication remember to get the drug's generic name because name brands on medications are different all over the world.

Important items to remember, especially if you're traveling in the winter is an umbrella, a raincoat, and waterproof shoes. You never know when the rain will fall in the winter. If you are heading to Venice at that time of year, if it does rain, you will need knee high golashes to get around as the city floods from only a few inches of rain.

You should also bring a small pack, or knapsack to carry with you when wandering around. In it you can put your camera, guide book, maps, and anything else you think you need. A money belt is also advised, because pickpockets and gypsies tend to target tourists.

But most importantly, bring a good pair of comfortable walking shoes. As you will be walking a lot, you want your feet to be happy. So don't buy a brand new pair of shoes to use on your trip. Bring along some shoes that have been thoroughly broken in, are comfortable, and offer good support. I cannot emphasize this enough.

A light travel iron is a good idea if you cannot abide wrinkles; but a more sensible option is to pack wrinkle free clothes. For all my clothes I prefer synthetic blends so that if I need to wash something in the bathroom sink it will be dry by morning. Cotton is heavier and does not dry very fast at all. Leave it at home.

If you want to get into most of the churches, remember to pack long pants for guys and a long skirt or pants for gals. Shorts and short skirts won't cut it, nor will tank tops and halter-tops. No bare arms, legs, bellies or backs allowed.

What else? If you like pleasant aromas in your room, bring a scented candle. If you are sensitive to light, bring shades for your eyes. Not a bad idea for the plane trip as well. Speaking of which, you may want to also invest in a blow up headrest and some earplugs for the plane. The earplugs may also come in handy for your hotel room. Finally, bring some reading material, not just for the plane, but also for quiet evenings.

That's about it. Pack light. Pack synthetic fibers. Pack comfortable walking shoes. Have a great trip. And if you have any questions, drop me a note at douglas.e.morris@gmail.com

Copyright © Douglas E. Morris 2006-2007