If you’re planning a visit to Venice, choose your luggage carefully. The city council is said to be considering a ban on rolling luggage, at least for tourists. While residents would still be allowed to use bags with wheels, tourists could be fined $620. The rationale? Rolling luggage is noisy on the city’s labyrinth of cobblestone walkways.
But before you chalk this up as a ridiculous rule, mutter something about Italians and change your travel plans, consider this: rolling a bag through Venice is a pain. You’ll be much happier with a backpack or duffel bag.
We know this from experience.
On my (Amanda’s) first trip abroad, I packed the bag I owned at the time — a roller. Zeke and I were on our first trip together, 10 days in Italy. We arrived in Venice after 30 hours of (budget-friendly, but inconvenient) travel, and that’s when I learned rolling luggage and the Venetian streetscape don’t mix well.
Aside from the cobblestones (not conducive to a smooth wheeling experience) and narrow, serpentine streets and alleys, Venice is chock full of bridges spanning its famous canals. Most of those bridges feature at least a few stairs (more wheel trouble). On top of that, most hotels are not equipped with elevators, so you’ll be toting your bag up at least a flight or two of stairs. Save yourself the awkwardness (and perhaps a fine if the ban is enacted) and bring a backpack!
Look, Ma! No Wheels!
After that first trip to Italy, I invested in a backpack. More recently, we used duffel bags (above) for our safari. I still use my rolling luggage for business trips (car/airport/taxi/hotel is easy on wheels), but if I’m traveling abroad I’m more likely to use my pack. We’ve been to Greece twice and on our African safari without wheels, and agree each of those trips would have been significantly more difficult if we had to roll everywhere.