It feels like forever ago since I was last in Italy, and I already can’t wait for the next opportunity to stroll down the cobblestone streets of Rome, watch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, eat creamy lemon pasta in Sorrento and sail around the isle of Capri. The excitement is so overpowering that packing for a trip to Italy doesn’t even feel like a chore!
Over the past few trips back to the Amalfi Coast, I’ve gotten really good at packing for these coastal Italian sojourns, and have the drill down pat. I like options, but for a care-free trip to the Amalfi Coast I really have to pare down on the non-essentials so that we can move around between Sorrento, Positano and Capri – that third pair of jeans doesn’t make the cut!
Whether you’re spending a week in Positano or simply visiting for a day trip, read on for my essential Amalfi Coast packing list.
1. Rompers (AKA playsuits)
So versatile. Dress it up, dress it down. Wear it to the beach, wear it to dinner. I love that it is finally appropriate for people over the age of three to wear a one piece outside of the house! I have long sleeved rompers and jumpsuits for those nights when it gets a little bit cooler, which by the way – it does in the Amalfi Coast.
Wondering what to wear in the Amalfi Coast? In general, you’ll find that the Amalfi Coast dress code leans towards semi-formal – Italians are so well dressed! If you’re worried that a romper is too sloppy then chuck a dressy blazer on top and you have the perfect smart-casual dinner outfit.
Amalfi Coast travel tip: Visiting the Amalfi Coast between October and May? It’s equally stunning during the off-peak season with far fewer tourists, but you might find that the ocean is too cold to swim in, and the temperature can drop like a rock in the early mornings and evenings – you will want to be prepared for the extreme weather fluctuations. Instead of rompers and flip flops you absolutely will need warm clothes including jeans, sweaters and closed shoes. Check the Amalfi Coast monthly weather details here.
2. Battery pack
Nerd alert! Incredibly practical and comes in handy when we’re trying to navigate the Amalfi Coast on a little scooter using Google Maps, and helpful when you’re trying to find paid parking garages or highly-rated restaurants and cocktail bars. My battery pack was a gift and is good for about 2-3 full charges, though you’ll want to make sure you pack any lithium batteries in your carry-on and not your checked luggage. For more packing tips and tricks read this guide.
3. Leave-in conditioner
I have incredibly fine hair that has seen way too much sun and salt water, and this is the only thing that tames it so I don’t go bald by the time I’m 40. Leave-in conditioner makes my hair so silky and saves me when I forget to pack “proper” conditioner – many also offer UV protection as well, which is perfect for those sunny days along the Amalfi Coast.
4. Longchamp tote or backpack
Or any tote, really. But the Le Pliage ones can be folded and stored when you don’t need it. It’s also incredibly sturdy and is water-resistant with a thin rubber lining on the insider so it’s not a big deal if you get it wet. Pictured: My beautiful mum with her trusty tote with Sorrento in the background.
5. (One too many) bikinis
I tend to wear bikini tops instead of bras when I’m on vacation. Living on the edge and pushing the boundaries, y’know? Who knows when the opportunity to hop into the crystal-clear waters of the Amalfi Coast will arise? There are plenty of little beaches to visit for a dip!
6. A thin scarf
For those slightly chillier evenings and when we’re driving down the coast or up to Ravello – it’s surprisingly cold once you head up the misty mountains. Great for the plane ride as a light blanket or as a wrap for the beach. Drape this over your shoulders when you’re visiting churches in Italy, especially if you’re planning on visiting the Vatican before or after the Amalfi Coast.
7. Hand sanitizer & wet wipes
100% essential. This is not up for debate. There hasn’t been one single trip that these items haven’t been a total lifesaver, especially in this day and age.
Did you know that most public toilets in Italy don’t have toilet seats? Click here for 14 things you should know before you go to Italy!
8. Havaianas for beach days
At least two pairs. The other day, I walked into a Starbucks with my Havaianas and a man in a suit stopped me and said, “those look so much more comfortable than my work shoes”. I said, “yes, yes they are”. And that was that. We bonded over how great Havaianas were.
Your flip flops will be extremely handy for when you decide to stop off at one of the rocky beaches along the Amalfi Coast. Click here for a few of my favorite swimming spots in the Amalfi Coast. However, Havaianas will simply not do if you’re planning on hiking the Path of the Gods or any other coastal trails along the Amalfi Coast – make sure your feet are well protected for any serious walks!
As in, Clarityne, Ibuprofen/Advil, Pepto Bismol and Neosporin antibiotic cream. If you are prone to motion sickness you’re also going to want to bring along some Dramamine as the winding roads along the Amalfi Coast are no joke. I also always keep a few band-aids in my wallet for small scrapes and cuts. Mum would be so proud. There are a number of small pharmacies in Positano, Praiano and Amalfi, but be prepared to pay a premium to purchase anything in the towns of the Amalfi Coast.
10. Leather sandals
For those days when you want to dress up your outfit a little but still be comfortable. If you don’t have some nice strappy sandals, there are shops in Sorrento and Positano selling beautiful, handmade Italian sandals for under 100 Euros a pair. Just check out all the different styles and colour options! Over the years I’ve accumulated about 6 pairs of handmade, customized sandals from this beautiful family-run shop in Sorrento (and plan to acquire more on my next trip!): Sandali Siniscalchi. You won’t want to wear high heels walking along the cobblestone paths in the Amalfi Coast, and there are steep(ish) slopes – stick to low wedges if you’re looking for some height.
11. A camera (or smartphone)
The Amalfi Coast is extremely photogenic, and you’ll be busy snapping away. I primarily use my iPhone for photos when the natural lighting is optimal, and when zoom isn’t needed. For photos like these ones I used my Canon 6D DSLR and a zoom lens – you’ll want to consider a lens above 100 mm (mine is 75-300 mm) for a decent shot from a distance.
For low-light photos you will need a camera lens with a lower aperture (<F/4) and set the body to the lowest aperture setting. If you have a tripod, you can also reduce the shutter speed or bump the ISO. That being said, you can still take amazing shots using your smartphone – click here for some tips and tricks to up your mobile photography game!
Especially if you are planning on traveling along the Amalfi Coast on a Vespa or in a car with the top down! Keep the sun, wind and bugs out of your eyes with a good pair of polarized sunglasses.
What’s on your packing list for the Amalfi Coast and Italy? Tell me all about it below!
Heading to other destinations in Italy and need some travel tips and recommendations? Here are all my best Italy city guides and must-knows!
You might also enjoy reading these guides:
- There are a dozen-or-so essential Italy travel tips you should know before your trip. Here is a list of my top tips for visiting Italy
- Read this guide for everything you need to know to help plan your perfect Amalfi Coast itinerary
- Experience “La Dolce Vita” in southern Italy and read on for the best things to do in Sorrento
- Planning a trip to the world-famous island of Capri? Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Capri
- History buffs will love this day trip to Pompeii and Vesuvius – here is my guide to visiting the archaeological ruins and volcano
- Wondering where to stay in the Amalfi Coast? Read this list of tried-and-tested accommodation in Italy
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Video music credit: Geographer – Ferris Wheel / Youtube Free Music