What to wear in Venice: packing list + how to pack for Venice for comfort and style
Printable packing list for Venice Italy and tips on what to wear in Venice for comfort and style.
Venice is as magical as its fame suggests however, when it comes to packing, dreams of long walks on its pretty bridges and mild evenings on its beautiful canals turn to doubt.
What shoes do you need for Venice, a city with many bridges and no cars?
How chilly is an evening on the canal or, the opposite, how oppressive does the heat get in a city so humid?
And last but not least: what is the best attire for Venice churches and restaurants, do you need anything special clothing?
I answer this and more in this Venice packing list and style guide.
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What to wear in Venice for the weather
Venice is a seasonal city with different temperatures and weather patterns depending on when you go. For packing, it is useful to know this:
Venice is winter is cold. If you are visiting Venice between December and February, you want to have a warm coat, woolen sweaters, proper winter shoes (boots with woolen socks work) hat, scarf snd gloves.
Venice in summer is hot and humid. You want to wear breathable clothing, summer dresses, sandals and protect your head from the sun with a wide brim sunhat.
Venice in spring and fall has mild, reasonably dry weather with the possibility of rain. At this time, you want a mid-season jacket, layers and an umbrella.
What to wear to visit Venice churches
Churches in Venice and Italy, in general, require modest attire.
St Mark’s Basilica, in particular, applies rules rather strictly and will not allow in visitors with short skirts, shorts or tops with thin straps.
The rule applies to men and women: children usually don’t need to abide by the dress code, especially if very young.
If you are visiting with teenagers, however, a conservative approach that follows the dressing rules closely is the safest approach.
Other churches are less strict and often do not have checks at the entrance.
While you may not be stopped as such on entry, to be respectful of the religious nature of the building you want to avoid shorts, avoid strappy tops and T-shirts that leave armpits exposed and anything that is too revealing such as plunging necklines or see-through tops.
In winter, this is easy.
In summer, you can achieve this with long linen pants, below-the-knee skirts and a pashmina to cover your shoulders.
The Venice churches’ dress code is not so strict that a skirt right above the knee will be frowned upon by being sensible and avoiding overly short clothing when hoping to visit a church.
Flip flops are ok, however, I recommend you don’t walk around in them in Venice (see below)
The best shoes for Venice
In Venice, you will walk a lot and many of these walks will lead you across bridges that are often at a slope and with steps.
The best shoes for Venice are therefore walking shoes such as runners/sneakers or walking sandals.
They give the best support and cushioning to your foot and will prevent injury and slipping.
In summer, I love Teva sandals.
In winter, I recommend ankle boots or full boots and in the mid-season, I usually go for sneakers.
For going out in the evening, you want shoes that are not runners but you don’t need heels or anything too fancy.
Italy, in general, doesn’t consider sneakers evening wear.
However if you have fashionable ones, they can be ok, especially on younger visitors and paired with a pair of well-fitting, clean jeans and a nice top.
In general, you don’t need to dress up for dinner unless you are going to a very fancy place but you will want to wear long pants and shoes rather than runners.
Models such as fashion sneakers, ballerina flats or camper shoes for men work great.
A note about wearing sneakers in Italy: I read over and over on the web that Italians do not wear sneakers/runners and that you should avoid them too. This is nonsense! This idea comes from observing that in Italy we tend to go for fashion sneakers more than runners and that we wear them in our free time more than in the office or as evening wear. However, we do wear them for sightseeing or walking so please, if they are comfortable for you, do wear them! To blend in, opt for low-top, urban sneakers and stay away from flashy gym-style models.
I recommend you don not wear flip flops in Venice as they don’t support you enough when walking, they offer nor cushioning on cobblestone streets and, in terms of fashion, Italian consider them beachwear and not city wear.
Find here >>> my complete guide to the best shoes for Italy travel (styles and recommended buys)
What to pack for Venice in the evening
What to wear in Venice in the evening depends largely on the type of experience you are looking for.
If you want relaxed and casual, there are plenty of places in Venice where you can do that.
Most of Venice bacari (wine bars) and plenty of restaurants are ok with casual attire and you will be ok with jeans and comfy shoes.
If you want to go to a fancier restaurant or terrace for a cocktail, you want to wear a business casual type of attire, so think shirts for men (no tie unless you go to super fancy places), long pants, shoes as opposed to runners. You don’t need to wear heels.
In general, shorts and sneakers are not considered evening attire.
What to pack for going to the beach in Venice Italy
Venice has lovely beaches that are wonderful especially in summer when you want to get away from the oppressive heat of the city.
T go to the beach in Venice I recommend you pack a bathing suit (any model you like), flip flops, travel towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, sunhat and beach coverup.
It is good to know that in Italy it is not customary to walk around in a swimsuit outside of the beach so you want to have a coverup to go to the cafe. It is an absolute no to walk around Venice center with swimming trunks and no top or with a bikini top, not matter how hot it is or how close to the water you are.
What to pack for Venice in summer (June, July, August)
Venice is summer is hot and humid so you want to make sure you pack:
- Light, breathable summer dresses/skirts
- Long linen pants
- T-shirts and strappy tops
- A light shawl to cover your shoulders in churches
- Underwear and socks
- A wide brim hat
- Mosquito repellent – Venice has voracious mosquitoes with all those canals
- A bathing suit, travel towel, beach coverup is going to the beach (Find a good beach in Venice here)
- Walking shoes/sandals
- Crossbody bag
- A wide brim hat
A note about hats. The hat is typical of tourists however, it is a lifesaver when you are out in the hottest hours of the day so don’t let fashion make you run any risks! Italians are probably not out and about sightseeing under the midday sun or they will wear one too, make sure you don’t underestimate the sun, even if used to it. A little like runners, do not try to replicate Italian work attire for sightseeing as it simply doesn’t work and will make you uncomfortable for no reason.
What to pack for Venice in winter (December, January, February)
Venice is winter is cold and wet so you want to make sure you are ready with layers, a waterproof jacket and shoes and an umbrella.
For winter in Venice you want to pack:
- Rainproof walking shoes/boots
- Underwear and socks
- Long sleeve tops
- Jeans or long pants
- Woolen/winter skirt or dress
- Woolen cardigan/sweater
- Warm winter jacket, waterproof
- Gloves, scarf, hat
- Travel umbrella
- Thick socks/slippers for the hotel room
What to pack for Venice in spring and fall (March, April, May – September, October, November)
For spring and fall you need to be ready for changeable weather and rain. I recommend you pack:
- Underwear and socks
- Mid-season walking shoes like runners
- Long pants/jeans
- Short and long sleeve tops for layering
- Cardigan or sweater
- Mid-season jacket, ideally rain proof
- Flip flops for the hotel
Venice essentials for all seasons – documents and tech
- Visa if needed
- Travel insurance
- Health docs/ test that may be required on entering Italy
- Copy of prescriptions medications you may need to purchase while in Italy
- Copy of accommodation reservation and tours
- Phone / camera
- USB chargers
- Portable power bank
- Travel adapter for Italy (or universal travel adaptor)
- Cable travel organizer
What to pack for Venice: toiletries and medical
- Shower gel
- Hair brush /comb
- Hair ties/bandana
- Hydrating cream
- Dental kit
- Shaving kit
- Make up and fragrance
- Portable hairdryer (most hotel offer one but not all)
- First aid kit and essential medications
What to pack for Venice: bags and luggage
Venice has uneven, bumpy roads so you want your luggage to be easy to carry and resistant.
You can find my recommended luggage for Italy here however, this is what I recommend for Venice:
- Osprey Fairview 40 – if you want a carry on travel backpack
- Samsonite Omni hard side luggage with spinner wheels – if you are looking for luggage on wheels
- A crossbody bag for your daily essentials – as long as you have internal pockets for your wallet and a good zip to close the bag, you don’t need an anti-theft model (they are however good for peace of mind)
- A practical toiletry bag
- A canvas tote for shopping
- Packing cubes
Accessories for Venice
- Fashion accessories such as necklaces, earrings, hats and scarves
- Reusable water bottle – super important in a city with a big problem of over tourism and sustainability
- Travel pillow
- Eye mask
- Wireless headphones
- Document wallet
What to pack for visiting Venice with kids
If visiting Venice with kids, I recommend you also pack:
- A good travel diaper bag with all baby essentials
- A baby carrier – you can find our recommended baby carriers for Italy here
- A stroller, wither super lightweight so you can lift it or an all terrain so it can take the bumps – find my tips for using a stroller in Italy here
- Unless you want your own, hotels are usually able to provide cots for kids and many restaurants have high chairs. Ask in advance. If you prefer to bring your own, the ones below are those we like best.
- Good walking shoes
- Teether and blanky for comfort
- For all your essentials, remember you can buy baby gear in Italy’s supermarkets and pharmacies. Find all you need to know about visiting Italy with a baby or toddler here.
I hope you found this packing list for Venice useful and it helped you answer the question: what should I wear in Venice?
Planning a trip to Italy? Don’t forget to also check out our 100+ Italy travel tips and our guide to planning a first trip to Italy!
How to pack for Venice Italy: printable packing list
Full packing list: what to pack for Venice to be comfortable and stylish in all season and occasions
- Main travel bag
- Toiletry bag
- Crossbody bag as your day purse
- Canvas tote
- packing cubes
Underwear and socks
Long sleeve tops (winter and mid-seasons)
Cardigan/sweater (winter and midseason)
Midseason jacket (spring and fall)
Winter jacket, scarf, hat and gloves (winter)
Travel umbrella (outside summer)
Wide brim hat (summer)
Walking sandals (summer)
Fashion accessories (sunglasses, necklaces etc)
Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner
Feminine Hygene products
Makeup and fragrance
Medications, copy of prescriptions, first aid kit
Health test as required on entering the country
Copy of all your reservations/bookings