Sensible shoes a must!!
Luggage and bags: The streets are mainly cobbled in Rome, and a suitcase with wheels is definately a bonus if you can stand the noise!
I would advise taking the least amount of luggage that you can get away with, it gets tiring trying to navigate the streets dragging a suitcase - trust me I did it and i only had a carry on my husband took the main case!
If you travel into Termini by coach or train watch out for other tourists and be mindful of your own cases. People seem to wander around aimlessly and seem to forget they have a case with them! - my foot took a bashing a couple of times.
HANDBAGS - I would recommend a crossbody handbag. I always travel with one of these. harder to steel but also alot easier as both your hands are free for taking photographs or walking around the sites especially useful inside St. Peters Basilica if you decide to walk up the dome. I would also recommend one with a zip fastner - don't even entertain going with an open top bag no matter how chic you think it might be - too easy for pickpockets!!!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sensible, sturdy and comfortable shoes are an absolute must and i cannot stress this enough! The majority of the streets are uneven cobbled streets and heels are just not practical. Also some of the sites are marble and VERY slippy when wet. I went over on my ankle a fair few times (i am quite clumsy though!) and I had flat boots on. Save the heels for the opera or the hotel bar.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: No need to worry about buying these there are plenty of pharmacies where you can buy these kind of things. If you are stuck for luggage space you could always buy these once you arrived in Italy.
Photo Equipment: There are so many wonderful photo opportunities in Rome - make sure you have plenty of memory for your cameras - you will need it!!!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
Miscellaneous: What to pack?
I do not pack lightly. Therefore I may not be the best traveler to ask because it appears as if I bring everything I own!
The following is only speculation. I think because I travel with too much, this may explain why my bag did not arrive in Rome at the same time I did. Because my bag was heavy, it was left behind until a plane with a lighter cargo load departed for Italy.
There was a long line at the Alitalia lost baggage complaint desk. The process for filing a complaint was simple. It was 36 hours later when I was reunited with my clothes and other belongs.
With that in mind, it is a good idea to pack extra personal items in your carry-on bag. Some travelers take only a carry-on bag. If this works for you, it may be best. I could not feel comfortable with such a limited selection of clothes.
I would always recommend packing comfortable shoes. Wherever you travel, overseas or domestically, the best way to see any city is on foot. In Rome, especially Centro Storico (the historical center of an Italian city), the street pavement is made up of granite brick (always mistaken for cobble stone). The streets and sidewalks are uneven and can be rough on the feet, ankles and legs.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
2 more images
My guide books in Rome
Miscellaneous: Here are my guide books that provided me details about a geographic location, tourist attractions, or most interesting itineraries in Rome.
Rome and Vatican. Casa Editrice Plurigfaf – Italia, 1996, 126 pages.
Around the World. Italy. Second edition. Publisher "Around the World", 2005, 520 pages, 150cities, 370 churches and cathedrals, 120 museums, 29maps, 200 illustrations.
Italy. Le Petit Fute. Michel Strogoff & Ass., City-Guides, Country-Guides, Paris-Luxemburg-Moscow. 1999, 206 pages
Some like it hot
Miscellaneous: Although things tend to cool off at night, if you're an American and used to air conditioning, you may find that it is well worth your while to bring a small battery-powered fan with you, or to purchase a slightly larger fan which has the appropriate plug for Italian current. I brought two of the former and we never did get around to buying the latter -- but we certainly would have been much more comfortable had we done so, and at minimal cost.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Pack light and realistic
Luggage and bags: You can use a backpack or a wheeled luggage if you want, but you should never keep your money or highly valuable items in it because there are frequent cases of pickpockets and bag snatcher. Wheeled luggages, although are quite convenient in Rome, are noisy and difficult to drag along the cobblestone streets of other Italian cities. A lot of hostels do not have elevators. Please also note that buses in most cities are rather small and almost always crowded, so it is better to travel light and not let your luggage be a burden.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Depending on the season. However, it is always nice to dress well and polite, as some cathedrals will not let those who wear shorts or sleeveless shirts in. Wear shoes suitable for walking. The hundreds-year-old pavements are not good for high heels.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Just the usual travel stuff. I'd add something like wet tissues, too because public bathrooms in Italy do not provide toilet rolls.
Photo Equipment: The usual stuff. When you're in a beautiful city like Rome, you can take hundreds of pictures. From my experience, it would be better to use several memory cards than to put all your photos in one. Once my memory card went error and I ended up losing all the pictures from my trip. Also keep your expensive camera in a safe place.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you are visiting Rome in summer, sunglasses, a hat and sunblock are necessary. If you're on budget, always carry a plastic water bottle because there are public spots where you can refill your water for free, or else you will have to spend over 3 Euro for overpriced mineral water.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
Plug adapters - Italy, Shoes in Rome
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Many streets are cobblestone (San Pietrini) if you're wearing heels they may get stuck. A wedge or flat soled shoe is easier to walk in.
Miscellaneous: For any low wattage items you can just use an adapter. Get them cheaper at https://www.voltage-converter-transformers.com/plugadapters.html
I use them for my cell phone and laptop. Don't use these for curling irons (you'll burn your hair) or heating items.
Umbrella and Disinfectant
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Dont' forget to bring an umbrella if you're travelling between September and April. It can rain for hours in Rome.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Always take disinfectant or some disinfectant tissues with you, public toilets in Rome are often disgusting without any soap or water so you'll need it to clean your hands.
Rome in Winter
Luggage and bags: We each checked a large suitcase and had a carry on. One of our carry-on's was a backpack, which was extremely helpful to take with us while touring the City for a day. We were able to take maps, guidebooks, water and snacks with us in the backpack.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It was winter so we had long pants and shirts. A Patagonia fleece of mine got a lot of wear. I do a lot of hiking and backpacking so I found hiking pants to be effective, especially since they have multiple pockets that zip up. They would probably also be good in summer since they are fairly lightweight.
We took too many dressy clothes. Other than the night at the opera, we did not dress up. Most others were not dressed up either.
Wear comfortable shoes as you will do a lot of walking and all on hard surfaces. We didn't wear the extra dress shoes that we brought.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Just the standard stuff. Don't bring a travel hair dryer. My wife's kept tripping the breaker at the hotel and was useless.
Photo Equipment: Digital camera.
Take only what you really need and do not overpack
Luggage and bags: any suitcase or duffel bag will do just fine; make sure you have a small bag or backpack with you to carry all the things you need to when visiting the sites (guide book, map, bottle of water, etc). I have a Travelon messenger style shoulder bag that traveled with me to 4 different countries already and that I could not take any trip without (I did not realize how good investment this bag was until I got it and started to use it on my trips).
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A must are the following (especially if you travel in the spring, winter or fall):
- rain jacket with a hood (umbrellas will be useless if there is a strong wind-as it was when we were visiting). I love my 3 in 1 Columbia jacket and I think that a jacket like this is one of the best investments you can make!
- 2 pairs of good and comfortable shoes (you need the extra pair even if the weather is good; your feet may hurt at the end of the day and they may feel much better in a different pair of shoes the next day; just switch the shoes every other day)
- 2 pairs of pants (jeans may not be very practical since it takes a long time for them to dry if you get wet), 4 shirts, 1 sweater or sweatshirt, 1 hat and 1 pair of leather gloves (if you go there late fall or during the winter)
If you go to a concert or a nice restaurant, you may also need to pack a nice dress and a nice pair of shoes, and also a nice pair of pants, light jacket and nice shirt for the man in your life
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take some basic stuff with you to last for 1-2 days. You can really get all you need while in Rome, but it is nice to have the basics with you when you arrive: travel size shampoo, travel size shower gel, travel size after shave; toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant.
I also had some Tylenol with us and some TheraFlu (which we had to use, unfortunately, since we got soaked by rain few days in a row and we were getting colds).
Photo Equipment: small digital camera and a big memory card
Miscellaneous: good Rome guidebook (I had Rick Steve's with me), Rome map, IPod with Rome walk audio guides, an empty bottle of water (if you have a favorite one) to fill out and carry with you while visiting places.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Trying (and failing) to outsmart the system
Luggage and bags: On my recent trip to Rome, my cousin, who was traveling with me, decided she wasn't going to check any luggage. She brought a small piece on wheels and a very large open tote bag stuffed to the gills with everything else. According to the rules, she theorized, you can take a carry-on and a purse. She argued that the tote was her purse.
At the airport, it turned out the tote bag weighed more than the luggage and they would not let her take either of them aboard. As the tote was open at the top, with no zipper, she couldn't check it through, and had to put stuff in MY suitcase.
On the way back, loaded with souvenirs, she had even more trouble, and was busy juggling her things around until the very last second, cursing and sweating - and then being singled out for special security screening on top of it. So whatever you consider taking on board, make sure there is some way to close it in case you are forced to put it through as checked baggage.
Miscellaneous: Also note that many of the small wheeled cases now sold as carry-ons are too bulky to be stored under the seat. If there is no room in the overhead compartment, you may be stuck with a piece of luggage jutting out into your precious leg room.
So my advice is to think carefully when you pack. You may think you are beating the system, but you may end up beaten by it.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
What to Wear in the Fall in Italy
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: This was my greatest dilemma, partly because the weather in Italy prior to my departure was very hot, but my trip covered 3 weeks in late Sept/early Oct. I also didn't want to look like the "ugly tourist" but I wanted to be comfortable. Here's my verdict: In Rome and Florence, if you plan on doing much walking, bring the most comfortable shoes you can afford, whatever the color. At the end of the day, your feet will thank you. We clocked several miles a day. Very few Europeans of any age were wearing black shoes! And many more were wearing various styles of sports shoes in a range of colors. For clothes, I took layers, including sleeveless and light long-sleeved shirts, a sweater, a polar-fleece vest, and a light-weight jacket. For trousers, I took jeans, black slacks, and a pair of cargo pants. Days in the fall can be toasty and nights chilly; I used everything! BTW buy a scarf (or two) while you're there and learn how to wear it -- you'll look more like the locals than if you try to wear all black.
The guidebook of Rome
Miscellaneous: The name of this book is "Secret Rome" by Ginevra Lovatelli.
I like this guidebook because it says about small, charming places the regular guidebooks don't mention. It's useful especially for who is going to visit Rome not for the first time and wish to see something else than well-known monuments.
Here is the description from the book:
"A church where animals are blessed, a magic door, magnificent palaces that are almost unknown, hidden cloisters and gardens, amazing optical illusions, unknown miracles and legends, a children's hairdresser, a 17th century pharmacy, surprising private collections, mass in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, and much more. Far from the traditional tourist locations, Rome has managed to keep many secrets and it can still surprise and seduce its inhabitants and its visitors who thought they knew it well."
It's not cheap, the cost is 16,50 Euro in the bookshop in Rome; Feltrinelli or Mondadori.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Holy See -- Don't let them "see" too much
Luggage and bags: Leave some extra space in your bag for souveniers!!! We bought a Then and Now book of the Colliseum, leather coats, and many other beautiful things.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If going to the Vatican, please be advised that they do not want women wearing sleeveless tops, and shorts are also not advised.
I wore a long flowy skirt, a top that covered my shoulders, and my husband wore some lightweight (linen) pants and a nice polo shirt (collar, buttons)
And above all, wear comfortable shoes!
Photo Equipment: Make sure there is plenty of memory on your digital camera, or loads of film with you (for those still using film!)
You always have too much
Luggage and bags: We tried to pack as light as possible and I still felt like we had too much. One area where I seen this was of concern was on the train. Although we did not have too big of a problem, some people could not fit their suitcases in the overhead bins. Some of the trains had storage in-between the train cars but then your stuff isn't as secure as you cannot see it. So, the best advice is to pack bags that can expand and collapse so that they can be squeezed in the overhead bins. Also, we packed an empty duffle bag that we used to carry our souvenirs home. This worked out great!
Surviving Roman Summers
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: During the summer it is hot. And I live in Houston, Texas so I know what hot is, trust me! So make sure to bring a battery operated, hand-held fan or something to cool yourself with while wandering Rome. These battery operated ones can be found at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, etc for under $5. You can thank me later ;)
The Pantheon is my favorite building in Rome and might be my favorite building in the world. The...more
My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Santa Maria for three nights at the end of a three week trip...more
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