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Your trip to Italy is planned, and it is finally time to jet off! Going to Italy is an adventure, and, when you are going on an adventure, you want to be sure you head out with all of the right things. Here are 10 must-have items you don’t want to leave behind!
10 Must-Have Items For Your Trip To Italy (Other than your passport)
- Camera – This is a no-brainer. Seriously though, you’re going to see a lot of amazing places in Italy. Trust me when I say that these amazing places are even more amazing than you think they will be. Do yourself a massive favor and take a decent camera. Your future self will thank you. There’s nothing worse than going to Shutterfly and seeing the pop-up that basically says, “Warning! Your camera sucked.” I personally carry a Nikon D5300 DSLR – about $500 for a camera and lens kit – but even a smaller camera will do just fine if a DSLR isn’t for you quite yet. There are many budget-friendly options that will help you achieve a lasting moment. The idea here is don’t rely on your phone camera. While most phones have a decent camera nowadays, they still aren’t ideal for printing, and you will still be limited on some of your picture-taking. An actual camera is definitely a must-have.
- Pacsafe Backpack Italy currently sees the most visitors per year than any other country and this means it is a pick-pocket’s heaven. They aren’t aggressive or dangerous, but they are artfully sneaky. While you are snapping a perfect picture of the Colosseum, you’ll never feel the hand in your pocket or realize your backpack was unzipped and your passport now has a new owner. On the off-chance you catch it, they’ll be gone before you can do anything about it. Keep your belongings yours with a Pacsafe bag. Personally, I like the smaller backpack. It is big enough for my camera, journal, scarf, phone and a few other items. I hesitated to purchase this because I don’t typically care for the bulkiness of a backpack, but it turned out to be great. The bf bought a 15L Venturesafe by Pacsafe, which is a bit bigger than mine, and he loved his too. It is slim, but spacious, with a padded back. Items are secured by a metal mesh lining (so that the bag is slash proof) and locking zippers. If you’re not into backpacks, Pacsafe makes purses and messenger bags as well. We found ours on Amazon. Don’t let pickpockets deter you from taking your dream trip though. They won’t harm you and, if you take precautions and stay aware, they will leave you alone.
- Money-belt – The safest and most highly recommended way to keep your money and passport safe. Even Rick Steve’s says so, and he is the Chief. Keep the bulk of cash here with your credit card and passport and have a small amount of cash in one of the inside pockets or your bag. We purchased a Peak Gear money-belt from Amazon that worked perfectly. You can barely tell you’re wearing it!/li>
- Scarf (Women) – There are a lot of stunning churches in Italy and they all have a dress code. If you want to revel in the beauty of these structures, be sure that your shoulders and knees are covered – guys too! Particularly in the summer, it can get hot and while shorts and tanks are not uncommon, a scarf will ensure you aren’t denied access to St. Mark’s or St. Peter’s. This type of mishap can ruin your morning or afternoon, especially if you waited 3 hours in line only to get turned away. If you are looking for an inexpensive and versatile option, I got a very light, super cute scarf from Old Navy that worked perfectly.
- Comfortable Shoes – I don’t mean flip-flops nor do I mean your most comfortable heels. Neither will serve you well. Bring well broken-in walking shoes – shoes that will carry you 6 to 8 miles per day on cobblestone roads. I took two pairs of shoes on our trip – a pair of Ecco Soft 7 in white and my black Tieks. The bf bought a pair of the same shoe in mens and loved how they wore as well. Even though I didn’t actually have time to break in my Ecco shoes, it all worked out. Both pairs turned out to be amazing and I am proud to report I went blister free after 18 days and 90 something miles of trekking.
- Rick Steve’s Guide To Italy -This book will totally help you along the way whether it
is knowing where to go or figuring out what you’re seeing once you get there. We had an outline of what we wanted to do and, even though we knew what places we were going, we often forgot some of the information. It was handy to be able to open the guide and read about some of the monuments and sites. Rick Steve’s Guide also has some great recommendations. Even better, you can get a discount at most of these places just by flashing the book! Don’t forget to also download his free app on your phone for some self guided tours.
- Ulmon City Maps2Go (AKA, LifeSaver App)– Unless you would rather get lost – repeatedly – download this app. It is $10.99 and worth every cent. If you keep an eye out, you can often get it for less. It was recommended to me shortly before we departed, so I just forked out the eleven bucks. You also have the option to download the City Maps app for individual cities and those apps are free. Again, totally worth it. Good news is that you can use it worldwide. Basically, you download the cities or areas in advance (over wifi) where you will need navigation. Once these areas are downloaded, gps and navigation will work offline. No need to worry about international data charges or getting lost. You definitely must have this must-have!
- List of Embassies/Consulates with Contact Info – This is actually a must-have in any country you travel to. In the event your passport is lost/stolen or you find yourself in some other kind of predicament, it is a good idea to know where you can find help. Know where your nearest embassy is located and have their phone numbers, including the emergency line. A list of US Embassies/Consulates are found here.
- Refillable Water Bottle – In Italy, there are water “fountains” throughout most cities offering clean and free drinking water. You will drink a lot, and a buck or two adds up when you’re talking about several bottles a day. I took an insulated bottle and filled it up at the hotel in the morning. I still bought a bottle here and there, but far fewer than otherwise.
- Journal – You won’t remember nearly as much as you think you will. I just heard you say, “Yes, I will.” No, you won’t. 🙂 Take a few minutes each day to jot down the funny stories, the nearly mishaps, the french couple you met waiting for a boat, and a little something about the kind man who took a different route to work because you were wandering circles in Capri (I forgot to download maps for Capri). God bless that man for helping us out of that maze!
So, there you have it – ten must-have items for your trip to Italy! Finish packing and enjoy your trip!
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