Backpacks in Italy

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Mrcreem, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. I will be traveling to Italy and was wondering about carrying my equipment around in a backpack. I have been reading that backpacks often must be checked when entering museums, cathedrals and other sites. I would be worried about leaving a backpack with expensive lenses unattended. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to feel that I can't visit these sites either, which is the real purpose of the trip. Does anyone have any experience with this and advice? Thanks!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  2. True. And not necessarily limited to backpacks either; any camera bag (any bag actually) can be (but isn't necessarily) subject to that rule. You certainly won't enter the Vatican Museum with any camera bag; whatever you need with you needs to be carried without it (I suggest a photo-vest or a vest with large pockets).

    On that note: many places don't let you in with a tripod either (or don't let you use it). And some forbid photography altogether (at least when it is done with a "big camera").

    They aren't really "unattended" but I am not certain if someone couldn't just walk off with my pack claiming it is theirs. I was in one museum where my backpack would not fit their bag receptacles at all and was supposed to sit somewhere in the corner (needless to say, I did not leave it there and left the place).

    Another note on backpacks: get one that has the opening towards your back to deter pickpockets at least a little. If you carry a shoulder bag, make sure to wear the strap diagonally across your chest lest you want to find out how your bag is ripped from your shoulder.
  3. Dieter has it right on both counts.

    If you know you're going to such places, plan ahead and pack light as much as is possible.

    In Washington DC a few years ago, I sometimes did just check the bag (lenses were insured) since so many different museums have slight variations on what they will or will not allow you to carry. Some places did let a small shoulder bag pass after inspection.
  4. Thanks, Dieter. I have a good backpack that fits the bill, a Lowepro ProTactic 250 AW. I will have my "go to" canon 28-135, and the 70-300, both of which are not terribly expensive. I will also have my Canon 17-40 4L, which is expensive, but it will be the one on the camera when I am inside these venues. I will look into a vest, or a few carry pouches that I can clip on my belt. Thanks so much. MItch
  5. Good advice posted above. All I would add is that when I am walking around cities in Italy and Europe, I wear a windbreaker that is large enough to hide my camera with a small zoom on it. This allows me access to public places without having to check anything. I stick a prime lens in my pocket and use it indoors when light is weak. And in my other pocket I have a small mini tripod about three of four inches long to hold the camera and lens when I need slow shutter speeds. .
  6. Try a chain/cord-pod when you can't bring a tripod.
    • Just a chain or cord attached to a 1/4x20 bolt that you screw into the tripod socket of the camera.
    • Put it down, step on the end and pull up on the camera.
    • It is the vertical tension that will help stabilize you in the vertical axis.
    Moving On likes this.
  7. I haven't had any issues with a normal shoulderbag, though I did not visit the Vatican recently (but many other parts of Rome, and other places in Italy). Tripods are a problem, but a normal shoulderbag not really. Last time, in Rome there were extra control points at major sites, but when I asked to check my photobag manually because I was using film, it was no issue either (controls because of the Holy year and fear for attacks).
    So my experience is a bit different, but really, your kit doesn't sound overly large and I really doubt it'll be much of an issue (except possibly the Vatican). The places where they request not to make photos - there is usually just a sign to request it, I've never really had anyone request me to leave my photogear behind. With the rise of smartphones, it's become near impossible anyway.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  8. Hi there, when we are packing for vacations, we should avoid heavy bags. Next month me and my husband are going for vacations at the beach and resorts. I don't have a good swimsuit for the beach. While discussing with my friend she suggested me online store dollboxx for buying latest bikinis. Any ideas?

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