After a year of living in Florence and multiple trips back over the last few years, I’ve become pretty good at packing the necessities– especially as I travel carry-on only when I go these days.
If this is your first visit to Florence, I recommend packing these items.
*Soon, I’ll be creating a free “Florence 101” course for first-time visitors to the city, keep reading to find out how to get on the waitlist for it.
Wine bottle protectors
If you like wine even just a little, you’ll definitely try at least one wine while you’re in Florence that you’ll want to take home… maybe a nice Chianti Classico? Instead of doing the old fashioned “wrap the bottles in your thickest clothes and hope for the best” technique (guilty) think ahead and get some travel bottle holders. Try this reusable wine bottle holder from the Container Store, or this bottle protector set from Amazon UK.
Power plug adapter
Unless you’re from select countries in Europe, your phone chargers and other electronics won’t plug into the sockets in Italy. If your electronic in question is dual voltage (most are these days but check here) then you’ll just need a simple plug adapter to attach to your plug so it can fit in the sockets. Something like this universal power adapter is perfect.
If some of your appliances, like your curling iron, aren’t dual voltage, I personally don’t recommend using a power converter. They’re unreliable and in some cases dangerous. Instead, pick up a new appliance that is dual voltage before you go, or get one when you arrive to Italy.
Generally speaking, Italians tend to rock neutral or muted colours, especially in the colder months. If you want to follow along with the locals, you can’t go wrong with neutral colours yourself. I also think that muted colours just work best when traveling anyways, as they tend to not show stains as easily and are very interchangeable, allowing for more outfit combinations while packing less.
Additionally, wearing really bright colours, like neon, makes you stand out as a tourist to pickpockets– not so good.
You will get around Florence by walking for 95-100% of your visit. The city centre is quite small so there’s usually no need to get taxis or buses, therefore I recommend having comfy shoes for walking during the day.
Personally, since the Italians are so stylish, I try to wear shoes that’s are stylish but still comfy. I typically wear flat Chelsea boots in the colder temps, or white leather Converse for the warmer months. For guys, I recommend similar.
Read next: 7 Must-Do Things with 48 Hours in Florence
Nice shoes (that can get roughed up)
When I lived in Florence, some people used to think I was crazy for wearing heels when I would go out to dinner or for a night out. But I felt most stylish in heels, so I didn’t mind. Again, the Italians are quite stylish, so if you don’t like feeling underdressed then pack some nicer shoes to wear in the evenings. That being said, the cobblestones really scuff up shoes, so don’t wear anything that you’d be annoyed if they got quite roughed up. Nice flats are also a fine option for the evening if you don’t dare wear heels!
For guys, dress shoes are a must if you plan to go to the clubs, and while they aren’t required for bars, if you go to someplace nice, you’ll probably be underdressed if you don’t have dress shoes on.
You’ll want to have cash on hand with you when in Florence. Many smaller shops and vendors in the city will only take cash, so to avoid embarrassment, have some money on you. How much completely depends on what you plan to spend your money on, but I usually will have at least €40 on me at all times. When you run out of money, there are plenty of cash machines around the city where you can withdraw cash.