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Packing list for Venice

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Summer in Venice means warm temperatures, long days, low chance of rain and lots and lots of walking to make the most of the hours of sunshine.

Venice is filled with canals, more than 400 bridges and cobblestone streets, so having the right footwear is essential, as is wearing the right comfy clothes.

On our trip to Venice, we will spend time walking around the narrow lanes and on boats and gondolas exploring the vineyard and small villages nearby.

So when thinking about what to pack for Venice, you should bear in mind that high heels and cosmopolitan urban outfits are most suitable for Milan than Venice is an old world glam affair, especially our trip. 

What to expect in the summer months in Venice

Summers in Venice are warm and the sun stays up until late. At night, temperatures drop quite a bit but usually the coldest hours are the ones where any regular visitor would be sleeping. Mornings can be a bit chilly if you are an early riser, which helps cool everything down.

June sees long days where the sun is up until past 9pm and summer solstice celebrations abound. It is a wonderful month with warm temperatures, beautiful evenings, extra long days and plenty of celebrations. It is a month we love because it is the beginning of summer and spirits are high with anticipation. 

July and August are hot and sticky and temperatures can make sightseeing unpleasant in the heat of the day. To add to that, August is the month when Italians take holidays so the throngs of tourists are only made worse by the many locals who like to spend their summers here.

September is the similar to June in temperatures and the days are still long, though shorter than in June, rains are low and it is the wine harvest season, which affects Venice less than other parts of Italy but is more notable in the Veneto region and when we will visit the winery.

Weather in Venice in the summer

Summertime in Venice runs from June to September, officially, from the 23rd of June until the 23rd of September but each month is slightly different.

The weather in July and August is hot, with temperatures nearing 30 degrees Celsius or 80 Fahrenheit.

Although both June and September share a similar weather outlook, there are also some differences; one is at the beginning of the summer while the other is the end of it, so the atmosphere varies and the climate is slightly different.

The weather in June in Venice

June is a beautiful month to visit Venice, perhaps our favorite. Summer solstice festivals abound, and everyone is happy to head back to the beach.

Temperatures in June are mild and range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius or 60 to 75 Fahrenheit. Rainfall is low in June and it rains an average of 9 days but when it does, showers are short, and the sun is up an average of 13h a day making it a great sightseeing month.

Evenings get shilly so a light jacket is welcome, especially if you plan to eat at the many terraces or enjoy a stroll back to your accommodation.

The weather in September in Venice

In September, locals are more laid back and relaxed after the summer holidays and they anticipate fall with a clearer mind and a rested body.

Days continue to be long, though sunshine drops from 13 to 9 hours since the days are shorter than in June (though still very long) but the temperatures are more or less the same between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius or 60 to 73 Fahrenheit for the month. Rainfall continues to be low with an average of 11 days with sort showers.

Tips when packing for Venice in summer

With the above weather conditions in mind, it is important to pack accordingly for a trip to Venice in the summer, not so much for cultural reasons but to make sure you are comfortable. 

Footwear for cobblestone streets

Venice is a very ancient city that was built centuries ago and has remained almost untouched since. That means that the street, bridges, paths and canals have been pretty much the same for over 400 years an back then, there was no asphalt.

Cobblestones fill all the streets and lanes in Venice, and there are plenty of small bridges many of which are made of stairs. High heels and really flat shoes will make you pay the price. This also means that the streets have uneven surfaces and that you need to watch where you walk.

A pair of cute sneakers like the ever present Italian brand Superga or any other sturdy pair of shoes that provides support (aka holds your foot in place) and cushion (for the long days of walking) are a great idea.

Cuter sandals and platform shoes will take you from canal-side terrace to ciccheti and make you look glam and fabulous.

Italians are not big fans of AC

While the weather will be hot outside, many restaurants and bars are open air and rely on the breeze.

Public indoor spaces such as hotel receptions, restaurants and museums, will have AC, though it is not something readily available and when it is, it will not be as strong as in the US or parts of Asia.

Because Venice is a concrete jungle and there are virtually no trees or parks around, the only cooling comes from the breeze, the canals and the sea.

This means that the temperature may seem mild but the feeling of heat will be higher than the thermometer marks. Add the minimal use of AC and you are in for a hot day of sightseeing, especially in July and August.

Beware of pickpockets

Europe is generally a very safe continent for solo female travelers but popular tourist destinations such as London, Paris, Milan or Florence are magnets for pickpockets who, believe me, are absolute pros. 

When walking in Venice, you should be extra alert to anyone trying to distract you, asking something from you, etc. who may have hidden intentions. Never leave belongings unattended or in plain sight and keep everything inside a zipped handbag.

Slash-proof bags designed for extra safety are highly recommended in Italy. Alternatively, a cross-body bag that is always zipped and in front of you should work. 

There are so many easy targets available in crowded places that, as soon as you make yourself a more difficult one, you raise the barrier for the average thief. 

Everything goes, but locals like it stylish

The sheer amount of visitors compared to the very few Venetians means that you can dress however you like and that to bland in, you may need to dress like a tourist not a local.

From a cultural stand point, there are no restrictions on what clothes you should or should not wear. Modesty is only required in religious buildings where you should cover knees and shoulders and a shawl is usually enough. 

High-end fine dining restaurants are classic and will follow a more traditional dress code of long trousers, closed toe shoes and a jacket for men, but women have more freedom within set parameters. 

However, if you want to blend in and dress like the locals, old-world elegant but classic glamour is the way to go in Venice, think what Amal and George Clooney would wear and you can’t go wrong.

What to pack for summer in Venice

Now that you understand the weather and the fashion sense of Venice, it’s time to have a look at what to wear in the summer.

Dresses

The best thing to wear during an Italian summer is a light, comfortable, flowy dress. It can be long or short, mini or maxi, in a solid color or patterned, but generally, it is loose and not tight.

Think wrap-around dresses, spaghetti strap dresses, florals, etc. if they are below the knee you’ll be sure to be allowed into churches so bear that in mind.

For the night, a cute short or long dress in a solid color paired with a nice accessory will help you blend in. I love this V-neck one and this statement tunic dress or this great summery option.

Skirts

Skirts, of all lengths. Long skirts with a cute top, three quarter length with a blouse, tule ones, lace skirts, plated, etc. Skirts are a girl’s best friend in and all the skirts from ChicWish are the PERFECT chic style.

Crop pants

I am a big fan of crop pants because they can be really cute, come in a variety of materials and are fun yet conservative and cover me from the sun, plus they fit my silhouette. 

A pair of light crop denims like these ones in aqua or linen pants will come in handy. You could also opt for jumpsuits or rompers. This cute romper would fit right in.

Linen shirts and slacks

Linen is a great material for the hot summer weather and I love to wear it, especially in loose fitting shirts over leggings or as a pair of long trousers. 

The main issue with linen clothing is that it requires ironing and I don’t like to iron when I am on holidays. To minimize creasing, check out our packing hacks and roll the clothes. 

Cute t-shirts and tops

Italian women like to wear comfy but cute tshirts, sleeveless tops and blouses that may be floral, with a design or have details that make them a bit more than just a white tshirt. Materials such as cotton and silk can dress you up and are light and fresh, linen works great in the summer.

Crop tops, spaghetti strap tops and other clothes that show a lot of skin are certainly worn by teenagers (like everywhere else) but you will not generally find a local woman dressed like that. 

Pretty and comfortable sandals

As we said, the shoes will be your most important item in your packing list. During the day, when wandering the canals and streets, a cute pair of casual sneakers such as the omnipresent and Italian-made Superga, are a good idea.

You can also wear espadrilles, like these flat ones, these flowery summery ones or these ankle wrap strap ones that can go from day to night.

Flip flips or other open sandals that do not keep your foot in place will not protect your feet from twisting you ankle and are a bad idea.

In the evening, a pair of pretty wedge espadrilles like these pretty ankle strap ones or these ivory flatter ones will take you to the beach.

Go glam and opt for a pair of flat embellished sandals, block heel sandals, or platform sandals, ideally with a rubber sole that offers grip, will glam you up while still being comfy.

A cute evening outfit

Italians like to dress up, we’ve mentioned that, and for dinner, they dress up extra nicely with pretty accessories, nice flowy dresses and perfect hair and makeup. You don’t have to follow local attire but if you like to, this is when you should bring out your most elegant and fashionable outfits.

Statement accessories

Italians like to dress up relatively neutral outfits with statement accessories for maximum impact. Pack a couple of pieces of jewellery, a cute clutches and tote bags, earrings, a scarf or even just an oversized pair of sunglasses or hat to show off your style.

Other things to pack for Venice

Besides clothing, there are a few other things worth packing for your trip to Venice.

  • A sun hat: As mentioned, the sun will be shining all day long so a hat is a great way to protect eyes and face from the sun exposure. Locals like straw hats and fedoras. Check out this wide brim one.
  • A strapless bra: For all those tops and dresses, or if your outfit demands it, a stick-on one so you look perfect.
  • A travel umbrella: We discussed the weather in the summer months earlier and you know that there is a 30% chance of showers at this time of year. We will be spending a lot of time outdoors and if showers appear, a travel umbrella will come in handy. This one weighs less than 500 gr. And is wind-resistant. Ponchos scream tourist.
  • European / universal plug adaptor: Italy uses standard two prong round European plugs. We like the ones which come with USB ports so that we can charge phones, cameras and everything else with just one adaptor. I love this one because it has USB ports for all the electronics we now carry.
  • Power bank: Because the days will be long and we will spend many hours in the car, making several stops along the way, a power bank will ensure you can continue taking photos. We use the incredible Anker 30,000 AMP which is the real deal and can even charge your laptop, but you don’t need something this big, a power bank that can recharge your phone twice is enough.
  • Sunglasses: We expect sunshine galore so a pair of sunglasses is an essential travel item. I like Oakley sunglasses as they are polarized and protect your eyes from any damaging sun rays. I alway wear them. Yes, they are not fashionable, but I have sensitive eyes that don’t like bright days, so they are a lifesaver for me. 
  • Water bottle: Single use plastic bottles are terrible for the environment so we recommend you bring your own reusable bottle as part of our efforts towards zero-waste and responsible travel. Tap water in Italy is safe to drink and you don’t need to bring a water filter, just your regular bottle will do. Replenish it in your room or at breakfast, or use any of the public fountains.
  • Sunscreen: Perhaps the most important item in this packing list for a beach holiday is sunscreen. The sun is very strong in the summer and you will be under its powerful rays for many hours, protecting your skin is key. We like using Japanese Biore SPF 50++++ because you can wear it under makeup and it is non-sticky and silky smooth. Living in the tropics, this is an everyday item for me I never leave the house without.
  • Lip balm: The sun makes it particularly tough for the skin and lips so you should bring a lip balm to stay moisturized. We find these are essential to not end up with completely ruined lips or even blisters. We like Neutrogena for their Nordic formula that tends to heal battered lips overnight and comes with SPF.
  • Sleep mask: Although hotels have proper blinds, you will be sharing the room with another traveler who may be a late owl. Bring a sleep mask like this one to block the light.
  • Pajamas: As mentioned, you will most likely be sharing a room so don’t forget to pack your pajamas!
  • Ear plugs: It is never a bad idea to have a pair of earplugs handy, for the flight, a noisy neighbor or an antsy roommate.
  • First aid kit and medication: Available medications, brands and products in Italy may not be the same as back home, so it’s always best to bring everything you are used to and of course, all prescription medication or vitamins you take. We also recommend packing a basic first aid kit with items such as plasters, an antiseptic ointment, eye drops, hydration powder, etc. We’ll spend time in a car on extremely windy roads so motion sickness medication is a good idea if you are prone to getting it. Have a look at our suggested first aid kit here.
  • A shawl: Some religious buildings such as churches will require that you cover your shoulders and knees so a shawl or sarong comes in pretty handy in those situations. Most notably, this will be required inside churches, chapels and cathedrals (of which there are many!).

What not to pack for summer in Venice

There are also a few things we do not recommend you bring to Venice if you are coming in the summer, mainly, because you won’t need them.

  • Hair dryer: Most hotels have them and if yours is old, you’ll also need to carry a converter or make sure it works with double voltage so that it does not get fried by the Italian 220V.
  • Hand bags that don’t close: You know the ones, the basket-style ones that don’t have a zipper to close them are a big no-no in Italy’s most popular tourist sights, unless you want to make pickpockets happy.
  • Dress like you are going on safari: I find it hilarious when I see tourists dressed like they are in the Serengeti, with khaki clothes, trousers that unzip to shorts and trekking boots, everyone will know you are a tourist and didn’t get the memo on dressing up.