What should I wear to Italy this summer and how should I expect to be treated? (I'm mixed Asian American)

My family wants to go to Italy. We'd visit Rome, Orvieto, Assisi, Florence, Padua, Venice, Verona, and Milan. We'd go with a tour company that we've used before. I heard you have to have your knees and shoulders covered to get into the churches so I planned on wearing midi skirts and dresses and bringing a light cardigan or shawl. But then I heard the cobblestones and marble are very painful to walk on without orthopedic shoes or tennis shoes, which I definitely don't want to be seen in. Before I knew this I was going to wear wedge sandals most of the time and I'm a dancer so I'm quite used to having my feet hurt but I don't think that's a good idea. What type of shoes should I wear that would match my rather formal attire? Or should I go with wearing leggings and fashion sneaker type shoes instead? Is going to be very hot (upper 80s). Also, (not trying to offend anyone), but I heard Italians are very racist and minority tourists often get treated poorly and pick pocketed and ripped off. I'm wary of my belongings and observant, but I'm also pretty easy to piss off. I know my mood and trip will be ruined if people treat me differently/ make jokes because I'm Asian American... I'm also adopted and my family is Caucasian my dad is half Italian. I'm mixed myself. I plan on learning some Italian before we go but I'm not going to go if I won't be treated decently. Can anyone offer some insight on what to wear and what to expect if I go?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • If you're going to be walking a lot, you'll neeed ood quality walking shoes for those cobbblestones, not heels or 'fashionable' footwear that isn't designed for a lot of walking.

    A lot of Italians are uncomfortable with non Italian immigrants, but if they know you're a tourist, you'll get treated well.

    Expect guys to whistle, pat your on the behind, and the like; Italians aren't PC people, and they do things that would get them accused of harassment in the US. On the other hand, any real violence against women is MUCH rarer in Italy, it's much safer in that sense.

    But watch where you keep your money; purses that a professional can easily pilfer from shouldn't be carried. Especially in Rome, the pickpockets are very skilled. They know tourists carry money, cell phones, credit cards. But they'll target any tourist in an equal opportunity way, they won't pick on you because you're Asian, except to the extent that they know a lot of Asians carry a lot of cash and don't use credit cards so much.

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What Guys Said 4

  • I think maxi skirts always look nice and fashionable.

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  • wear what you want. you shouldn't ask us. only you know what you like to wear

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  • You should be fine. Race always takes a back seat to hot. So if you look good and dress well, you'll get fine service wherever you go.

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  • Have been there many times and yes, you ahve to take care of your belongings but that has nothing to do with your race. Your problem is rather, that you will easily be spotted as a tourist due to your looks and, as I know American tourists, to the way you dress. The best is: casual with long pants and a shirt covering shoulders and belly. Also take care to not walk around like a tourist - which will be hard when you travel by group (something I never understood anyway :D), keep your camera (best a small one) well hidden and put your money somewhere safe.

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    • Thanks for your answer. I've heard of Asian people being refused service at restaurants and such so I was worried. Do you have any advice on shoes? Haha neither do I, I prefer relaxing at the beach and visiting places at my pace but my mom is a control planning freak. I heard Italians think American women are very easy and sexually harass them? Is this true? Do you think I'll have any problems?

    • The Italian mentality is a bit more open than other European places. They'd approach you franklier than e.g. a German. But that's all.

      There's one thing you shouldn't do: Don't learn just a few standard phrases ("thanks", "please", etc.) and then use them. Either learn the language or stick with English. It's not like we mind (I'm German, not Italian) but people will surely make fun of tourists doing so. Therefore: Just don't :D

What Girls Said 1

  • Mixed with What? You
    Look 100% Asian

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