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What to wear in Rome: your essential Rome packing list

When in Rome…

What to wear in Rome: sometimes you need a little extra coverage

Put your best foot forward – in flats or sandals

What to wear in Rome: your one must-have accessory

The dress code in Rome

With its rich history, fabulous food and legendary sense of style, Rome is the ideal getaway destination. Make sure that you look your best when visiting the Eternal City by following our helpful guide on what to wear in Rome.

Rome is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year and whether you are staying for a weekend city break or an extended holiday, you will want to look your best. The Romans are rightly regarded as some of the most stylish dressers on the planet, so the fashion bar is certainly set high. But with the help of a few simple tips on what to wear while you are in Rome, you can be sure that you will look the part and enjoy the city in comfort and style.

When in Rome…

Of course you should always wear whatever makes you feel fabulous, but if you are looking to channel a little Italian flair during your stay in the Eternal City, take inspiration from the old saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Take a leaf out of the book of the amazingly chic Roman woman when choosing what to wear in Rome.

The summers in Rome are scorchingly hot and spring and autumn often much milder than they are in the UK, so you may need to take more light clothing than you might expect. Pack tailored dresses – ideally sleeveless if you are there during the summer or early autumn – and some well-cut separates. Short-sleeved tops and wide-legged trousers or capris are easy-to-wear, versatile choices that you can mix and match. Wherever possible, opt for breathable natural fibres such as pure cotton and linen that are well-suited to warm climates.

What to wear in Rome: sometimes you need a little extra coverage

Woman wearing a stylish cardiganA couple of cardigans and a jacket or two should also be on your list when choosing what to wear in Rome, especially if you are visiting in spring or autumn when the weather can be changeable. This way you can easily add another layer if things turn a little chilly and a light raincoat or collapsible umbrella will protect you from any showers.

One other thing to remember during your weekend in Rome is that modesty is important when visiting religious sites such as churches, and especially if you are planning to go to the Vatican. Here women must have their shoulders, midriffs and knees covered, or they may not be allowed to enter. Pack a light cover up such as a cardigan, scarf or pashmina that you can throw on if you need to, as well as making sure that at least one of your dresses is below knee length. If you prefer to wear shorts or cut-off trousers when visiting the Vatican, these are regarded as acceptable as long as they reach below the knee.

Put your best foot forward – in flats or sandals

If you are planning on doing any walking during your visit, it’s important to remember that much of the historic centre of Rome is cobbled. Roman women seem to be born with the natural ability to walk elegantly in high heels without stumbling over the cobbles, but this is not for beginners. In the interest of comfort and practicality, newcomers to the city are recommended to opt for flats, sandals or boots during the day (depending on the weather and the time of year) and to choose wedges rather than high stiletto heels for evening wear. Be especially careful after rain, as the cobbled areas can become very slippery when wet.

By all means take your best pair of killer heels to Rome, but just make sure you’ve ordered a taxi to take you from door to door if you do!

What to wear in Rome: your one must-have accessory

Sunglasses with rhinestonesNo self-respecting Roman fashionista would ever venture outside without her sunglasses and – when you are deciding what to wear in Rome – neither should you. A great pair of shades will protect your eyes from the bright Italian sunlight, but more importantly sunglasses are an absolute style essential whenever you are out and about in the Eternal City.

Opt for sunglasses with cat-eye frames to capture the essence of “la dolce vita” (“the sweet life”) and a touch of movie-star glamour from Italy’s golden age of film. Or channel Sophia Loren’s signature style with a pair of shades with oversized frames for feminine allure with a hint of mystery.

The dress code in Rome

Rome is famous for its gorgeous clothes and the panache with which its inhabitants wear them. There are two secrets that help make Roman fashionistas the most stylish on the planet. The first is to make sure all your clothes are made of good quality materials. Romans would rather invest in a single beautiful quality piece, than buy a large number of inferior items. Secondly, every garment will be altered to fit and flatter perfectly. The Roman style is close-fitting but not tight for a stunningly feminine silhouette.

Romans love to dress up for special occasions. If your weekend in Rome includes an evening at the opera or dinner at an exclusive restaurant, it is almost impossible to be over-dressed. Indulge your inner diva and go for all-out glamour and glitz with a fabulous frock, immaculate hair and make-up and statement jewellery for a real night to remember.

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities to visit and leads the world in stylish dressing. Be inspired by our top tips on what to wear in Rome and you can be confident of navigating the city in comfort and style.