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Tips on What to Wear for the Autumn Weather in Italy


As you may already know, there are many good reasons to visit Italy during the autumn. From the better prices on air fare and accommodations, the great food, and the cooler weather, Italy in its fall colors is truly a sight to see.

When preparing for your trip, however, one of the biggest questions that you may ask yourself will most likely be, “What should I wear?” Planning your outfits is actually an important factor to consider since you don’t want to overpack, mostly because as many seasoned travelers will warn you, extra baggage fees with airlines can cost an arm and a leg. Also, you’d really want to leave some space in your bags for all the souvenirs and other items that you’d be bringing back from your trip.


This is why in order to help you out with your trip preparations, we’ve put together a quick list of tips on what to wear for the autumn weather in Italy and possibly save you from having to pay exorbitant baggage fees… all while staying comfortable AND fashionable!

Know where you’re going and what you’re doing

As with any trip, take a very close look at your itinerary or tour details, and do a bit of research ahead of time to figure out what types of environments you’ll be encountering and which sorts of activities you’ll be participating in.


As a general rule, keep in mind that the farther you go south in Italy, the warmer it gets, so if you’re planning to just stay mainly in the southern areas of Sicily or Sardinia, for example, it may be safe for you to stick with your summer gear, maybe with the addition of a light jacket or two in case it rains. On the other hand, if you’ll be touring the Piedmont region up north, you would definitely want to bring slightly heavier outerwear along with more layers of clothing, depending on how close your trip is to the winter months (which is an equally fabulous season, by the way, but more on that later) .

Don’t leave home without your shades and umbrella


It may sound like a strange combination, but trust us when we say that you’ll really want to have both of these items with you. Though Italian autumns are definitely much cooler compared to its warm, humid summers, this is mostly due to the change in wind temperature. This means that while the surroundings may get cooler, the sun remains as high and bright as ever, and if you’ll be touring outdoors, the last thing you want would be to miss the sights just because you had to squint and cover your eyes half the time, so bring your trusty pair of shades along to keep your eyes comfy (plus it looks great).  Meanwhile, always keep an umbrella handy because autumn days can swing from nice and crisp to rainy and foggy pretty fast.


It’s all about the layers

There is a popular Italian phrase, “Vestirsi a Cipolla” which translates to “dress like an onion,” and basically means to dress in layers. When preparing for an Italian autumn, this is a great piece of advice to keep in mind and help you determine which items to bring along. For the gentlemen out there, you can bring light shirts to wear in case it gets humid, and pair it up with perhaps a nice sweater, or a light trench coat or blazer that you can just put on if the weather suddenly decides to get cold (or you suddenly have to attend theater… you’ll never know). Meanwhile, the same can apply for ladies, with the addition of comfortable skirts that you can maybe wear with some leggings underneath in case you’re heading out to dinner on a chilly evening.

Image found on Pinterest, via Tumblr (source unspecified)

Image found on Pinterest, via Tumblr (source unspecified)

Expect to cover up

Though this is also related to the previous point, showing too much skin in this season is generally not a good idea not just because it can get cold within the span of a few hours, but also because it can restrict your access to certain points of interest. While that sleeveless top with the plunging back is definitely lovely, bring along a light jacket or maybe a nice shawl to go with it, just in case. This is particularly important if your tour includes visiting churches, because these attractions require both men and women to be in appropriate clothing.


Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes

For the ladies, while we do often see images of Italian women walking around Milan in sky-high heels, it may be a bit impractical for you to do the same. This is especially true if you’ll be doing a lot of walking on uneven cobblestone streets, in weather where it can possibly rain on any given day. So instead, try bringing along a pair of easy to clean leather booths with low, chunky heels (or none at all) that can be paired with either pants, dresses, or skirts, and can be worn from a museum to a vineyard at a drop of a hat. If you really must wear heels for that fancy dinner or an evening at the Scala, just bring that one pair that goes with pretty much everything else in your wardrobe. Meanwhile, items to avoid would be footwear in materials such as suede because it may end up getting ruined in the rain, and flip-flops (these belong in the beach, and… nowhere else).


When in doubt, neutral colors are your best bet

As for colors, it’s best to go by the advice of experts, and stick with neutrals if you’re unsure about your color palettes. Blacks, whites, grays, navy blues, as well as shades of brown are always safe and elegant, and can be paired in almost any combination. Other good choices would be deep, wine-hued reds, and earthy blues and greens. As for patterns, the general rule of thumb would be one patterned item per entire outfit, so if you have a trench coat or a top with patterns on it, try to keep the rest of your outfit in plain colors.


However, just because you’re keeping it simple, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to be boring, either! For that extra touch of class, don’t be afraid to accessorize. A silk scarf, or some elegant jewelry in beads or other materials (we suggest keeping your gold and diamonds safe at home) can always add a splash of color in just the right amounts.


Jeans are okay, but keep it classy

Visiting Italy in autumn doesn’t mean that you’ll have to dress like a model from a magazine all the time (though this is a great opportunity to do so), and jeans and denim are totally fine. In fact, it may even be necessary, especially if you’re planning to participate in a lot of agricultural-related events such as truffle-hunting, or you’re staying at an agriturismo and would like to try your hand at a bit of farm work. Just remember to keep it classy and leave the ripped up and torn ones at home.


These are just a few general rules on dressing up for an Italian autumn. The most important part, of course, would be to make sure that you’re comfortable so that you can concentrate on having fun during your trip. If you ever decide that you want to up the ante, however, don’t worry as there will be a lot of places to buy clothes from while you’re there. You might even stumble upon a designer brand’s end of season or clearance sale, and you’ll be thankful for all that extra space you have in your luggage!

Got your own fashion and packing tips? Let us know in the comments! 😀


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By Priscila Siano (266 Posts)

Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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