what to wear in Italy in October, how to dress like an Italian

What to Wear in Italy in October: From North To South



With its warm days and cool mornings and evenings, October is an ideal time to visit the Bel Paese. As summer transitions to fall, the crowds thin out while temperatures remain mild, especially in central and southern regions. But what should you wear during this in-between season? This definitive guide has you covered on how to dress fashionably for Italy in October.

Follow this advice to step off the plane looking like a local no matter where your Italian travels lead. Let’s dive in and discover how to pack and dress for Italy this October!

How is Italy in October

Italy in October offers a mix of warm sunny days and cooler mornings and evenings, with temperatures starting to drop as winter approaches. The weather varies greatly depending on where you are in the country.

Average temperatures in Italy in October

In northern Italy and higher elevations like the Dolomites, fall comes earlier. Daytime highs average 60-68°F (10-20°C), with chilly mornings around 40-50°F (5-10°C). The farther south you go, the warmer it gets.

Central cities like Florence and Rome still enjoy pleasant daytime temperatures of 68-77°F (20-25°C). Along the southern coasts and in Sicily, it remains beach weather, with highs of 77-86°F (25-30°C).

average temperatures in italy in october
October Temperatures in Italy

Wettest Italian Cities in October

Rain is possible anywhere, but northern and central regions tend to get more overcast fall days. The wettest areas in October are the northeast region around Venice and the western coast along Liguria.

If you are still planning your October trip to Italy, you can use the weather information above to choose your destination. Late October trips to Northern cities will require packing for early fall weather, while early October ones and trips to southern regions like Sicily allow more flexibility – you can dress for warm sunny days while having some cooler evening options on hand.

Once you’ve decided where to go, use the expected temperatures and rain likelihood to guide your packing. The key is having versatile layers to handle the day-to-night changes.

Before making a packing list, let’s look at how Italians dress during this transitional season. Their outfits can inspire styling for the weather.

💡Pro Tip: Make sure to consider your planned activities when packing for Italy in October. This guide is tailored for a regular city break with sightseeing, walking tours, and light hikes.

If you’ll be doing more intense activities in higher elevations like the Dolomites, pack more weather-proof and insulating layers. The key is versatile pieces that allow you to adjust to changing conditions. With the right mix, you can stay comfortable and stylish anywhere in Italy this October.

What do Italians Wear Come Fall

Now that we know what to expect weather-wise, let’s look at how Italians dress during this transitional season.

In Milan, Florence, and other fashion capitals, style is still important even as it gets cooler. Light layers like blazers, leather or denim jackets, cardigans, and long-sleeve shirts are popular over dresses, skirts, or pants. Boots and chic raincoats make rainy days stylish.

In the warmer south, summer dresses may still appear during the day, but pants, lightweight sweaters, and jackets come out at night, especially towards the end of the month.

PS: When it comes to visiting Italy in October, we must make a distinction between early October and the end of October. I always consider the first 2 weeks of October as an extension to Summer, no matter whether you are going to the North or the South.

Particularly for Northern regions, it’s like there’s a switch button come the 16th October. After that, the weather gets much cooler and also rainier. With central and southern regions the distinction between the two parts is less evident, and the weather is still very pleasant.

Everywhere in Italy, October outfits mix summer and fall. The key is versatile layering pieces and accessories like scarves, hats, and boots that add warmth while allowing you to adjust to the temperature.

The best way to get a feel for how Italians dress is to see real-life examples. The video below shows the range of stylish outfits you’ll encounter walking the streets of Bolzano and other northern Italian cities.

Here’s what people are wearing in Northern Italy

You’ll notice versatile layers are key – jackets, cardigans, blazers, and light scarves that can be added or removed as needed. Sneakers and leather bags add flair while keeping it practical and comfortable.

If there’s one takeaway, it’s this. Italians love to be stylish but equally comfortable, especially if they are riding a bike – like in the video clips from Bolzano and nearby cities, or a motorcycle – which is very much used in Florence.

Can you see the gorgeous ladies going out for morning errands on their bicycles, wearing nicely tailored trousers with a pair of sneakers, a chic pullover, and a light waterproof jacket for the early hours?

You might have also spotted a shop attendant wearing nice tailored bright trousers, and a light-colored blazer, but she finished the look with a pair of white sneakers, for comfort.

Men are looking extra polished with either suits or a sweater over a shirt and chinos or jeans.

The following images also capture that signature Italian transitional style. In northern cities like Milan, leather jackets, blazers, and chic black coats are paired with dresses or jeans. In more Alpine and German-speaking cities like Trento, the style is less edgy and more soft but still tailored and put together.

If you plan to visit Rome and Florence, lighter layers like button-downs or sweater vests make daytime warmth stylish. Here the looks are more casual than in the North yet classically Italian. 

How To Dress Like an Italian

Italians strive to look polished and put together at all times – whether running errands or going out to dinner. The key is making an effort to look stylish but in an effortless way. With time and the right capsule wardrobe essentials, embodying Italian style can become second nature. 

What defines Italian fashion? First and foremost, quality over quantity. Italians invest in fewer, meticulously crafted pieces made from high-end materials like leather and cashmere. Details are given attention, like tailored fits and luxe hardware. The silhouette flatters the body.

Italians also have a refined, elegant aesthetic – simple and modern yet sophisticated. Neutral palettes keep looks timeless, while thoughtful accessories like scarves, jewelry, and shoes elevate the outfit. Overall, the Italian style balances classic elegance with contemporary trends. 

To embody Italian fashion on your trip, avoid flashy logos and overly casual looks. Instead, pack quality essentials in soft, natural fabrics. A neutral-colored blazer, cashmere, and cotton sweaters, tailored trousers, sneakers, and leather loafers can take you from sightseeing to an evening aperitivo in style. Do wear sneakers and jeans, but elevate them with a shirt and blazer. Or pair them with knee-length skirts and midi dresses. And don’t forget the accessories! With the right elegant touches, you’ll look effortlessly chic.

PS: If you want to steal that Italian style while you are in Italy, pack more tailored trousers than skirts and dresses. Ditch the shorts and the extra casual T-shirts.

My October Outfits for Italy

After covering how to dress for Italy in October, I wanted to share some examples from my recent trip. The outfits I’m about to show worked perfectly for the weather and activities. 

You’ll see how I applied a few of the layering techniques, versatile pieces, and style tips mentioned earlier. You’ll probably notice I wore more skirts and dresses than trousers because I don’t love jeans, and being petite but curvy I find it difficult to wear trousers and sneakers, although I want to work on that because I love the look.

PS: There’s nothing wrong with looking like a tourist, with your outfits or your maps. So my best advice is to wear what makes you feel good and comfortable. I would, however, suggest keeping it put together and avoiding the extra casual looks, and anything that is too revealing.

My husband and I also coordinated our vacation wardrobes, while keeping our individual styles. Mixing his more casual aesthetic with my feminine pieces resulted in outfits that were practical, comfortable, and Italian-inspired.

The following snapshots, clips, and outfit details will demonstrate how to successfully pack for an October trip. Use them as inspiration to plan versatile looks that transition smoothly from day to night, handle the temperatures, and channel that effortless Italian fashion sense.

What Not to Wear in Italy in October

While Italy is generally accepting of diverse styles, certain clothing choices can peg you as an obvious tourist, and even worse as slouchy or tasteless. Avoid these common mistakes to blend in better:

– Activewear – Skip the yoga pants and sneakers around town. Reserve athleisure for the gym or hiking trails.

– Shorts – Tempting with the warm weather, but shorts past knee-length look out of place. Opt for skirts or dresses instead of shorts

– Flip flops – Leave beach footwear there and choose leather sandals or low wedges for city strolling. Only pack sandals if you are going to central and Southern Italy in early October.

– Fanny packs – Convenient but not chic. Use a crossbody bag or a canvas tote instead.

– Graphic tees – Italians keep prints subtle. Pack solid-colored or striped shirts. Florals are also a good option, but don’t overdo it.

💡 Wear it this way: Jeans, activewear, hats, and other borderline items can work in October in Italy if styled intentionally. Pair nice jeans with leather loafers, a blazer, and a scarf. The key is pulling together an elegant, polished look.

Avoid overly casual, wrinkled, or revealing clothes. Pick tailored, timeless pieces in classic colors to channel la Dolce vita!

What to Wear in Italy in October: North to South

Dolomites Packing List

Dolomites packing list
Dolomites Packing List for October

Here’s what I suggest packing for the Dolomites if you also plan to have sightseeing days in cities and towns like Bolzano, Merano, and Brixen:

In summary, when you explore the Dolomites and enjoy sightseeing in charming cities like Bolzano, Merano, and Brixen, it’s crucial to pack for diverse activities and varying weather conditions. This well-rounded packing list ensures you’re prepared for both mountain adventures and city exploration in style and comfort.

What to Wear in Milan in October

When visiting Milan in October, be sure to pack these essentials to dress like a local:

In summary, dressing like a local in Milan means combining elegance with practicality. Milan is a city where fashion and function go hand in hand, so these essentials will help you blend in seamlessly with the city’s stylish residents while enjoying your October visit.

What to Wear in Venice in October

Here’s what I would include in your Italy packing list if you’re planning to go to Venice in October:

In conclusion, when you go to Venice, in October, it’s crucial to have a well-thought-out packing list to ensure you’re prepared for various weather conditions. These items, along with the versatile clothing suggestions, will help you make the most of your Venice trip while staying comfortable and stylish.

What to Wear in Tuscany in October

what to wear in Tuscany in October inspiration board
What to wear in Tuscan in October

As you plan for your trip to Italy in October, use this checklist to pack the perfect wardrobe for enjoying la dolce vita in this picturesque region. Don’t forget to scroll up to see the actual outfits I wore last October while visiting Tuscany.

When leaving for Italy in October, make sure to plan what to wear to experience Tuscany to the fullest. This trip to Italy is your chance to immerse yourself in the region’s unique culture and beauty.

For a well-rounded packing list to help you throughout your journey, ensure you pack a couple of cardigans, a sweater, and a scarf. These items will add a touch of warmth and style to your ensemble while exploring Tuscany.

In conclusion, October is a good month for a Tuscany adventure, and with these outfit suggestions, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy the stunning landscapes, cultural treasures, and culinary delights that this region has to offer. So, plan your wardrobe wisely and make the most of your Italian escapade.

What to Wear in Rome in October

Wondering what to wear and how to pack for Rome in October? Use this essential packing list for Rome to help you and your partner pack for your visit to the capital of Italy in the fall.

Be sure to pack layers to handle the transitional weather. Don’t forget to pack tailored trousers, leather flats and loafers, and a stylish scarf. You’ll want to wear layers and pack at least one nice jacket. Shoes to wear in Italy include sneakers but don’t pack flip-flops.

The key is versatile pieces that will help you look stylish during your visit to Rome, without looking like an obvious tourist. This list has the essentials to pack so you don’t look out of place during your October trip to Italy.

Ready to step off the plane in Rome looking like a stylish Italian? Make sure your suitcase includes:

– Blazers and a light jacket

– Shirts and lightweight tops

– Tailored trousers, dresses, skirts

– Leather flats, loafers, or sneakers

– Trench coat, scarf, umbrella

What to wear in Sicily in October

what to wear in Sicily in October
What to wear in Sicily in October

When you’re planning your trip to Sicily in October, it’s crucial to pack accordingly for this picturesque Italian island. October is still a good month for traveling to Sicily, and as you plan what to wear, consider the Italian wear style that’s prevalent on this enchanting island.

To create a versatile and stylish capsule wardrobe for Sicily, here are some clothing items to include:

To make your life easier, consider using packing cubes to keep your capsule wardrobe for Sicily organized. As you decide what to wear in Sicily in October, remember that Sicily offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and stunning landscapes, so dressing in Sicily with a touch of sophistication is the key to enjoying your trip.

In conclusion, October in Sicily is a fantastic time to explore, and with the right clothing choices, you can seamlessly blend in with the Italian lifestyle unique to this island. So, plan what to wear wisely and relish your Sicilian adventure.

italian style for men

What do Guys Wear in Italy?

The same layering essentials apply to stylish Italian men in the fall. Focus on bringing tailored yet casual pieces like chinos, button-down shirts in neutral hues, lightweight merino sweaters that can be worn over the shoulders, blazers for a polished look, and leather loafers or nice sneakers. Don’t forget a quality rain jacket and accessories like scarves and fedoras. For the Dolomites or hikes, pack performance layers and footwear. 

The Italian man’s wardrobe may be more streamlined, but smart fabrics, perfect fit, and fine details are key. Focus on versatile, high-quality staples in natural tones to put together outfits that take you effortlessly from sightseeing to evening cocktails.

What to Pack for Italy in October: Packing Guide & List

what to pack for Italy in October - packing list
What to pack for Italy in October – packing list

This packing list covers essentials for the moderate temperatures of central Italy in October. It’s also perfect when packing for Northern Italian cities at the beginning of October, and you can also use it to guide your outfit planning for Southern Italy at the end of the month.

Be sure to also check the recommended packing lists earlier in this guide for northern regions like Milan and the Dolomites as well as southern spots like Sicily. The further north or south you travel, the more you’ll need to adjust your suitcase accordingly by adding or removing pieces suited for colder or warmer weather.

The core items in this checklist will form a solid starting point for packing for any Italian adventure this fall. Combine them with region-specific pieces from earlier sections to ensure you have the perfect wardrobe no matter where your travels take you!

Before You Pack for Fall, Check Italy Live Cameras

One of my best packing tips for any trip is to look at live webcams from the destination. It gives you a real-time glimpse into what the weather and style look like on the ground. 

For Italy, I like to browse webcams in the specific city or region I’m visiting to get a sense of temperatures and how locals are dressing. Seeing coats versus short sleeves or rain versus sunshine helps finalize my packing list.

Some great sites to browse live Italian cameras are:

– Skyline Webcams. Here’s an example of a webcam you can look at if going to Milan. You will also find webcams for the main cities like Rome, Florence, and Palermo.

– Val Gardena Webcams for the Dolomites. Here’s a good one for Ortisei.

– Brixen Webcam. For smaller towns like Brixen, you will have to Google and find town-specific websites, as Skyline doesn’t usually cover them.

Take a few minutes before packing to check the feeds. It’s amazing how much you can learn about real-time conditions versus forecasts alone. With the visual information, you can confidently plan outfits and pieces to bring. I hope this habit of mine can help you better prepare for your October Italian trip, and any other ones to come!

Final Thoughts on Wardrobe for Italy in October

From rattling gondolas in Venice to sipping wine among Tuscan vines, Italy dazzles in autumn. With this guide’s tips on dressing like an Italian, you can confidently curate a versatile travel wardrobe to explore it in style. Just be sure to check the local weather before packing to finetune your layers.

For more on planning an early Fall trip, see my Italy in October article on the best of Italy this month. Whether it’s your first or fifth visit, I hope this advice helps you blend in beautifully among the effortlessly elegant Italians!

Frequently Asked Questions About Fall in Italy

What should I bring to Italy in October?

October is a transitional weather month, so packing layers and versatile pieces that work for warm days and cool nights is key. Essentials are light layers, jackets, comfortable, accessories, and clothing in neutral, earthy tones that can be mixed and matched into outfits.

What season is it in Italy in October?

October is autumn in Italy, as summer transitions into cooler fall weather. Northern regions feel more like fall while southern areas still hold onto summer. Overall expect mild days, crisp nights, and the possibility of rain mixed with sunny spells. 

Is the water warm in Italy in October?

In early October, the water is still warm enough for swimming in southern Italy and some central/coastal regions. But by mid-to-late October, the water becomes quite chilly, averaging around 70°F on coasts and cooler inland. Wetsuits would be needed for prolonged swimming.

What do people wear in Florence in October?

Florence sees more variable fall weather in October. Stylish layers like denim jackets over dresses, cardigans paired with skirts, and sneakers or loafers are commonly worn. Dark wash jeans or trousers can also be dressed up for going out.

Is Tuscany hot in October?

Tuscany enjoys pleasantly warm daytime highs around 70°F and cooler nights in the 50s during October. Layering is key, with light fabrics and versatile pieces like jackets that can come on and off. Long pants, skirts, and dresses with sneakers or sandals (only for early October) are comfortable during the day.

How to pack for Tuscany in October? 

Pack clothing in seasonal colors that you can mix and match, like button-downs, jeans, dresses, cardigans, and layers. Bring a jacket for cooler nights and evenings out. 

What colors to wear in Florence Italy?

Neutrals, earth tones, and fall hues like olive green, rust orange, and deeper reds and purples are perfect for channeling Florence’s sophisticated style. Black, beige, cream, grey and navy also make elegant color choices year-round.

What should I wear to dinner in Italy?

Opt for smart casual at Italian restaurants – think jeans or trousers with a button-down or nicer top for women, or a jacket on top for men. Footwear like loafers or ankle boots adds polish. Dresses or skirts are fine too. Don’t wear shorts with sneakers.

Is it OK to wear jeans in Italy?

Avoid heavily distressed jeans. But darker washes styled with nice shoes and a blazer can work for traveling in Italy and casual dinners out. 

What shoes to wear in the Dolomites?

For hiking the Dolomites in October, waterproof hiking boots with good traction and ankle support are a must. Bring quality wool hiking socks. When not on trails, opt for stylish sneaker alternatives or casual boots to stay warm and dry.

Alessia Spampinato