12 Outfits I Wore in Italy (Rome, Milan, Venice & Abruzzo)


Oh, Italy. You were an impossible dream to my teenage self! While the dream changed as I evolved, it was so nice to finally have this travel experience.

So, we — my kids, husband, and in-laws — got back from Italy two weeks ago. We were in four cities: Milan, Venice, Vasto (in the Abruzzo region), and Rome. It was my first time in Europe, and packing for it was an amazing personal experience. I aimed to feel confident, beautiful, and as much of myself as possible. I wanted to take up space. 

Summer Outfit Staples From Our Trip To Italy

It was all about staying true to myself and feeling confident in my own skin. While every piece I decided to bring was beloved, these were the four travel essentials that I wore the most:

What I Wore In Italy: A Summer Outfit Packing List

Jump ahead to what I wore in the different regions: Milan | Venice | Vasto (Abruzzo) | Rome

In my travel photos below, you'll see several printed button-ups that I added to my closet throughout the years as well as how I'm styling them in different ways.

Top (similar) l shorts l sandals l Bag

In addition to telling you what I packed, I want to share the emotional process of packing and good it felt to pack outfits that helped me feel like myself — in all the ways. There was a time in my life when I only wear my artisan/Indigenous-made jewelry in Colombia. But I wouldn’t wear it in the States, and I would dress differently to try to fit in. While things have changed for me and in the world since that time, packing for my first trip to Europe brought back memories — it became a moment of self-reflection. I am grateful for how far I’ve come and I continue working on how to honor and love the most marginalized part of my identity. I’ll never hide my origins again.

Another part of my packing process was reflecting on my changing body. I’ve changed sizes twice in the past two years — many things don’t fit anymore. During this time, I’ve realized the pounds I was always so scared to gain aren’t actually that scary. I look pretty amazing! — even when my mind is playing its old tricks on me.

I am also reminded how sometimes we get these ideas about what we “should” wear depending on our size, age, etc. It can feel like because our bodies have changed they are not worthy of clothes that fit, or of being seen and admired, so we secretly wait to “go back” to how we once were.

I call that BS. Yes, we can change our lifestyle and sometimes it’s more comfortable to cover certain parts of our bodies we don’t feel confident about. But depriving ourselves of things we love robs us of joy.

What I Wore In Milan

Milan felt like the dressiest of the cities we visited. I thought it would be similar to New York, but it turned out to be a lot more both classic and relaxed. I didn’t see many sandals. Instead, people wore leather jackets and boots. On a future occasion, I would join in, and ditch the sandals for closed-toe shoes.

1. A Travel Outfit Ft. Black Sweatpants

These Spanx pants were perfect for my travel outfit.

  PantsSneakers l Jumpsuit for a similar look

Not only were we spending the night on the airplane, but I also got my period that day, so all black was a must. These Spanx pants were perfect as they’re lightweight, warm enough for the plane and still fresh enough to walk around Milan looking for lunch when we arrived.

2. A Black Summer Dress

This long black summer dress is super versatile & I love this photo with my husband.

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I definitely regretted not checking the weather that day, but oh well. Live and learn. It was hot, but I wasn’t expecting it to cool down and rain so fast! We got a little wet while walking from the train to our Airbnb. But all good, the wedges are incredibly comfortable. I love this photo with my husband.

3. Dressy Denim Cargo Pants & A Printed Button-Up

 I can't say enough good things about these pants. They're chic, comfy &  just different.

Top (similar) l pants l sandals l Bag (similar)

A great pair of pants will go a long way in Milan — the local style tends towards more covered and formal. I can’t say enough good things about these pants. They’re chic, comfy, and just different. They were the only “jeans” I wore.

What I Wore In Venice

Damn, it’s hot in Venice. Even if in the weather app it looked like it would be similar to Milan, it felt way hotter. In Venice, you can wear all your summer favorites and show a little more skin when you’re not inside churches. I highly recommend doing the Kayak tour. It was the highlight of our days in this beautiful city.

4. Jean Shorts & A Statement Blouse

These are the only jean shorts I'm wearing right now. I love the non-distressed fabric & length.

Top (similar) l Shorts l sandals l Bag (similar)

These are the only jean shorts I’m wearing right now (while I wait for these Reformation ones I’m crazy to try). I love the non-distressed fabric, length, and size of the leg opening. They are a little big in the waist but I fix that with a belt.

Now let’s talk about outfit-making tops like these — I got mine about two years ago from Farm Rio and it has a very special place in my closet. I’ve rounded up some with a similar playful vibe. Just wear them with your favorite shorts, flat sandals, or sneakers and you’re ready to go.

5. A Jersey Skirt & A Printed Button-Up

I've never realized how comfortable and practical jersey skirts could be! Mine is from Open Edit.

Top (similar) l skirt (similar) l sandals l Bag

I’ve never realized how comfortable and practical jersey skirts could be. They feel incredibly comfortable while making you look amazing. Mine is old from Open Edit but check out some others below.

6. Comfy High-Waisted Shorts & A Printed Button-Up

Printed button-ups were everything for me on this trip!  The long sleeves kept me covered from the sun (+ prepared to tour religious sites that require more coverage) while still looking fabulous.

Top (similar) l shorts l sandals l Bag

Let’s talk about these super-comfy high-waisted shorts. I got them last year hoping they would fit my thighs and not only did they do that, they are beyond comfortable — yet still looking put-together. You will see this top in a few other outfits but styled in other ways for more coverage. This top is a button-up that I fold the collar in and then tie under my bust line. It gives a whole different (sexier) crop-top vibe.

Printed button-ups were everything for me on this trip! The long sleeves kept me covered from the sun (and prepared to tour religious sites that require more coverage) while still looking fabulous.

What I Wore In Vasto, Abruzzo

Vasto is in Abruzzo — which is the coldest region we visited — but it was my favorite as it was in the low season, is by the coast, and is more relaxed overall.

7. Trousers & A Bodysuit

An easy outfit! I like to balance wider-leg pants with a snug top or bodysuit.

Top l Sneakers l Bag (similar)

An easy outfit! I like to balance wider-leg pants with a snug top or bodysuit. It’s a perfect balance. To feel more elevated I ditched the sweatpants for trousers.

8. An Easy Beach Outfit

I love this Everlane shirt. It was my "jacket" for this trip.

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We ended up taking a quick trip to the beach, so I threw these shorts and this shirt over my swimsuit. It’s not very visible in this photo but I love this Everlane shirt. It was my “jacket” for this trip.

9. A Maxi Dress With Sleeves

If you're a long-time reader you may remember this dress. It is my goddess dress.

If you’re a long-time reader you may remember this dress. It’s my goddess dress. I was surprised that it still fit — a little more snugly — but it fit. I love a stunning long-sleeve dress because it can be super comfortable while still making a statement and making me feel like a goddess. See some below:

What I Wore In Rome

Rome was busy and hot, but super fun. The Colosseum + Ancient Rome tour was my kids’ favorite. We planned our outfits to cover our knees and shoulders, thinking it was required at the Vatican but once we arrived we saw lots of people wearing shorts and sleeveless. Turns out that if you’re only visiting the Vatican Museum you don’t need to cover your knees and shoulders. We hadn’t realized we were only doing the museum, which honestly was fine for me. I was tired and ready to come home.

In this section, you’ll see the return of many of the outfit essentials above but styled in different ways.

10. A Crop Top! …With My Fave Cargo Pants

I've found similar pants with that sophisticated cargo vibe.

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Second time wearing these pants during my trip and I haven’t seen anything like them anywhere. I love that. They are stretchy and very easy to style. I’ve found similar pants with that sophisticated cargo vibe, you can see them below.

11. Silky Joggers With A Printed Button-Up

Time & time again these pants prove to be amazing in the heat + great for travel.

Pants l Top (similar) l Shoes

Time and time again these pants prove to be amazing in the heat. I first got them last summer and I love them even more. They are an investment but you’ll get that cost-per-wear down to nothing since you can dress them down or up easily. I wish I’d had more days to wear them again.

12. Cute Sneakers With Shorts & A Blouse

Honestly, I'm not a big sneaker-with-everything person, but I do love these sneakers.

Shorts (also at Bloomingdales) l Top (similar) l Sneakers

Honestly, I’m not a big sneakers-with-everything person, but I do love these court sneakers from Vince. I wear them more often here back in my casual mom life. I still love the platform, style and pop of color.

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And that is a wrap! I wore everything I brought. As I usually overpack, I was actually pretty proud of my packing for this trip. My dream trip is to go to the Amazon — Ron keeps insisting I need to pack lighter so maybe now he’ll consider going. Ha! We are definitely going, not this year, but maybe the next one? We’ll see.

What were your favorite outfits? Any upcoming trips to Italy?



Do you want to fine-tune your style? Learn how to shop and pack smarter? Well, I have exciting news! My brand new website is live — there are several different ways to work with me. I have two spots left in July for my ‘Discover Your Colors” sessionsYou can also join me on IG (@julietatorresd) for more casual-chic outfits. I’d love to see you there.

Focusing on what brings me joy & comfort helped me pack light(er) for our Italian vacation! Here are the 12 summer outfit essentials that I wore on repeat.