Autumn in Italy (essential packing tips for the ladies)

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Autumn in Italy - Girl throwing Fall leaves in the air
Fall is one of the most colorful season after Spring!

 

Packing is never easy. But Autumn is just one of those weird seasons… especially if you’re planning to travel to Italy. The North can be colder than the South. September is pretty different from October: what a mess! Being a local and a traveler I know that the struggle is real, especially now that the baggage allowances are more and more strict. So many people feel intimidated by going to Italy even because of their luggage. What to pack for a trip to Italy? Milan is the Italian capital of fashion! What do people wear in autumn in Italy, anyway? I’m also a worrywart so please, let me help you to prepare your packing list for Italy in Autumn to get that “Italian look” and to be prepared to everything the weather might throw at you!

 

Autumn in Italy - Young couple in love holding hands in the forest
My sister could wear these scarves on everything in Autumn! Check this one out, it’s gorgeous and cheap!

 

Autumn is one of the best seasons if you are planning to cross a few names off your list of Italian getaways. The huge crowds of tourists (as it happens most of the times in Florence) are mostly gone after the peak season, the weather is still mostly good and everything is (slightly?) less expensive. Northern Italy travel can be pretty difficult from Southern Italy travel! I live in Naples and I can tell you without a doubt that you never know what to expect. Some years we don’t see a drop of rain until late October. Some others, summer ends with the end of September. Yet a couple of years ago in Sicily some people were nicely tanning on the beach in December!

 

Autumn in Italy - girl friends talking on the hood of an old Ford truck
What to pack for a trip to Italy in autumn can be a dilemma – we need some girl talk!

 

North Italy vs South Italy

So it seems that preparing a list with our Italy outfits might not be so easy. Especially if you’re planning a multi-city trip. I must admit that there’s no general rule, as our climate gets weirder with every passing day.
We can definitely say that weather in Italy in September is never “cold”. Wherever you go. Expect temperatures averaging on 26°C in the Northern regions of Italy, and still 28-32°C in the South.
According to my sister who lives in Milan, people of Northern Italy usually don’t even mind the slight chill, because it’s a nice break from the super hot summer. Mosquitoes might still be a problem tho, so if you bring with you some bug spray it’ll be definitely handy. In case you’re planning to go out in the evening, just wear a long sleeved cotton shirt. I always pack a light jacket when I’m not sure, just in case!
Your Italian trip to the Southern regions might be completely different. It wouldn’t be weird at all to pack your bikini, especially if you’re planning to tan on the best beaches on the Amalfi Coast!
September in Italy is still warm so, unless it’s a very unlucky year (I hope not!), you will really be able to explore the Amalfi Coast on a Vespa, or jump in the turquoise waters of Capri.
If you’re packing for Italy in September and you are visiting the South, absolutely make sure to bring a few t-shirts and maybe some tank tops. Sandals and flip flops are also mandatory! The Eternal City will also be quite warm, so bring some nice dresses if you’re planning to visit Rome for a few days!

Weather in Italy in October starts to get more chilly. The Northern Italy regions are going to be slightly colder, and it will rain more. Make sure you bring with you a pair of waterproof sneakers that you can use to explore also if it’s raining, or maybe, even better, a pair of ankle booties that you can also re-use for going out in the evening! Northern Italy travel in October requires a jacket!
The South in October is still warm, but not so much. Yet this year we’ve had over 30°C even in October and we’ve gotten some chill only in the beginning of November! Even if it rains, we get very bad thunderstorms that last ten minutes or so. Afterwards you might still get some sun!
In October I’ve seen tourists enjoying the view from the cannon terrace at Castel dell’Ovo in Naples while eating Italian Gelato: Italy is split in two when it comes to the weather!

Expect the weather in Italy in November to be even colder. In the North it starts raining a lot!

 

Autumn in Italy - A hat, a coffee cup and autumn leaves on the floor
Autumn in Italy can be an interesting season full of warm colors and yummy dishes!

 

Fall is also a very interesting season for a vacation in Italy for the food lovers. It’s the period of the year where in Italy we start the new wine, or get the olives to make the new oil, and we have the best chestnuts. Why am I saying this? Because in Tuscany (it also happens in other Italian regions but Tuscany has so much to offer) during Fall you can plan a wine or olive tasting tour. In the South you can go on tours to gather the chestnuts in beautiful woods in full foliage and maybe eat them in delicious cakes… see what I’m trying to point out here? The “Bel Paese” is less crowded, less warm, and you can experience off the beaten path tours that will show you a side of my Country that I swear it’s very interesting (and delicious: let’s not forget about the food!). It can also be a good destination for solo females, also in Winter.

Don’t despair yet! You won’t have to drag around a heavy suitcase for your trip to Italy. There is a way to save space in our luggage in every season and to dress up for every occasion. In italy we call it the “a cipolla” style, which means using layers like an onion. I’m becoming a master at mixing and matching different outfits, even if I’m not the perfect Instagram model: traveling light is a must for us!

So let me give you a few suggestions on what to pack for Italy, with cool suggestions that will make you look like a local!

 

Italian wardrobe ideas

Northern Italy regions – Stylish September outfit

Autumn in Italy - Girl wearing a black co-ord sitting on stone stairs in Milan
This kind of outfit can be used and reused – you can’t go wrong!

So you might be wondering what you should add to your packing list for Italy. Let’s start with a very nice example of the kind of outfits you can see in every bigger city (especially in the North) in September.

While I’m not a big fan of heels when I’m walking around to explore, there are some places where you really can’t go wearing your ratty sneakers. The sandals you see in the picture are an open toe model, low mainteinance life (which means they won’t trouble you while you’re on the road) and a pin buckle strap. The plateaued sandals are less stressful for the feet and can be a great of options for those who aren’t good with stilettos. I also love this model so much because it has an easy side-zip fastening and the buckle detail (it’s amazing!). If you’re going to Italy on a warmer September, I own a pair of these sandals and I’m absolutely in love with them. They’re so comfortable, stylish, and can be combined with so many outfits!

The black co-ord is basically perfect for many occasions. You won’t have any problem in walking inside any church (you have your shoulders and legs covered), you’re perfect for a shopping session, and you can also re-use it for going out in the evening, wherever you decide to eat.
I love this co-ord from Asos because it is cheap and very elegant. It’s a slim fit jumper with a cute tie neck, and a pair of black trousers like the ones you see in the picture. There’s also a more expensive option, with tailored trousers and an amazing blazer, by Reiss, but it’s really up to you and your budget!

Recently I’ve read of another traveler who was wondering if she could bring her designer bags with her in Milan. She didn’t know if they were too much: rest assured, they’re not!
With this outfit you can use a Ted Baker bag with bow detail and chain strap. Or, if you’re a bit like me (so basically… Mary Poppins is our hero), think about this Hugo Boss tote. It’s classy, it fits a lot and it will be also useful on the flight, to stuff your tablet, earplugs, iPod, Kindle… did I mention that I can’t live without my tote?

If you like her sunglasses, I’ve found a cheap-but-cool pair here!

 

Southern Italy regions – Stylish September outfit

 

Autumn in Italy - Girl wearing a pair of stretch black pants, a crop top, sunglasses, a hat and a dark green long trench
Hats and sunglasses always make the difference!

 

One of the best travel tips for Italy I can give you is… to pack light. Whenever you can, choose outfits that you can mix and match. But above all, after you’ve prepared your itinerary, sit down and actually write down your outfits! You can have them all prepared already, there’s no need to bring like 10 shirts knowing you’ll never wear all of them!
The weather in Italy in September is still going to be pretty warm, especially in the South. With this kind of outfit you can eventually reuse the trousers already used for the previous outfit. Or even better, bring a pair of stretch jeans, or black leggings – both Asics and Nike have nice models. You can wear them also when hiking on Mt. Vesuvius or just exploring the countryside!

Here I’ve found a super cheap and very sexy version of the crop top in the picture. Anthropologie has a very nice long trench that is similar but can be used also for October in Italy, and that you will definitely wear a lot because it can be matched to many outfits. If you need something lighter and that you can use for the slightly chilly September evenings, this one is very much like the one in the picture.

That hat is definitely the perfectly stylish touch: I am in love with panama hats like this one by Asos. No matter what you do… it’s always a good choice!

I even found a super-cheap pair of sunglasses to go with the outfit!

 

Italy in Autumn – bring a cute dress!

Autumn in Italy - Young lady wearing a cute pink dress with long sleeves in Italy
Who said that you can’t wear cute dresses in Autumn?

If you’re packing for Italy in September, you should never forget a nice dress. As I mentioned already, the weather will probably be still warm. And you’re visiting Italy, so you will have plenty of occasions to wear it: I’m not a fan of packing items just to show them off on Instagram!

I love the yellow tone of this dress by Faithful: some serious inspiration! It covers all the main points. V-neck – check. Crossover front – check. Split sides – check. I’m going to buy it too!
If you’re looking for the “Fall colors”, this one is bold and has a nice feel also for the nights out, to give you that “Italian look“, that won’t make you stick out like a sore thumb.

Anthropologie makes this one that is absolutely amazing. For me it was love at first sight. But I actually couldn’t wear it without… ehm… having my lady bits all over the place. If you are a curvy lady, it might not be good for you as there isn’t much space for our breasts! On a side note, (speaking out of experience) bright colors look wonderful in pictures!

If you’re planning a night out at the theatre or at a very fancy winery (here you can find a handy guide to tipping in Italy with Italian sentences that you can use), maybe you should think of a more elegant style like this one by Asos. Its asymmetric hem and the naked shoulder make it the perfect choice!

 

Autumn boots – a must pack for October

 

Autumn in Italy - girl sitting on a log in the forest and showing her Autumn boots
Boots are a must wear if you want to visit Italy in late Autumn

 

Packing a good pair of Autumn boots is mandatory if you want to visit Italy in October or November. You will need them in the Northern regions, because it will rain, but also in the South for the occasional rainy afternoon.
Your boots will also come in handy for some hiking. Autumn is the foliage season: you can’t miss your chance to enjoy it in Italy!

I must admit that I’m a huge fan of Timberland when it comes to boots. Heck, I used to always buy a pair whenever I raided the Las Vegas Outlets in Nevada (USA)!
They are a bit expensive but they will last you for years and they won’t hurt your feet. Of course they’re not hiking boots, but they will work just fine for your trip around Italy.

This is my favorite model ever, and it comes in several colors. You can combine it with so many outfits and it’s also waterproof, so in case of rain, your feet will stay dry!
I also own a pair of these ones with a ruber heel: I don’t only get to wear them in late autumn but also in Winter. They are perfect with denim and a long trench, but can be also worn under the less elegant dresses.

Always prefer the kind of stuff that has many uses: it’s the secret to packing light!

 

Italy travel tips – Jackets and coats

 

Autumn in Italy - Girl looking up in a grey morning with Milan in the background
Always bring a jacket with you, no matter what!

 

You will absolutely need to bring a jacket or a coat for your trip to Italy. Even if the weather seems to be sunny. Even if it’s a warm year. It might be better to pack a light one in stead than being cold when you leave it at home. Italy can in fact be expensive and should you find yourself in trouble, you’d be forced to buy a new jacket, spending a lot of money that you could’ve saved for fun activities.
Always try to be prepared!

What kind of jacket you will need depends on when you’re going to Italy. The weather in September will be warmer, so chances are that you will be just fine wearing a blazer like this very cute one from Pimkie or this longer model from Bershka.
If you prefer a long trench, it is perfectly fine. I love this PrettyLittleThing oversized one: it fits every size!

Weather in Italy in October, especially if you plan to visit by the end of the month, will start to get colder. Here in the South I still wear (faux) leather jackets for most of November. Or a nice wrap coat for the elegant nights out.
In the North my sister has to wear a wool trench, like this very classy one from Boohoo.

If you’re planning to visit Italy in November, you will need something padded and waterproof. Like this one with a hood (which means that you won’t have to bring an umbrella), or this model by Native Rose, which is very warm, soft and has that “big city” look that we all love!

 

What to wear in Italy in Autumn  – in a nutshell

  • Don’t over pack!
  • Always try to mix and match
  • The South is warmer during the day but it will be chilly in the evening
  • Pack a light waterproof jacket or bring an umbrella
  • Check online the restaurants you want to go to, so you won’t risk being overdressed
  • If you are staying in Italy for longer than two weeks, use a laundromat in stead than overpacking

 

 

In case you’re planning a trip to Italy in winter here you can find a useful packing guide!

 

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What to pack for a trip to Italy in Autumn? Let's see check out the best autumn attires, the fancy outfits to look like an Italian... with tips from a local! A must read if you're planning a trip to Italy: it includes info on the weather in Italy in September, October and November; easy to follow tips on how to dress in Italy and how to look Italian in stead... than sticking out like a sore thumb! | #autumnfashion #italy

67 Comments

  1. Punita Malhotra

    We went in autumn to Italy, and packing was so much more complicated because we moved from Capri in the south to Como up north. What a variety of climates and temperatures. Layering technique came in most handy.

  2. Sia

    Such a thoughtful and detailed guide with many helpful tips. I haven’t been to Italy during the fall but next time will try to go during spring or fall as the summer was way too hot on my trip and it was in the north.

  3. Nathan

    I love Italy! I actually thing weather wise autumn is a great time to visit. I’ve been once before during this time of year and you miss most of the crowds but the weather is still great!

  4. Tracy

    “a cipolla” style, which means using layers like an onion. I just knew there is a name for this. And this helps to save luggage space for sure! I love all the outfits you recommend. 🙂

  5. Laura

    A perfect guide for Italy in Autumn! I completely agree – Autumn is such a good time to visit. I’ve only been to Rome so far but I’d love to travel to a few other places you’ve mentioned. A wine tasting tour in Tuscany sounds fabulous!

  6. Lara Dunning

    I live in a climate where it is all about layering and yet I still find myself trying to master that. I think some people are born with a knack for it. I would love to visit Italy in fall and taste all the foods made with mushrooms and experience wine crush. Thanks for sharing, as Italy is on my list.

  7. Shandos

    I can’t believe that some locals think it’s too cool in Milan in September to wear flip-flops. I was there just a few days ago and it was horribly hot! (But, it was still early September and global warming…)

  8. Elisa

    Now the weather is so crazy that you cannot know with seasons. I would also choose Autumn for a couple of visits in the south of Italy but now that you mention Tuscany . . well, I read that they are not having a good time right now 🙁 Your proposals look great: comfortable and fancy!

  9. Anna @ shenANNAgans

    Knowing just the right clothes to pack when in Europe is so helpful, often there are quirks to various locations we travel to and there’s nothing worse than being underdressed or overdressed. I love that you’ve included such a thorough guide.

  10. Jocelyn

    This is really helpful! I’m always torn over what to bring with me on my travels through Europe because of the different style of dress that we use in the US.
    The weather also plays a huge role in deciding what to bring. Layers are great here in Boston, too, but we are definitely more casual especially in the winter with the snow flying 🙂

    1. Yeah in Italy we really care about what we are wearing! And more often than not I find people rolling their eyes when they notice people clearly out of context. The “oh, gosh, usual tourist” eyeroll… that I don’t like. But then again I’ve seen tourists in shorts, in March, on the top of the Vesuvius, shaking with the cold and with blue toes. Flip flops and shorts might not be the best idea in that case 😀 I think Boston is already colder in this period?

  11. Megan Jerrard

    Love your outfit suggestions – I’m a big fan of layering, which also lets me diversify an outfit when I need to. We would be heading to the south, so definitely working on ideas for a beach wardrobe – love the idea of a “beach backpack”! Love the suggestion on black skinny jeans – they look classy for so many occasions. And thanks for the reminder about naked shoulders in religious sites – will definitely factor in shirts with shoulders.

    1. Exactly what I meant! You can bring a few items and mix them to diversify without having to drag around a huge suitcase. Skinny black jeans are a must for every season for me, you can use them for every look, grunge, slightly more elegant, sporty: anything you need!

  12. Dave

    I never really consider visiting anywhere around the Mediterranean in Autumn as I just assume the weather will be a little middling so usually go for autumnal breaks in northern Europe instead. How wrong I was – especially if the weather is still good enough to hit the beach! I’ll definitely have to consider a trip to Italy in autumn if it means I can try a wine tasting tour!

  13. Sarah

    Nice post Dany! Autumn and spring in Europe can be tricky for packing as the weather can be so changeable. I like your recommendations to pack layers and separates, it lives up to the “capsule wardrobe” concept. I love Italian style too! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Rachelle

    Haha I guess I’ll have to work on not being one of “those kind” of tourist! I grew up in California wearing flip-flops year-round. I think I have more flip-flops than pants, and they’re nice and not cheap sandals. I think I need to invest in just a few lighter-weight jackets that I can use to dress up a bunch of outfits and a scarf or two!

    1. Flip flops here happen too, in Positano in Summer! It’s way less posh than what people think! 😀 Also for this kind of travels I shop on Amazon, and I keep these for my trips, like last Winter! I got heavy clothes (like VERY heavy) even if here it’s never that cold. Now for this Winter I can travel again in snowy areas because I have everything!

    1. Really? Here in Italy (and the article, if you read it, is written for people to “blend in”), women find long dresses and high heels stylish at every age. And my mom still goes hiking with a pair of jeans and sneakers, because it’d be insane to think of doing it with heels. 🙂 Of course, if you think that going to an elegant restaurant in the evening with sneakers or flip flops… well you’d do what we were trying *not* to have. Stick out like a sore thumb. 🙂
      It’s Italy, we are very aware of what we wear, here.

  15. Efthimis K.

    The weather in Southern Italy in fall is pretty much the same like in Greece. You can still go to the beach but you are going to need a light jacket at night here as well!

  16. Charles McCool

    Wow, that is so cool you live in Naples. Well, those pictures certainly do not match what I would wear in Italy, or anywhere, but I have a nice sense of what to bring for autumn trips to Italy.

    1. Oh that is mostly my sister’s help! She’s very much in love with fashion, keeps updated and loves to shopping. I’ve just been following her suggestions 😀 As for Autumn in Italy, I think together with Spring is my favorite season: there’s so much to do and without the huge crowds!

  17. Penny

    I love your featured image! I am absolutely horrible at picking out an outfit to wear. Most of the time it is the first thing that I get at hand. I’ve been looking for a change but old habits die hard. I may just take you up on some of these tips.

    1. It’s the magic of Fall! I love the red, yellow and brownish leaves! 🙂 And here in Italy we pay a lot of attention to what we wear, not because we want it to be expensive but because it has to match the places we are going, so absolutely not the first thing at hand 😀

  18. Kavey Favelle

    We love Italy in autumn, and I think most of my visits have been that time of year, and some in Spring. I dislike that intense heat of summer, not to mention the crowds. Like you, I think layering is the key to dealing with the weather differences north to south, and even in one place where the weather can change from day to day.

    1. We couldn’t agree more! It can be absolutely, unbearably warm, and way too crowded, in the summer, especially here in the South. Layering is the perfect solution not to overpack and to be always ready: the temperatures shift a lot in Autumn, you never know if it’s going to be warm or chilly, if there will be sun or not!

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