So you’ve decided to go on a yoga retreat in Italy and it's time to be packing your bags... As you get ready I would like to offer some suggestions about what to bring. The number one suggestion is not to “over pack” because I want you to have as stress-free travel experience as possible. And the other key thing to know is that if you do forget something you will be able to get it in Italy. The conveniences we have here in the United States are found there too.
What to Wear
Yes, it’s true, Italians are famously fashionable! Therefor consider your comfort level when you’re in Florence or Siena, Volterra or Rome whether you are going to feel less than your best if wearing casual jeans around the elegant Italians. When in Italy consider doing as the Italians (or Europeans) do and dress in easy to wear but stylish clothing. You will be moving around walking as you tour different cities so pack clothing that won’t wrinkle easily and for sure wear layers so that you can transition easily from cooler mornings to warm afternoons and wrap up again in the evenings. A great suggestion I offer women is to pack clothes all along a similar color scheme so you can easily mix and match. In this way you don’t have to have complete shirt-skirt-jacket combos when you can interchange your blouses/shirts, skirts, dresses, couple pair of pants and one cardigan, and jacket.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
*For visiting the great art cities of Italy like Siena, Pienza, San Gimignano you'll see many women in dresses and skirts and men in trousers. You won't see a lot of folks wearing casual jeans or white sneakers. So don't be afraid to dress like you would for a nice dinner here in the U.S.
*For yoga bring clothes that you can stretch and breathe in--but don't over-bring clothes. On any Yoga retreat fellow guests don't care if they see you in the same outfits and you won't be sweating to the degree that you can't reuse what you have. Therefore pack fewer pants, more shirts and not just athletic tops. Layers are always effective.
*Bring shoes that you are comfortable doing some light hiking in, and also shoes that you are comfortable walking in-you will be doing a lot of walking! In Europe, it is rare to wear athletic "running shoes" unless you are hiking or working out, so keep this in mind.
*Anytime of year bring layers of clothing (a sweater or jacket), as it will get cooler in the evenings.
*Bring a swimsuit, as you might be visiting thermal baths and hot springs, along with the Mediterranean, or enjoying the pool at your agriturismo.
*Bring a yoga mat if you prefer to practice on your own mat however ask if mats will be provided. And remember there is no need to bring your best or heaviest mat. If you are bringing your mat you might find it easiest to fold it like a book inside your checked bag.
*Go light on bringing electronics, if you need to bring something no need to bring your ipad, laptop,and iphone; pick one.
*Yes towel service is provided everywhere but not like what you are used to here in the U.S. There is a lot less waste. It is also not standard in Europe to have wash clothes so if you like bring one of your own.
*Yes plan on buying 1-2 bottles of wine to travel home with (unless you planned to have larger quantities shipped which is very economical). If possible buy a padded zip to bag that holds one 750ml bottle.
*Yes you will need Voltage Converter and Plug Adapters. Some hair dryers, camera chargers, laptops and cell phones are dual voltage, but most need a voltage converter too. Check the label on each item you plan to bring. If it says “Input 100V-240V 50 / 60 Hz,” the item is dual voltage and only needs a plug adapter. If you don’t find this information on your appliance, never plug it directly into a foreign wall outlet. You must use a voltage converter to “step down” the 220-volt current.
*Speak to your bank to ensure you have security clearance to use your credit card in Italy and memorize your pin.
*Do check to find out what your daily ATM withdrawal limit is before going. This will be the easiest way to get cash.
*Make copies of your passport and tickets and keep them in a safe place in your luggage. If your passport is stolen, a copy will speed up the replacement process. Leave a second copy of your passport with a family member back home. It’s also a good idea to bring telephone numbers for your credit card company.
*Get some Euros before you leave. Go to your bank at home and exchange a small amount of cash, just enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. That way upon arriving in Italy and an ATM machine is down or hard to find, you aren't stressed. But don’t go nuts exchanging too much. And don’t exchange money at the airport because they usually charge an exorbitant fee and they never give you the true going exchange rate, but always give you less in euros than your home-country currency is worth.
Packing List Essentials
· Airline Tickets
· Picture ID
· Some Cash (in euros)
· Copies of hotel confirmations
· Emergency phone numbers
· Contact numbers to report credit cards lost
· Prescription and OTC medications
· Currency converter
· Plug adaptor/convertor
· Backup batteries
· Extra film or memory card
· Wine bag carrier
· Compression clothing bags or oversized zip lock bags to pack clothes flat and avoid wrinkles