kit list, south italy, what to pack -


Written by Alex Varilone, travel superstar and all-round awesome soul

Aaaaahh il bel paese. Caffé. Amore. Pizza. Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and rightly so. With beaches to rival the Bahamas, food so delicious that even your taste buds won’t be prepared, and the most welcoming and friendly human beings on the planet, you’ve chosen your next holiday spot well.

It may seem strange to have a kit list solely for the south but believe me, the mezzogiorno as it is otherwise known, is a whole other country. Italy was only ‘unified’ in 1871 but today it still remains very divided. Each region, each village even, has its own recipes, dialects and ways of living that differ from the next.

Now, never have I felt as content as during my time spent in the sunny south, but there are a few things I wish I had packed to make my stay there even more perfect:

  • A notepad – Italian is the most beautiful language in the world. As a male, you’re going to want to jot down those pickup lines for future reference. As a female, you’re going to want to be prepared with an adequate response to such comments. Note: they tend to be recycled on most tourists (the pickup lines, not the notepads)!
  • A suitable adapter – Many places in Italy follow a slightly different rule to the rest of Europe when it comes to plug sockets and, like the bureaucracy, politics and driving within the country, there is no consistency here. Get yourself a type F and L adaptor to be on the safe side. Type L has 3 narrow pins in a row as opposed to 2 thicker ones.
  • Comfortable sandals – The terrain of the south is rough and wild. Hopefully if you’ve done your research on where to go, you’ll end up walking a little to get to some of the best beaches (that’s Porto Selvaggio in Salento - 40 minute walk from civilisation but trust me, it will be worth it). Get yourself some comfy sandals so that you can enjoy your time there without blisters! Lots of the most beautiful beaches are rocky, so choose some waterproof ones that you can walk down to the sea in without killing your feet first.
  • Clothes line – This depends on how you travel, but I would highly recommend camping. It has good vibes and is a great way to meet the locals. 
  • Corkscrew – You are going to want to pick up some wine en route (recommended: Nero d’Avola from Sicily or Primitivo from Salento)
  • Sunscreen and a hat – for obvious reasons
  • Insect repellent/Citronella candle – I camped in Salento a while ago and racked up about 40 mosquito bites on each leg. During my trip to southern India the year after, I didn’t get bitten once. You might not get a tropical disease, but insect bites are so annoying and really unsightly!
  • Portable Power Bank
  • Water bottle
  • Cotton t-shirts
  • Earplugs


  • Expensive jewellery– Sicily, Naples, the Mafia, the Camorra blah blah blah have NOTHING to do with why I suggest you leave expensive jewellery at home. It will just make your life easier. I’d say the same if you were going to Australia.
  • Homely snacks and goodies – No need for tea bags, make the most of the greatest coffee on earth.
  • Anything woolen – It’s going to be hot. Maybe just bring a cardigan or light fleece in case the evening temperature drops slightly

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