Buongiorno! I can’t believe I’ve been in Italy for a whole week, and prior to that Ireland. Some moments it feels like I just got here, and at other times, I feel like I’ve been gone for forever! It’s not easy being away from Harley for so long, but thank goodness for FaceTime and seeing her so happy with my amazing in-laws who have been taking care of her this whole time.
We have covered A LOT of ground… drove throughout Tuscany and visited Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano, Peccioli, Selvatelle, and Pisa. We spent a day and night in Monterosso while exploring the other towns in Cinque Terre. We are currently in Florence, and will head to Rome tomorrow where we will be for the rest of the week before returning home. I plan on sharing more details about our trip once I’m back in the States, but wanted to talk a bit about my luggage and what I packed for my trip.
In total, our trip is thirteen full days, not including travel days. Three were spent in Ireland, and the rest of the trip has and will be spent in Italy. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to pretend we didn’t go to Ireland first, because other than an extra sweater, a jacket, and scarf, I didn’t really pack for Ireland at all. Had we had been there longer, I would have brought a cute pair of rain boots, a stylish rain coat, low booties, and more cold weather attire. I was determined to bring one full suitcase only [plus a small duffle carry on], so concentrated on the ten glorious days I’d be in Italy.
The weather in Italy mid May is perfect. It’s a big country, so obviously the temps will vary from north to south, from the coast to the countryside. It’s been ranging from the low 70’s to 80’s during the day, and at night has been significantly cooler. I’m currently in a tank and shorts sweating my tush off in 84 degree weather at a little cafe in Florence as I write this. Tonight’s expected to drop down to 66 by the time we leave dinner and walk home.
Before I get into what I brought, let’s discuss how gorgeous my BRIC’S Luggage is! I can not begin to tell you how many compliments I’ve received… from friends and family to airport workers to complete strangers standing next to me in the baggage claim. SO many people have made it a point to come up to me and tell me how much they admire this beautiful set. My three pieces are part of the Firenze Collection, but BRIC’S makes over twelve collections!! Their goal is to create something that relates to everyone. While the style may vary from collection to collection, the quality is guaranteed to be top notch. They have achieved the status of a premier luxury travel brand and have come along way since their founding year of 1952.
I seriously can’t say enough good things about this luggage! It’s sophisticated, functional, well made, and just overall pretty! Casey and I got this overnight duffle for my brother-in-law as a gift for passing the Florida, New Jersey, AND New York bars! I think Casey was a little jealous that we didn’t get one for him!
Now on to the Packing List…
One thing that helped me stay very organized during the packing process as well as throughout the trip is this 7 piece packing cube organizing set [say that five times fast! LOL!] that is under $15! I used the largest cube for my jeans, nice dress pants, and shorts. I used the next size down for my skirts and dresses. And then the third largest was used to store my tops and blouses. I used the four smaller pouches for my undies/bras, toiletries, and jewelry. There were still a bunch of things not packed in the cubes, but having more than half of my belongings in a designated compartment made things so helpful! They are also paper thin, so you don’t have to worry about them adding weight to your luggage.
I had the hardest time narrowing down the shoes I’d be bringing on the trip. Initially I wanted to bring about twelve different pair, but that’s just not practical. Shoes are heavy. They take up space and weight, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized how silly I was being. I knew I’d have one pair of heels with me because of the rehearsal dinner and wedding we had in Ireland, but I made sure they were a neutral color and easy to walk in in the event I wanted to wear heels in Italy. I recommend avoiding heels if possible [and this is coming from someone who LOVES her heels!]. If you really want to wear em, these ones are great because they’re simple, sexy, and the block heel makes it a bit easier to walk on the uneven streets, especially compared to stilettos. I wore them last night and we had about a 10-15 minute walk to and from dinner, so I just held onto Casey’s arm for extra support. I plan on wearing these ones tonight that look almost identical, but with a much shorter heel. They are the only two dress sandals I brought.
For our most active days, like hiking the trail, from Monterosso to Vernazza in Cinque Terre, I wore my Nike sneaks, but I also brought a more casual sneaker to wear in the airport and exploring around that are a little more versatile than the Nikes. My favorite and most comfortable casual nice shoe are my Soludos. I’ve had them for over two, maybe three years now and I’m just as obsessed with them now as I was when I first got them. They run small, but I still recommend getting your normal size because they will stretch and mold to your feet. The first few times you wear them, they may be slightly uncomfortable, but I promise you they will stretch and quickly become your favorite shoe! Lastly, I brought two pair of flat sandals. Here are all the shoes I brought and wanted to bring…not all of them made the cut:
I always travel with a long, cozy cardigan, regardless of the destination. I keep it in my carry-on bag in case I’m cold on the plane. I also recommend bringing a denim jacket and at least one to two light to medium weight sweaters. Italy is known for their leather, so if you’re thinking of getting a leather jacket there, be sure to leave room in your luggage! Our favorite leather shop is Massimo in Florence!
I have a bad habit of bringing a huge pile of basic tees and tanks that always go unworn. This time, I made a point to only bring three plain short sleeve tees in neutral colors, one white tank, one black tank, and two long sleeve tees [black/white striped & navy]. I also packed 6 blouses that could be worn with denim shorts or a skirt during the day and skinny jeans at night.
DRESSES & SKIRTS:
Italy is the perfect place to wear casual dresses and skirts during the day and/or night. Here are most of the ones I brought [there were a few that are not sold online, so I couldn’t link them]:
PANTS & SHORTS:
This is another area where I tend to overpack, but really did my best not to for this trip. I brought one pair of plain, dark skinny jeans, one pair of white skinny jeans, two leggings/workout pants [these are the best pants ever for traveling], a pair of nice white wide leg pants, and then three denim shorts [blue, black, white]. Oh wait… and two cute cotton shorts. For me, this was really narrowing things down, although it seems like a lot when typing it all out! Haha!
I brought a small crossbody bag to wear pretty much every day along with two clutches [could have left one at home]. Pick pocketing is a real thing [it happened to my brother-in-law], especially in known touristy places, so the everyday bag you bring should have a zipper or flap that makes it hard for someone to get into.
I brought one hat, a few too many pair of sunnies [oops], and some statement earrings and necklaces [that I probably could have done without to be honest].
This might be obvious to some, but if you’ve never traveled internationally before, you should know that you will have to bring an adapter for your electronics. An adapter simply allows you to use anything that requires being plugged into the wall [i.e.: phone, laptop, curling iron, hair straightener] since Italy’s outlets are different than what we use in America. There are certain items that require a CONVERTER in addition to an adapter depending on the wattage volts. Certain items like hair dryers and travel hand held steamers need a converter or you run the risk of killing your device and possibly blowing a fuse. I got this converter/adapter which has been used every day for everything! This steamer has also been a lifesaver on the trip, but it needs to be used with a converter.
Overall, I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with my packing [of course there is always room for improvement]. Usually I would have brought two full suitcases filled with unnecessary things. I did my best to stick to a neutral palette to get more use out of the separates, but bringing lots of dresses has really helped make outfit planning easy.
Stay tuned for more details about my trip including tons of recommendations and travel tips! Ciao bellas!!