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Italy Packing List for Kids – What to Bring & What to Leave at Home!

Buongiorno!  Are you getting ready for your Italy trip but feeling overwhelmed about packing for your entire family?

Don’t worry!  I’ve helped families travel to Italy since 2004, and I also travel around the country with my three children.  In this article, I’ll tell you what you should bring on a visit to Italy with your kids, and things you can leave at home.

The important thing to remember when you’re packing for your Italy family trip is that you can buy almost everything here in Italy.  Even if you just brought the absolute essentials (passport, one outfit, prescription medication), you’d be fine! 

But, I’m guessing you want to get it just right, so andiamo – let’s go!

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Italy Packing List for a Baby or Toddler
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Italy Packing List for Kids – Clothing

Things to remember when packing your kids’ clothing for Italy:

  • Quality – no one wants to deal with a broken zipper during a trip
  • It Works – make sure it’s already been worn so you know if there are problems (like itchy areas); be sure your kids are comfortable, and make sure they like it (don’t force your Spiderman-loving preschooler to wear muted creams and browns in Italy)
  • Mix and Match – pack similar colors and styles so you can create multiple outfits from just a few pieces; be able to layer clothing
  • Weather – check out the average weather for the time of year you’ll be visiting
  • Destinations in Italy – see what the weather is like in the part of the country you’ll be visiting – temperatures and precipitation vary dramatically from northern to southern Italy.
  • Laundry – will you be able to do laundry in Italy (at your apartment, at a laundromat, or for a fee at your hotel)?
  • Messy Level – I have a kid who can stain a shirt in the blink of an eye.  If you’ve got one too, pack extra outfits!
  • Activities – For example, if you’ll be hiking in the Dolomites, make sure you’ve got appropriate hiking shoes and layers for your kids.

Long-sleeve shirts

Short-sleeve shirts

Shorts and Pants

Dresses and skirts

Socks and underwear

Fleece or sweater

Light jacket

Hat

Pajamas

Shoes – Closed-toed, comfortable shoes with good tread; bring two pairs in case one gets wet or damaged during the trip.  Bring at least one pair of comfortable sneakers (or walking shoes), and either sandals (summer) or boots (winter).

Italy Packing List for Kids – Toiletries & Health

Prescription Medication

Basic First Aid Kit – Band-aids, fever reducer, thermometer, Neosporin, antiseptic wipes, etc.  You can find kids pain reliever and common over-the-counter medication, but I’d recommend packing basics that your kids have already used (and don’t mind the taste of).  For example, I bring Children’s Tylenol from the US because my kids don’t like the taste of the equivalent here in Italy.  We don’t have as many flavor choices for medicine here, and sometimes the flavor isn’t ‘kid-friendly’ at all.

Band-AidsFever ReducerThermometerNeosporinAntiseptic Wipes

Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Lotion – If your child has sensitive skin or favorite products, it’s best to bring them. 

Good To Know:  You can buy all basics here (like toothpaste, shampoo, etc), and some kids really enjoy going to the grocery store or pharmacy to pick out the Italian version of their toiletries.  Grocery stores have a wide range of brands (including organic – biologico) while pharmacies usually have less selection and are more expensive. 

Sunscreen – It’s expensive here, but you can find some excellent kids sunscreens at pharmacies.  Basic brands (store brands, Nivea, Hawaiian Tropic) can be found at grocery stores.  I order Baby Bum online but haven’t seen it in pharmacies or stores here.

Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes

Baby wipes

Brush or comb

Hair clips, bands, bows

Toothbrush & toothpaste

Nail clippers

Prescription glasses

Carbon monoxide detector

Italy Packing List for Kids – Entertainment

Comfort object (toy, book, blanket)

Entertainment for planes, trains, and restaurants – pack Wikki Stix (one of the best things to bring for travel – all ages can play with them), our Italy Coloring Pages, a blank notepad and triangle crayons, our Printable Map of Italy for Kids, our Printable Italy Word Searches, Pass the Pigs, UNO or favorite family card game.

Wikki StixBlank NotepadTriangle CrayonsPass the PigsUNO Card Game

Ipad or tablet – With kids’ shows and apps already downloaded.  

Noise Canceling Headphones – We love the PuroQuiets headphones by Puro Sound Labs because the volume level can’t go above a safe-for-kids level.  And, they still work well after countless trips.

Book – or download something from your library to the iPad or tablet

Italy Packing List for Kids – Documents

Passport – Make sure it’s up to date!  Kids’ passports usually have shorter validity, so always double-check.

Copy of Birth Certificate –I’ve never been asked for it but I know of others who have been stopped at immigration in Europe and asked for a copy of the birth certificate and ‘permission to travel with the kids’ note from the other parent (if not traveling with them).  So, I always carry copies just in case.

Travel Insurance Policy & Contact Info

Visa (if required)

Allergy Translation Card – Have your child’s allergies (celiac, sensitivity to certain medications, peanut butter, etc) translated into Italian, printed, and laminated.  Always carry the translation with you.

Copies of Vaccinations and Medical Issues – Helpful if you need to go to the hospital for any reason.

Good To Know:  In addition to bringing copies of important documents with you, you can also upload them to the cloud or leave copies with someone at home.

Italy Packing List for Kids – Luggage and Travel

Packing Cubes – We love packing cubes for family travel.  Our preferred brand is Eagle Creek, but there are other companies that make great cubes, like these from Amazon BasicsHelpful Tip:  Assign each child a color of packing cubes for the trip.  If you don’t want to invest in packing cubes, you can also pack by child (per day or by category) in labeled Ziploc bags.

Stroller – Italy’s cobblestones aren’t stroller friendly, so make sure your stroller is good quality.  If you’re planning on using public transport, make sure you can fold it quickly and easily.  Don’t bring side-by-side double strollers to Italy – they’re too wide for sidewalks, shops, and restaurants.  Don’t feel shy about bringing a stroller for a preschooler even if he/she doesn’t really use one at home.  You’ll be doing a lot of walking in Italy, and it’s so nice to have a spot for little legs to rest so you can keep exploring.

Car seat – You’ll need to use a car seat if you’ll be renting a car or driving in Italy.  Read more about Car Seats in Italy.

Disinfecting Wipes – wipe down the airplane and train seating areas

Laundry bag – also bring some of your laundry soap from home if your child has sensitive skin

Ziploc bags – They’re tough to find in Italy and come in handy while traveling with kids (snacks, soiled or wet clothing).

Kids backpack – Around the age of 4, our kids begin carrying their own backpacks for travel (on the plane, walking around a city).  They carry water, snacks, a fleece or layer, and usually a small toy.  We’ve been very happy using Deuter kids’ backpacks.

Extra clothing for travel – We’ve been delayed so many times on flights between Italy and the US, so I always make sure I have a change of clothing for the kids (underwear, socks, t-shirt, pants). 

Italy Packing List for Kids – Miscellaneous

Snacks your kids love – We don’t have aisles and aisles of packaged snacks at our grocery stores. The most common packaged snacks are fruit puree pouches, individually packaged cookies, and individually packaged salty snacks like crackers or taralli.  There are more options that aren’t individually packaged (like popcorn, chips, other crackers and cookies) so you can also bring some Ziploc bags or snack cups and portion them out yourself.  You can also buy delicious fresh fruit or do what most Italian kids do and pick up bread (focaccia, schiacciata, pizza, panino, etc) at the market or panificio (bread shop). 

Lightweight blanket – I always carry a lightweight muslin blanket.  You can use them for shade cover, impromptu picnics, scarves, and more.

Sunglasses

Binoculars – Kids love binoculars at home, and even more so on vacation in Italy.  They can get a close-up view of Roman ruins, check out the marmot in the Dolomites, and see details in a seaside town. 

Italy Packing List for Kids – Winter and Summer

If you’re visiting Italy during cooler months, be sure to pack:

Sweaters

Long Underwear

Warm Coat

Scarf, Gloves, Hat

Blanket (for stroller)

Raincoat

If you’re visiting Italy during the toasty summer, add to your packing list:

Lightweight t-shirts or tank tops

Handheld fan

Sun hat

Sundresses

Beach items (see below)

Italy Kids Packing – Destination Specific

Italy Packing List for Kids – Beach

If you’re heading to the beach, I recommend spending your time at a bagno – an Italian beach club.  You can rent beach chairs, beach umbrellas, and other basic items, and use the facilities – showers, changing cabins, bars and restaurants, play areas, and more.  You can also buy beach toys at the beach or in the beach town.

Swimsuit / bathing suit

Thin towel

Sun hat

Rash guard (if your child normally wears one)

Water shoes

Italy Packing List for Kids – Mountains

Fleece

Rain jacket

Kids backpack – our kids love to carry their own pack with water, snacks, and binoculars.

Italy Packing List for Kids – What to Leave at Home

Large, noisy, or messy toys

Beach toys – buy them in Italy at beach shops

Beach tent – just rent an umbrella at the beach bagno

Insect repellent – buy in Italy at the grocery store or pharmacy

Kids umbrella – it’s usually too crowded in busy cities to walk with an umbrella at kid-level; rainjackets work better for kids

Unofficial Plane Pals – the airlines won’t let you use knock-offs; make sure your airline approves the official Plane Pal if you’re planning on bringing it

Multiple pieces of checked luggage – it’s tough to travel in Italy with kids and a lot of luggage.  Try to keep the big pieces to a minimum.

Printable Italy Packing List for Kids

To print our ultimate kids packing list for Italy, just click on the image and a PDF will open up in a new tab. You can print the PDF or save it to your computer, tablet, or phone.

I hope this Kids Packing List has helped you feel more prepared as your Italy travel date gets closer!  Have a wonderful time with your family vacation in Italy and don’t forget to print the Italy Packing List for Kids! 

Check out some of our guides to Italian destinations with kids:
Alpe di Siusi with Kids
Bologna with Kids
Bolzano with Kids
Dolomites with Kids
Emilia-Romagna with Kids
Florence with a Baby or Toddler
Florence with Kids
Florence with Teens
Lucca with Kids

Milan with Kids
Montalcino with Kids

Ortisei with Kids
Orvieto with Kids

Siena with Kids
Sirmione (Lake Garda) with Kids
Venice with Kids

Italy Packing FAQs

Should I bring a ride on carry-on for my child?
You can bring it for the airport, but you won’t really be able to roll it in Italy – the roads are too rough and cobblestones aren’t great with the tiny wheels on the ride on kids carry-ons.   An easier option is to bring a stroller or have your child carry a small backpack (and you carry most items in your carry-on bag).