Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Packing Guide

Travel Book Recommendations

Get familiar with where you are studying abroad and make sure to bring a map. The Loyola OIP Lounge in the Sullivan Center (room 216) has a number of excellent travel books that you many browse through prior to going abroad. The JFRC Library has a large selection of travel books that students may check out as well!


Bring the basics! Most students do a fair amount of shopping while in Italy.  Italians wear a lot of black, rather than bright flashy patterns or colors.

Semester Students: Plan on clothes for all seasons.bring warm clothing to layer up during the fall because heat in the building is controlled and dictated by local law. One light and one heavy jacket will suffice. November through March is cool and damp due to rainy weather, whereas August and September and April are hot and sunny.

Summer Students: For summer students May, June, and July are hot and humid summer months; evenings, however, can be cool in summer.

Bring comfortable shoes! You will walk a great deal more than you do in the U.S. Also remember that cobblestone streets in Rome are uneven and very slippery when wet. Ladies, leave the heels at home! 

Be mindful of dress codes! Remember that more modest dress is required to enter churches. Women: cover shoulders and knees. Men: no sleeveless t-shirts, and knees must be covered.

Formal clothes: There will be a few occasions during the semester when you will want to sport your fancy threads, so bring a few formal options.


Common areas in the JFRC have wireless Internet access for Skype/Facetime.

Cell Phones

All JFRC students are required to have a mobile phone with data access (regardless of their location) during their time as a student. All JFRC students are similarly required to use an app-based platform that helps them stay informed of local and international security concerns, and contact help or be contacted in emergency situations. To benefit fully from the features of the app, students need access to a data plan. There are three options to fulfill this obligation:

1. Bring a mobile phone from home with an international data plan that allows consistent data access, regardless of location.

2. Bring an unlocked mobile phone and request an Italian SIM chip* upon arrival. A charge of approximately $35 will be billed to your student account for the cost of the SIM.

3. Request a smartphone (Android) and Italian SIM* card to be given upon arrival at JFRC. A charge of approximately $100 will be billed to your student account.

*The plan activated on the chip is non-contractual. JFRC reviews available offers and determines which offer provides greatest ease of access for most economy. Generally, plans need to be renewed (​ricarica) every 28 days at the mobile provider, coffee bar, or tabaccaio. The cost of the renewal for Fall 2019 is €10,00 every 28 days, and is incurred by the student.

Class Supplies

All your class supplies can be acquired at local neighborhood stores in Rome. Pens, notebooks, and folders can be purchased at the neighborhood cartoleria.

All textbooks and course materials can be purchased at the Anglo American Bookstore in Rome. Directions and details will be given to students during on-site orientation in Rome.


Computers & WiFi

There are many computers available for students to use on campus in common spaces and in the Information Commons. Most students bring their own laptop or tablet, however this is not necessary and is up to a students' personal preference. Students should bring a plug/power adapter for chargers if necessary. Voltage in Italy and Europe is 220 volts. It is also recommended that students bring their own USB drives for storing files. 

The JFRC Information Commons, Computer Lab, Rinaldo’s Café Bar, and all common areas outside of Residence Halls have wireless access. Please note that there is not wireless internet in the residence hall. 

Toiletries and Specialized Products

Toiletries & Cosmetics: Bring travel sized items. Larger sizes can easily be purchased upon arrival. Almost every toiletry can be purchased in Rome, but students may want to bring some over the counter medication like ibuprofen, Tylenol, and cold medications. Cosmetics and toiletries CANNOT be shipped to Italy, they will be stopped at customs.

Contact Lens Solution: Though it is available in Italy, it is usually more expensive and products vary from the U.S. Bring an extra set of contacts or glasses and your lens prescription. If you wear glasses, bring a copy of your eye glass prescription as well.

Linens and Towels

The JFRC will provide sheets, pillow cases and pillows for your bed. There is a sheet & towel exchange on campus once a week. The JFRC will provide one regularly sized towel. If students would like additional towels, they can be purchased them in Rome.


The easiest way to get cash is at an ATM (Bancomat in Italian). Notify your bank that you are going abroad so they don’t think your credit or debit card was stolen. You can ask them about local ATMS in Rome to see if there are any that will not charge you service fees. Also, set up online banking so you can check your balance often and transfer money from accounts online. Plan ahead and get some local currency to use the first few days you arrive to your host country. Most students use local ATM’s; figure out what your best option is. The Business Office will exchange traveler’s checks but not personal checks. The Business Office accepts cash, credit card or traveler’s checks for books and study trips at the JFRC.

Tip: Bring about €200 with you so that you will have money when you first arrive in Rome.

Currency Rates & Exchanges

  • www.xe.com - for up to the minute currency conversions and exchange rates
  • www.x-rates.com - for currency converter and table

For Students' Families

Tip: Stay in touch while you are traveling--the culture shock going abroad and returning home will not be as hard.


Tip: Check the season for Italy and what the weather will be like during your stay so you can pack accordingly!

Final Pieces of Advice

  • The easiest way to travel from FCO or CIA airports to the JFRC is by taxi or a private car service. DO NOT take a taxi that is solicited to you after leaving baggage claim. Please note that a taxi from the FCO or CIA airport to the JFRC should not cost you more than €50. Read more about transportation from Rome's airports.
  • Bring a backpack for day trips. A larger, but not too large, piece of luggage is also needed for the longer weekend trips. A duffle bag rather than a bag with wheels is recommended (easier to use on cobblestones or in small towns with long flights of stairs).
  • Do not have large boxes, technological or pharmaceutical products (e.g., computers, cameras, memory cards, toothpaste, deodorant, contact lens solution) shipped to you in Rome. You will be required to pay a hefty tax on them once they arrive in Italy and may even have to go claim them in person at the airport.
  • Do not make personal travel plans or plan to host visitors from the US during mandatory program trips. For security and liability reasons, guests cannot accompany students on JFRC-sponsored study trips.