Italy 2015: Packing List

We leave for Italy tonight and I am over the moon. I am already counting down the minutes until I can leave the office.

Whenever a holiday approaches, I'm always like, "I NEEDED THIS SO MUCH," but this time, I really mean it. With the aggressive winter we've just suffered through and the fact that I haven't used any of my vacation days yet this year and we're already into the second quarter, I'm due a proper holiday. The past weekend in DC was a lovely mini-break but I need to just not be at work for a full week and since I'll be abroad, it will be incredibly easy to avoid phone calls and emails.

Coming up with a packing list for Italy was quite trying. I've had this ideal in my head of lovely springy weather but it's been a bit difficult to really get in the spirit because it's been so inappropriately chilly here. Did I mention that it snowed last Tuesday evening and that the next morning, I had to chisel my way into my ice-coated car? Yeah, so despite checking the weather reports for the cities we're visiting (which claim temperatures averaging 65F), I was having a difficult time shaking the need for sweaters and coats.
But, thanks to my trusty little Polyvore account , the heater I have pointed in my face right now, and the fact that I experienced lovely warm weather in DC this past weekend, it's a little easier to imagine what it's like to not be shivering and I think I've got my packing list down.
I managed to sort out a selection of outfits that include some thicker dresses (that are specifically meant for this transition-y weather) while still sticking with a bright springtime-y palette of brights and florals. I debated whether or not a raincoat should be included, but I figured I'd rather lug it around and not need it than be wishing I'd brought it with me so I threw it in.

The other stressful part of packing for this particular trip was that I read so many tips from other bloggers who said to dress well because Italy is full of fashionistas and fashionistos who will make you feel like a slob if you aren't properly dressed. You'd think I would've felt this stress every time I've gone to France, but honestly, French women are simply chic. I think Italian women are a bit more purposeful (and can oftentimes be really fancy). Unfortunately for me, my wardrobe is filled with mostly high street items, but I'm hoping that no one will notice.

So, a week or two leading up to the trip, I start making a big messy pile of my crap on top of my suitcase. It's a weird habit of mine, but it's just what I like to do. Mostly, it prevents me from accidentally wearing a holiday outfit to work and getting it dirty but it also makes the actual packing day (which happens a day or two before the trip) so much easier because all I have to do is fold and tuck.
Here's my neat little stack of packing cubes.
I am so ready!! I started learning Italian maybe a month ago (using Duolingo) but I'll be perfectly honest and say that my brain is old and decrepit now and I'm having a hard time suppressing the French in my brain. However, I have mastered "questo" (this) and "quello" (that) with an impeccable accent too (that's sarcasm). I know those two words will certainly come in handy. I think when I was in Italy in 2009, I kept on saying, "oui" so at least I've got a slight leg up this time.