Packing for any trip is a chore, but packing for Sicily in springtime is a mystery! Our Experience Sicily clients receive a comprehensive packing list in their tour preparation packets, yet I don’t get into specifics about clothes because there is such a difference depending on the time of year. Just like anywhere during this “in like a lion out like a lamb” season, it’s hard to predict what to wear for your spring vacation in Sicily.
I’m packing right now to leave today, so I thought I’d share what I came up with.
NB Temperatures throughout the island can be variable–and certainly from coastal towns to internal mountain towns, there will be a wide variety of temperatures, but generally in March, April, and the beginning of May the practice to follow is to dress in layers. Nights and mornings can be in the 40s, while the days can vary between high 50s to high 70s.
Dressing in layers is the key to success!
What to Pack for your Spring Vacation in Sicily
1. Windbreaker or other light jacket that can be easily folded and put into your day bag (and taken out). (I recommend an ultralight down jacket. You’ll be so happy to have this for Etna, the sea, and evenings out.)
2. Medium-weight scarf (Excellent for changing temperatures.)
3. Something “nice” that you can wear to Easter church services (If you happen to be going to Sicily during Holy Week.) like a dress or slacks and a button down shirt and tie.
4. For women, I recommend sweaters and/or cardigans that can be easily taken off and put back on for the variable temperatures throughout the day.
5. Closed-toed shoes (It’s still too chilly for sandals.)
6. Sneakers and long pants (hiking pants, leggings, yoga pants) for your Mount Etna excursion. You’ll start the morning in a long-sleeved t-shirt and windbreaker (for example), then as you ascend the volcano, you’ll add your sweater (or two on top), your wind breaker, your scarf, and this is where having a cap and some gloves will come in handy. I have an ultralight down jacket that I bring with me for Etna and leisure boat cruises from Taormina’s Isola Bella and Siracusa’s Ortigia. If you are doing a true hike, then bring hiking boots and thick socks. You’ll be happy you did.
7. Jeans are fine, but if you wear them to a restaurant, be sure to have nice shoes that go with them. Stay away from combining sneakers and jeans for dining in restaurants. (Unless you have statement sneakers.)
8. For women, I bring a combination of skirts, dresses, and jeans that I wear with tailored tops. Leggings are OK–but not as prevalent in Sicily as in the U.S. They are easy to pack and mix and match, of course, so consider wearing them with a longer shirt or blouse to dress them up.
9. For men, nice jeans and slacks are excellent. Jeans are best with statement sneakers and/or comfortable dress shoes. Bring a long-sleeved, button down shirt for restaurants. A jacket and tie if you are planning on going to 5-star establishments; otherwise, a button-down shirt will guarantee you optimal service (Italians dress to impress when they are in restaurants.)
10. Always bring a bathing suit with you for the spa and sauna (You never know!).
11. Warm pajamas. Heat is not common in Sicily, so even in spring, you’ll be happy to have warmer pajamas for colder hotel rooms. Flip flops or slippers for cold floors is a good idea too.
12. Sun glasses
13. Umbrella for passing showers
I hope that this is helpful. Remember that Sicilians, both men and women, are fashion conscious and take a lot of pride in how they present themselves. They dress very well. Note that they find it disrespectful when someone is not dressed appropriately. You’ll receive better service everywhere you go if you “do as Sicilians do.”
This is a photo of me in Catania–dressed for “town” and in layers, so I can shed a layer as the temperatures change throughout the day.
I welcome comments and questions and suggestions about how to pack for Sicily in spring.
Photo Credit: Chiara Musumeci Fotografia