What to pack for Rome, a complete guide to the essential Rome packing list

You are super excited to be traveling to Italy but not sure what to include in your Rome packing list? Whatever season you are planning to travel, there are some items you should always pack for Rome.

Years of experience both traveling abroad and living in Italy provided us with enough confidence to recommend what you should carry and what you can leave home. If you can’t decide what to pack for Rome, our guide will help you!

This is a general Rome packing list with essentials you are going to need in every season. On a related note, if you are traveling to Rome in summer, we have also a packing list specific for the hot season to complete the one below.

Don’t miss our complete guide to the best beaches near Rome.

What to wear in Rome, your essential Rome packing list

While you will find pretty much everything in the local shops, there are some essential items you will want to pack for Rome to avoid spending more money than needed and to have them as soon as you arrive. Of course, leave some room in your luggage for your Roman shopping, but when getting ready for your trip consider what to wear in Rome and what to pack so you will travel with peace of mind.

Handy backpack

What to pack for Rome
My CabinZero backpack!

Chances are you are going to stay out all day in Rome, so carrying a backpack rather than a purse might be ideal. Whether it’s cloudy and you’d better carry an umbrella or you want a water bottle that you can refill in the many public fountains, a backpack will come in very handy if you stay out all day. Either you travel with your backpack as hand luggage or you pack it in your carry-on, you won’t regret taking it to Rome. We love our CabinZero backpacks, red for me, grey for my husband!

A camera

Don’t you think you are going to take plenty of pictures in Rome? Wherever you go, be it the famous Colosseum or lesser-known places in Rome, I’m ready to bet you will want to make yourself some memories of your trip to show your friends and family back home.

Unless you are a selfie fan, you will probably want to take high-resolution pictures with a DSLR. We love our Nikon D7100 and we think it would make a great addition to your Rome packing list, but there are many models and brands around so you can pick what better fits your needs and photography skills.

If you are a pro and need to carry lenses and photography-related tools, I suggest you come with your best camera backpack so that you have everything easy to reach when you are sightseeing.

Comfortable shoes

Not only, do you need to consider that you will be walking a lot, but also that many streets in the city center are paved with old cobbles. This means that if you want to really enjoy your day, stilettos are a no-no. Don’t forget to add runners, walking shoesBirkenstock super comfy open shoes or sandals like this men’s model if it’s summer in your Rome packing list.

Anti-theft travel clothes

Unfortunately, it’s nothing new that in Rome you need to be careful with pickpockets, especially when you take public transport or you are in crowded places like the Termini train station. The worst places are buses, especially n. 64 from Roma Termini to Roma S. Pietro train station because it goes all throughout the most touristy areas so it’s always packed full of foreign tourists, and the metro.

Often, in the metro trains and stations, you will hear the driver and the employees warning passengers about pickpockets, especially those they know because always there.

We strongly recommend including anti-theft travel gear in your Rome packing list. Some of the items we suggest are an anti-theft hidden money travel belt, a pickpocket-proof hoodie and a scarf with hidden pockets.

Click here to check more anti-theft pickpocket-proof clothes.

Rome guidebook

Rome is a huge city with a million things to do. Even if you devote to the city 4 or 5 days, you will have time to explore its more famous places, some of its hidden gems and even take some themed itineraries.

On this website, we strive to give you the most up-to-date information on restaurants, hotels, activities, and landmarks, but if you want to have a handy booklet in your hands when on the road, a Lonely Planet guidebook is definitely one of the things to pack for Rome.

Travel adapter

Depending on where you come from, probably in Italy, we have a different electric plugin system. Our standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can check out this website to see if you actually need a travel adapter.

In any case, on Amazon, you can find an international travel adapter that can be used in different countries, so it’s always a good item to pack for Italy or any other destination.

Your own medicines

In Rome’s pharmacies, you will find all types of medicines and natural remedies. However, if you are already taking specific medicines for chronic issues, we suggest you take them with you so you don’t risk staying uncovered if pharmacies are closed for holidays or Sundays or if the products are sold out.


Most hotels have double-glass windows, so the rooms are pretty silent and quiet. However, if you booked in a cheap hotel with normal windows and in a central busy area, you would really need earplugs to properly sleep at night and enjoy your days out in Rome.

Modest clothing

Especially in summer, but to keep in mind in every season, you would need some clothes that are more covering than shorts and sleeveless t-shirts to enter the Vatican and other Christian sites, Catacombs included. When figuring out what to pack for Rome, do include some long trousers or skirts and long sleeves shirts to avoid surprises when you are entering important landmarks.

Elegant clothes

Don’t overpack. Only one pair of elegant clothes will do, just in case one day you feel like going to a fancy restaurant, club, event or even to see an Opera concert. Dress or trousers, it doesn’t really matter, as long as in your Rome packing list you include one fancy outfit with proper shoes. They don’t need to be stilettos, pack comfy shoes to walk around Rome’s cobblestones!

A scarf or shawl

Whether it’s summer or winter, I suggest you carry a scarf or shawl with you, which can really be multipurpose. In fall and winter, Rome can get windy, in summer it’s hot but in the evening it can be humid. Especially if you join the crowds along the Tiber at night where all the “Estate Romana” events happen, so a little scarf to protect your neck and shoulders won’t harm you.

Plus, if it’s summer and you are entering the Vatican, you might need to cover your shoulders. Something to keep in mind when you plan a trip to Rome.

Make sure you don’t miss our tips on what to wear in Rome in October and what to wear in November!

Foldable travel chair

Rome doesn’t really know the low season, but in the busiest months, which can be in summer and close to December or Easter, especially close to the Vatican the lines can be very long and slow-paced. This is why carrying a little travel foldable chair is a good idea if you don’t feel like standing in the queue for hours.

Portable Power Bank

Don’t forget to pack a trusty power bank! You’ll be snapping countless photos and videos of Rome’s stunning sights, and the last thing you want is for your phone to run out of juice. Plus, with all your important info like hotel addresses and bank details stored on your device, it’s essential to keep it powered up at all times. There are so many on the market to choose from but personally, I recommend the INIU portable charger, 22.5W 20000mAh USB C in & Out. It’s compact, reliable, and has saved me more times than I can count.

Your documents!

I wasn’t unsure whether to list this as what to pack for Rome as it’s not really for Rome only, but you never know! Don’t forget your ID paper and/or passport, your driving license if you are thinking about renting a car from Fiumicino or Ciampino airports, especially if you are getting outside the city, your credit card and obviously your wallet.


What to pack for Rome, essential Rome packing list
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About The Author: Angela Corrias

Hi, my name is Angela Corrias! I am an Italian journalist, photographer, and blogger living in Rome. After over ten years of living abroad, I finally came to the conclusion that in order to better organize my future adventures, I needed a base. Since I know and love Rome so much, I moved back to the Eternal City. This is how Rome Actually was born. Here, I cover everything about Rome, from the local food to the culture to Roman history.

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