5 Things to Pack for Your Fall Semester in Perugia
Are you planning to study abroad in Perugia, Italy this fall? We at the Umbra Institute have constructed a list of 5 things you shouldn’t forget to pack for your fall abroad in Perugia. This list is not everything you need (please read your pre-departure handbook carefully), but rather a selection of some of the most common items that our students forget each fall:
A winter coat Italians often spend the start of September soaking up the sun on the beach and tourism easily paints Italy as the ideal location for sun-bathing warmth. However, November and December in Perugia can get chillingly cold. It won’t snow, but snow can be seen on the distant mountain tops as the wind carries a cold breeze into the city. Winter coats can be quite expensive in Italy so we advise that students bring one from home.
Ciabatte or pantofole That’s right, Italians wear shoes in their homes. This is primarily because most Italian apartments do not have carpeted floors. In warmer months, ciabatte (which are like flip-flops or… crocks!) are worn to keep your feet clean and comfortable. In colder months, pantofole (winter slippers) are worn to keep feet warm as they step along cold wood or tile floors.
Warm clothes to wear at home Italian homes and public buildings are often cooler than what the average American is used to in the winter. This is because energy is much more expensive in Europe than it is in the U.S., so Italians don’t keep their heat blasting all day, every day. Instead, in part due to Italian law, Italians turn the heat on for a limited number of hours each day, and walk around wearing sweaters and warm pants. Italian law even dictates the range of dates during the year when heat can be used (a period that typically doesn’t start before early- or mid-November.)
Comfortable walking shoes There are three characteristics of walking in Perugia: uneven cobblestones, stairs, and hills. Perugia is a beautiful hill-top city with postcard-like panoramic views around nearly every corner. However, while abroad, students find that walking is their most comfortable and commonly used way of getting around town. Comfortable walking shoes are not flip-flops, and sometimes not even sandals. Students often find that the most comfortable shoes are shoes designed for running or walking. Note for those of you who may enjoy high-heels: Be careful wearing heels in Italy! It is easy for a stiletto to get caught in a cobblestone crack, and though Umbra staff is available to help you seek medical assistance, no one wants to see you fall or twist your ankle on your way to enjoy a nice evening walk. Our students usually avoid heals during the semester, especially after their first night out; and many ask us to warn others about how uncomfortable such shoes can be.
Anti-Covid items All students will find an anti-Covid starter pack in their new home in Perugia! However, in order to be fully protected while traveling from the US, it is necessary to bring at least three (3) masks and gloves (keep in mind that your airline might ask you to change your mask every 4 hours, even in flight). You can pack extra masks and bring them with you if you want, as you’ll find that they’re likely to cost more in Italy than in the US. Keep in mind that Italy doesn’t acknowledge use of cloth masks.We also recommend pocket-sized hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol for use when soap and water are not readily available and anti-bacterial wipes or solution to wipe down high-touch surfaces. A thermometer is also an essential medical device that should be in your personal anti-Covid care kit.
So, are you ready for an exciting semester abroad?