“They took my wallet with all my ID!”

It was a hot July day and Florence’s hub, Santa Maria Novella, was stinky and muggy. A tall woman with long dark hair was shrieking, louder almost than the screeching brakes of the arriving trains. Her red dress stuck to her as she waved her hands trying to act out what had just happened to her. A poor young man in an oversized Trenitalia uniform, who knew there was really nothing he could do, nodded as she spoke.

He diligently took notes on his tiny notepad with his tiny pencil.

You don’t want to be the red dress lady.

Freshly mugged, in a muggy train station, with no hope in Herculaneum of getting your bag back.

You want to avoid alllll BS when you’re traveling. You’re on a vacation, not at work!

You’re in BSBY mode — BS Behind You mode.

Sadly, Italy scams are as common as Gucci grannies in Milan. Here are a few to look out for:

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what to pack italy

When you’ve been planning trips to Italy as long as we have, you can bet that one of the most frequently asked questions to frantically pop up in our inboxes is this one: “What the farfalle should I pack for Italy???”

A carry-on? What about shoes? Should I bring my jewelry? My hairdryer? What about…

Oh yes, lovely — we hear you.

Once that plane ticket to Italy has been booked, the planning doesn’t stop (pro tip: our up-to-date city guides make it a whole lot easier), including when you’re staring at your overflowing closet, multiple Samsonite suitcases on the bed, and wanting to haul everything abroad with with you… for a week-long trip.

We can almost feel those anxious vibrations flowing across the keyboards into our inbox in these emails, and we know it’s because our travelers have scoured Google, searched forums and asked their friends for a handy-dandy tell-me-what-to-do guide. But the second guessing continues.

You just want someone to give you the cold, hard parmigiano reggiano facts, prestissimo.

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should I go to Italy

Let me paint you an all-too-familiar picture:

The kids are in college (or tucked away in bed), the house is oddly quiet, and you’re scrolling through Facebook on your iPad — creeping on all the photos your friend just posted about her vacation in Florence.

You make a mental note to yourself: “I have to book a trip to Italy soon…”

(In the meantime, a reservation at your nearest Italian restaurant to quash your craving for butternut squash ravioli will suffice, right?)

… One year later, nada. (“It just wasn’t the right time”)

… Two years later, nope. (“Next summer, for sure!”)

…Three years later…

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