Ciao amici! That’s ‘hello friends’ in Italian. No doubt if you’re reading this then you are planning to visit the wonderful country of Italy. It’s no surprise that people flock to Italy in the millions each year with its rich history, diverse culture, stunning nature, white sand beaches, and insatiable cuisine. Life on the Mediterranean is bliss and everyone deserves a slice of that life, including you. The travel gear that backpackers can choose from is constantly evolving with more and more useful gadgets and travel items being launched every year. Backpackers to Italian cities will certainly need an Italy itinerary.
We’ve filtered through all the items available and offer you the top 10 essential items to pack before commencing with your Italy itinerary. Whether you’re roaming the cobbled streets of Rome, climbing the boulders of Mount Etna or lay back on a Gondola floating through the watery city of Venice we have you covered.
Here are 10 essential items to pack before you head off and start completing your Italy itinerary.
Italian Phrase Book Or Google Translate
An absolutely essential item, the Italian phrasebook. Whilst completing your Italy itinerary you will find that most people in the big cities speak English but once you are out in the country that will soon end. An Italian phrasebook will allow you to learn some basic greetings and questions to help you get around in the smaller rural areas of the country.
It is also nice to try to learn some of your host country’s language and attempts by foreigners to speak the language is usually met with a smile. You may also find that bargaining for goods at street markets is far easier and you may even save some money as a result.
For those not wanting to carry a book around with them, you can download the Google translate app but make sure you have data to use it when out and about. However, locals do not react as kindly to having a phone shoved in their faces. Try to use the listen button on the app and repeat the words. Not only is this more friendly it will help you learn much faster.
Italy Itinerary Day Pack
Backpackers don’t spend enough time thinking about a good day pack but they are incredibly useful and worth some consideration. When backpacking through any country you spend a lot of time walking around the cities and you need a good day pack that is comfortable and secure. Italian cities can get crowded and hot during the summer months so we suggest a day pack that is well ventilated, easy to carry and with secure pockets.
Portable USB Charger
Successful traveling now relies heavily on your smartphone. Whether you need to find a taxi via Uber, an apartment via Airbnb, a train ticket via Eurail or just need to find your way using Google Maps, your smartphone is absolutely essential.
Those who are digital nomads will also benefit massively from having a portable USB charger, you will never miss a deadline or be unable to update your company’s social media page. It’s a good idea to buy a portable USB charger so that you don’t run out of battery when you most need it and you won’t get lost whilst tackling your Italy itinerary. This portable charger from Anker is small, light and costs just $50. With this handy little device, you will never be without precious power for all your devices.
A Good Reusable Water Bottle
There are three very important reasons for backpackers to invest in a good reusable water bottle when traveling to Italy. First, Italy gets hot in the Summer months and you will need to hydrate whether you are wandering through the crowds in Milan or discovering the ruins of Pompeii.
Secondly, tap water is safe to drink and completely free saving you a fortune on buying water. Finally, the world needs to use less plastic and this eco-conscious reusable water bottle from 24Bottles helps you avoid buying tons of plastic whilst you travel through Italy.
The urban bottle costs just €19.90 ($22.10). Consider that in some places you may get charged up to €3.50 for a bottle of water in Italy then this investment makes perfect sense!
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
There are three things that backpackers will most likely find themselves doing repeatedly in Italy, that’s opening bottles of wine, cutting up bread and slicing cheese. The best way to prepare for such important tasks is to take a trusty Victorinox swiss army knife like this one for $26.
The Victorinox swiss army knife is an indispensable travel accessory for any traveler. It literally has thousands of uses for your adventures. Do not forget to pack it in your check-in luggage when traveling by air, it will be confiscated at security if found in your carry on.
A Hiking Umbrella
There are a couple of good reasons to take a hiking umbrella to Italy and not just a regular umbrella. A hiking umbrella is light, easy to pack and suitable to protect you from rain and sun. A regular umbrella is large, clunky and a hassle to carry around with you. A hiking umbrella is suitable for both the city and the countryside.
Weather in Italy can be unpredictable at times and most backpackers get caught in the showers at some point during their travels. This handy hiking umbrella from Gossamer Gear is the perfect choice for those who don’t want to get caught out in the Italian showers.
It costs $52, which may sound expensive. However, you won’t need to buy another umbrella for at least 10 years. Also, it’s an extremely durable piece of gear! The best time to visit Italy to avoid rain is Summer (July-August).
Student ID In Your Italy Itinerary
If your Italy itinerary includes visiting museums, popular tourist attractions or lot’s of public transport to get around, your student ID is essential. You will find that in big cities in Italy, students get special discounts when presenting a valid student ID. Your student ID can save you a small fortune on your Italian adventure.
To make the most of your student ID, plan ahead! Look online to see if you can benefit from any discounts. Museums usually list their discounted prices on their websites, as do railway companies and nightclubs will include it in the description of their event on Facebook. The best cities in Italy to take advantage of your student ID are Rome, Tuscany, Florence and, Milan.
Have A Dry Bag In Your Italy Itinerary
A dry bag has now become a backpacker essential over the last few years. Italy is full of activities that include water. So, it’s best to have a bag that can stay with you and protect your valuables. These bags are perfect for when you’re enjoying the beautiful Italian beaches; being rowed through Venice on a Gondola or sailing on the Amalfi coast.
This dry bag from SealLine is a particularly good choice with enough space for all your valuables, 100% waterproof and comfortable enough to carry around. It costs $72 but will last you a lifetime. Also, it’ll be money well spent if it saves your $700 smartphone from being submerged in water.
Fancy Outfit In Your Italy Itinerary
All the best cities to visit in Italy have one thing in common, great nightlife. If going for a high-end fancy night out is not on your Italy itinerary then add it now! Pack one really fancy outfit. Why? You’re in Italy! Fashion is taken seriously in this country and some of the best nightlife in the big cities requires fancy outfits. This goes for both male and female backpackers if you want to experience some of Italy’s finest bars and restaurants a nice outfit is culturally appropriate. You will fit right in with the fashion-conscious locals and may even turn a few heads if you’re lucky.
Remember, Italy is home to fashion houses such as Armani, Versace, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana! Looking good is part of the culture here. The best cities to visit in Italy for a good night out are Rome and Milan.
For obvious reasons, a good sunscreen is essential. It can get seriously hot and that beautiful Mediterranean sun will burn you if you’re not careful. Backpackers tend to get in situations where they’re exposed to the sun for a long period of time. This includes hiking trips, boat trips, walking tours and watersports.
Sunburn is no joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Make sure you buy a good sunscreen like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60. It will protect you well and is easy to apply. It is also water-resistant for 80 minutes. You can buy it on Amazon for $22. Nobody likes to walk around looking like a lobster on their travels!