What to Bring to Siena

Amanda Micek
April 29, 2019

My time studying abroad is quickly coming to an end, and I just want time to slow down. I have spent three months here and have learned so much about myself and Italian culture. I have also learned a lot about the weather, which, especially in April, is not exactly what I expected when packing from my always-warm home in Texas. So, I thought I would update my previous post on what to pack when studying here in Siena.

If I could repack, I would bring more sweaters or long sleeve shirts. As I’m writing this it’s the 29th of April, and when I had to leave to go to class it was 45 degrees. I wouldn’t recommend packing a plethora of t-shirts or shorts because the mornings and nights, especially pre-daylight savings, are freezing. Also remember that layering is key!

Along the same lines, you don’t need to pack sandals. Italians don’t wear sandals and, again, it’s often too cold to get much use out of these. Instead, pack some comfortable shoes that you can wear with almost any outfit you bring, like white tennis shoes.

If you are in a homestay, I wouldn’t recommend bringing home goods like towels, sheets, etc. or things to decorate your room with. A few photographs are fine, but other than that you are going to be good to go. My room is adorable, and whenever I have needed anything (like a towel for a weekend trip to the beach) my family never hesitates to lend me what I may need.  

I would bring toiletries, especially if you are in love with a certain brand. This saves you some money right off the bat, but the options here in Italy, especially in small-town Siena, are quite different. Bring your favorite face wash and deodorant, because you probably won’t find it here.

One thing I threw in my bag at the last moment and am so I glad I did was my umbrella. Rain is common when you live somewhere for over three months, and again this saves you some money when you will inevitably need an umbrella. Also, the ones they sell to tourists, as we all know, are overpriced and will definitely break the moment the wind shows any sign of blowing.  

Lastly, leave some room in your suitcase. Even if you are a spendthrift and are positive you will not be buying anything for you or your family, you are wrong. I never imagined I would buy anything other than postcards on my travels, and yet I have bought two dresses and a skirt. Having some space in your suitcase will ensure you can bring your souvenirs or new favorite Italian snacks home with you.

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Amanda Micek

<p>I am 19 years old and am a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin. I am working towards an anthropology degree because I am fascinated in all the different cultures, religions, and languages around the world. My hobbies include sewing, reading, hiking, camping, and traveling. Every summer I go backpacking with my family. Our most recent trip was to Rocky Mountain National Park. I am very excited to study abroad in Siena, Italy so I can practice my Italian and become immersed in a new culture.</p>

2019 Spring
Home University:
University of Texas - Austin
San Antonio, TX
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