Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Travel Style: Take My Advice Please

  It's almost summer and that means the travel season is upon us. For those of you planning on traveling to Italy, I can't express enough the importance of traveling in style. Why is that so important you ask? Because Italians take style seriously and if you don't have it you will be spotted from a mile away. Stylishly blending in will help you to avoid pickpockets. It will help you to be treated better and it's always good to represent your country in a smart and stylish way.
                                             Avoid and Switch
1. Avoid: White sneakers and flip flops. Leave them at home. Italians wear sneakers but usually hip colored Converse or Adidas. Italians (and most Europeans) do not wear flip flops. Too casual. You will stand out wearing them.

Switch to: Any of the stylish and comfortable following, ballet flats, Born sandals, driving moccasins or loafers.

2. Avoid: Backpacks. I know, I know backpacks leave your hands free to take pictures and read guidebooks but unless you are hiking Vesuvius, don't walk around Naples with a giant unattractive sack on your back. Even Italian children carry bookbags, not backpacks. 

Switch to: The other hands free idea, a cross body or messenger bag. You can still watch and protect your items but at the same time, it's easily accessible for you to grab you camera or guidebooks.

3. Avoid: Shorts. Unless you are at the beach in which case you might even be overdressed because at Italian beaches men wear speedos and the women are often topless.

Switch to: A jersey wrap dress. A dress can take you from a museum to a nice restaurant without ever having to change. A wrap dress looks good on all body types, thank you Diane Von Furstenberg, and a jersey fabric doesn't wrinkle in your suitcase. It is also good for keeping cool and comfortable.

4. Avoid: Being seen with Rick Steves. When I was last in Florence, I couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a dozen people walking while reading Europe Through the Backdoor. Don't get me wrong, I love Rick. I have been to his lectures, subscribe to his YouTube channel and I even had my picture taken with him, but everyone walking around with the same exact book is like carrying a big bright arrow pointing right at you.

Switch to: The Rick Steves App! Less to carry, easy to use, same Rick. Find the app here.

Follow this guide, travel safe, and if you are in Italy this summer, CHECK OUT TORINO (Turin)! You will love it.


kelly said...

Great post! Love that dres, btw

Fausta Pavesio said...

Great post Chelsea, how are you?

Anonymous said...

All great advice for sure, especially the white trainers. ugh. I see lots of people in Rapallo in flip-flops, but mostly men and mostly at or on the way to the beach. Personally I can't do without the flip-flops. How about all the 6" heels these days? Not great for touring, but they sure seem to be everywhere - along with summer boots - what's that about?

TB said...

So helpful! I am going to Europe this summer and was trying to find some articles for packing ideas. I was so worried about walking around like a fool while I was there, but this write up helps. Not that I ever wear sneakers and shorts, but I was curious about the flip flop thing. Thanks for writing this!

jpondry said...

I like your writing style and I love the subjects of your articles so much that I introduced you to my facebook fans over at You can be sure I'll be popping by once in a while to check on your articles.


jpondry said...

Oh I forgot to mention that I am definitely downloading Rick's iphone apps. Thanks for sharing.

Grow For Life said...

Hi Chelsea, funnily enough I just came to visit from Joyce's fb page. I loved your post, we are about to return to Italy to live and for the last year have been renovating so it's time for a style update and some shopping. Love the alternatives to backpacks! Last time we lived in Italy we were close to Saluzzo, Turin was a favorite spot. Ciao for now
Lisa from

PS having trouble with the identity gizmo so hence the link above...

PS odd coincidence, checked you at blog of the week and top ad on the page was for a jucy camper.... we just today got back from five days in a jucy camper??? Is it just me that notices these things? ciao again.