Packing Smart for a Semester in Florence

Sep 6, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Payton Meyer

Payton Meyer

Payton Meyer is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Strategic Communication major at  University of Colorado Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Payton shares some packing strategies and outfits that she'll be bringing for her semester abroad in Florence.


I’m writing this the night before I depart for Florence, as I pack away the last few things I’ll need for the next 4 months using the CAPA packing list. I’ve never moved outside of my hometown, or even been to Europe, so needless to say, I’m freaking out a little. It’s been tough to figure out what to take with me and what to leave at home because, unfortunately, I can’t fit my whole life into my suitcase. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been focusing on to help me narrow down what I’m bringing along this semester.

Airport in Iceland

One of the reasons I am most excited to study abroad is to experience European fashion, as Italy is home to some of the fashion capitals of the world. I have always been passionate about fashion, but, living in Boulder, Colorado, a city that has been deemed one of the worst dressed cities in the entire United States (I’m not kidding!), makes me wonder how much I’ve truly been exposed to it. That being said, I absolutely love fashion as a form of self-expression, and can’t wait to see what people are wearing in Europe. I think it will be the perfect place to try out some pieces that I might be hesitant to wear in Boulder but will be so fun to break out abroad. I’m also saving a little room for anything new that might catch my eye in a boutique while I’m there.


Something a bit more practical thing that I am trying to keep in mind while packing is theft prevention. Florence is a beautiful city, but I will have to be cautious of things like pickpocketing and petty theft while I’m in Europe; both things that I am not used to having to worry about in Boulder. I found the perfect bag at Target that I can wear across my body, and therefore keep my belongings quite close to me and within my range of vision, making it difficult for someone else to take it from me. Another thing I love about it is that it has a built-in wallet. This means that I won’t have to remove my wallet from my bag in order to pay for things, which will help prevent someone else from taking it, as well as prevent me from potentially leaving it somewhere by mistake. I’m also planning ahead by bringing a back-up phone (one of my old ones) just in case something happens to mine while I’m abroad.


The last thing that I’ve considered while packing is that I will be experiencing a few different climates while in Europe. I have a 3-day layover in Iceland, where the highs will only be in the 50’s with high chances of rain but when I arrive in Florence it will be sunny and in the 80’s! Some of my weekend travels might include places like Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands—all much cooler than Italy—so I’ll have to save room for some bulky, heavier jackets that I otherwise probably wouldn’t need.

sunset from plane window

Just a few more things like my camera, laptop, and journal, and I’m ready to go! I’m finally packed and ready and I can’t wait to see what this semester in Florence has in store for me.

Thanks, Payton!

Payton's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations