MODE OF TRANSPORT: Backpacking in Style
Andrew, Bailey and I have been to Italy three times together. This past July, we embarked on our fourth trip there. Andrew and I are quite familiar with the culture and the language (although not fluent) because of our careers in Italian fashion. We love almost everything about Italy, but most of all, we love their food and their style.
Normally I write about food, but today, I’m inspired to go back to my roots – fashion. As you can read here on my About page, I’ve dedicated lots of time to Italian companies. Although I’m changing careers now – to food and travel – I still really enjoy fashion and style in general. When I travel, especially to a country like Italy, I always want to be as stylish as I can be, while also being comfortable.
This may surprise many of you who don’t know us well yet, but my husband Andrew is actually the one that chooses outfits for both me and my daughter, not only while on holiday but also at home in NYC!
Bailey and I are truly blessed with the best husband/father. What husband/father not only dresses his “girls” but also PACKS all our bags?! In fact, he is our ultimate stylist; he organizes all of our closets and knows what we have in there more than we do. When we go shopping, all the sales professionals know him and know to go to him for opinions on pieces that may suit my daughter and me.
When we shop for my daughter, he puts the outfits together for her, while I sit on the “husband” assigned seat and read or work on my phone. This past trip to Italy was a rather challenging feat for style because we had many different types of activities that required quite a range of outfits!
We spent time in stylish towns like Milan, Rome, Florence, and Modena; we also spent a good number of days in the countryside, in the region of Tuscany, and we planned on six nights in Cinque Terre(“Five Lands”), which is famous for their hikes, beaches, and many other active sports. We needed a good variety of clothes to fit into a Deuter Quantum 70 + 10 Travel Pack, which was my luggage and a Delsey 4 wheeler, which was Bailey’s.
I don’t know how he managed it, but Andrew did not miss a beat. I’ve posted pictures throughout this post, so you can see the looks along with some tips on packing and dressing during your travels.
Bailey and I were able to look stylish and fashionable in the city while we were there, and were also able to look fashionably casual and comfortable in the country. We had room in our luggage for an assortment of bathing suits and even some footwear for hiking. We didn’t even have to use an iron or send out for laundry. I just hand-washed some pieces.
Since this was my first time in Cinque Terre, I really wanted to bring home a piece of that coast. Our homebase in the Five Lands was Monterosso Al Mare, the largest and most “resort-like” of the Five Lands. It was the best town of the five for families because it had the most conveniences.
On our last day, we were finally able to take some time off our beach activities and shop for souvenirs. We walked on the main drag, Via Roma, and saw a very cute shoe shop called Lanapo. It was a tiny little place and it was just about to open. We asked the beautiful girl in the store if we could shop, and she enthusiastically welcomed us in.
We learned that the young lady helping us was the proprietor and her last name is Lanapo; she was born and raised in Milan but decided a year ago to come to Monterosso Al Mare and design these hand-made shoes and sell them in this small shop as well as on her website – WOW, I thought, what a great story of a girl following her dreams!
I was hooked – I had to buy a pair. I chose the “Manarola” (named after another of the Five Lands)-style shoes in blue, seen below.
Every time I wear these comfortable stylish shoes now back home in NYC, it instantly takes me back to my beautiful time in Cinque Terre – a place where my family and I stopped to breathe in the fresh sea air and was rejuvenated by nature!
This is the first time we’ve ever used backpacks for travel and these 2 travel packs, DEUTER Transit 65 Backpack (on Andrew) and Deuter Quantum 70 + 10 Travel Pack (on Brenda) were perfect.
They are lightweight and supportive. They are just fabulous for train travel and both come with daypacks.
Related post: If you’re not traveling as a family, here are some tips for backpacking through Italy without kids.
So here’s our tips for backpacking with style in a nutshell:
1 – We love to shop, but we mostly wait until the end of the season and buy everything on sale so we can have more money for travel and food!
2 – Cotton and linen are fantastic for travel in the summer because you can just roll them up and pack small and they are breathable.
3 – Wear nice shoes.
4 – Bring colors that all work together so you can mix and match.
5 – Dresses are great because you don’t have to think about another piece to wear!
6 – Don’t have to bring hiking clothes, just wear cotton or linen to keep cool.
7 – Use a travel backpack especially with kids in tow. It makes travel so much easier to have your hands free, especially during train travel.
How do you pack for your trips? What types of souvenirs do you buy while on holiday? Please let me know in the comments if you have tips or questions for me; I’d love to hear from you! Let’s travel the world, one dish or pair of shoes at a time!