Italy Perfect’s Favorite Packing Essentials

We travel a lot throughout Italy finding and reviewing villas and apartments so have our packing systems down to a science. Here is our handy check list of  small, essentials that will make your travels so much easier.

Folding Bag – You’ll use this every day!

Waist Wallet – Holds your money, credit cards and passport in the safest way.  Added benefit is the embarrassment of your children when you lift your shirt to get into it.

Adaptor Plugs – These multi-standard adapters seem always to fit the variety of outlets you encounter in Italy. Bring 5 of them. These are adapters — not converters that you don’t need for modern electronics.

Power strip – Outlets are sparse in old European buildings, so bring a power strip. This one even has handy USB ports. Save yourself from having to unplug lamps to recharge your devices.

Travel Umbrella – Not vital, but an occasional life-saver.

Zip lock bags small for carry-on liquids and large space savers for reducing size of clothing as well as protection.

Jet Lag Prevention Tablets

Airborne Immune Support

Shawl – A super accessory to brighten up a plain travel wardrobe and to adapt to temperature changes. Especially helpful in Italy where you must cover shoulders and, sometimes, knees when entering churches.

Essentials Best in Packets

Mosquito repellent – Screens are rare in Italy so mosquitoes show up inconveniently. And you want to enjoy dinner in a lovely piazza in the evening.

Sun cream. Shampoo & conditioner. Travel size toothpaste and gentle soap for washing your face and make up remover wipes.

Antibacterial wet wipes – Good for cleaning your hands that are touching all kinds of public places as well as wiping off your airplane seat armrest and seat tray.


Spectacular Vacation Villas Right in the Center of Rome!

Imagine a stay in Rome that combines the best of country living and city amenities.

In a small, gated neighborhood near the prime Piazza del Popolo-Spanish Steps area, and accessed from Piazzale Flaminio, two villas perch just enough above the city such that you can toast the sun as it sets behind the dome of St Peter’s basilica in the distance. The neighborhood adjoins the Borghese Gardens. A 4-minute walk puts you at one of the popular cafés in Piazza del Popolo, the large pedestrian piazza that has welcomed visitors to the city for a millenium.

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Italy Packing Tips: My Favorite Purse for Travel is a Backpack

Packing for a trip can be one of the most daunting aspects of travel planning. We’re often asked for advice on what type of purse to carry.  Shoulder, cross body, tote bag, backpack?

My vote is for a small, lightweight backpack.  I’ve tried many different types of travel purses. It’s important to get it right especially when I’m on the road for weeks at a time & walking up to 10 miles per day. One year I had the bad idea to bring a stylish straw tote bag to Italy for the summer, it was too bulky to carry long distances, was open at the top so not secure & scratched my arms & legs endlessly. While I might have looked fashionable, it was impractical. My current favorite travel bag is the Longchamp Le Pliage nylon and leather backpack, a gift from my daughter (thank you Tess!) after I kept borrowing hers. It’s light, durable, saves my back and shoulders, holds all my essentials & packs down to nothing if I need to put it inside my carry-on due to airline restrictions. For a small backpack it is surprisingly roomy too, you can fit a sweater or travel umbrella in it too. It has a little internal pocket that fits a passport and phone. Continue reading Italy Packing Tips: My Favorite Purse for Travel is a Backpack

Where to Stay in Florence

Florence is an intriguing small city, packed with wonderful thing to see, do, eat and drink.  We recommend finding a vacation rental that you like and using that as your base to explore this fabled city. You really can walk to anywhere in the center, even with children. But if time and distance require, take a short taxi ride.  Of the farthest points on a first-time visitor’s list are usually the beautiful Boboli Gardens and the Accademia the home of the original David statue of Michelangelo and that distance is just 3 kilometers/2 miles.

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The Joys of Food Shopping in Italy

Farmer’s Markets

If you are staying in an Italy Perfect city apartment there is usually a fresh food, open market nearby.  No prepackaged foods and antiseptic counters, but friendly vendors and colorful, delicious vegetables, fruit, cheeses and meats of every kind. We think of them as museums for food! See our previous blog all about the fun and traditions of shopping in Italian farmer markets. Continue reading The Joys of Food Shopping in Italy