Some of the most reoccurring questions we get from foreign visitors planning to visit our bed and breakfast in southern Italy are “How should we dress?” “What should we should wear?” “What can we bring so we don’t stand out?”
All good questions, my friends and things no doubt, that other would-be travelers to the toe of the bel boot might want to know.
While your blond hair, fair skin and bright blue eyes might make you stick out like a sore thumb in a hand modeling contest, there are some things you can wear to blend in with the crowd.
Here are Four Tips to Help You Not Look Like a Tourist When Visiting Southern Italy
Italians dress by the number on the calendar, not by the number on the thermometer. If you plan to visit Italy in the winter months, be prepared to layer your clothes and don scarves, hats and gloves.
If you are visiting in the summer, wear clothes made of lightweight fabrics. As Jessica points out in her post Avoiding Summer Faux Pas in Italy, Italians have just recently started wearing shorts … and really, ladies, I don’t see them often.
For years Europeans spotted Americans by our bright white tennis shoes. Today, well … they still do. Although white tennis shoes are sold throughout Italy – and many Italians proudly wear them – they still stand out on American feet. To blend in, try wearing dark brown or black tennis shoes or comfortable leather sneakers.
A brisk walk through any Italian city will reveal an abundance of over-the-shoulder bags. Italians use them to carry paperwork, books, glasses and IPods. So can you. Forget your backpack at home and travel instead with a dark brown or black messenger bag … You get bonus points if it is leather – or LV.
Sunglasses are to the Italian fashion scene what roper boots are to west Texas farmland. Slip on a pair of Dolce & Cabbana sunglasses – likely found at a local open-air market for less than €10 and you’re good to go.
What do you think makes tourists stand out when they visit Italy? What other fashion tips do you have to help them mix with the crowd?