For a fabric reconnaissance in Italy
you really do not need a lot, because you can always buy it there. Good walking shoes are a top priority because designer heels are banned, at least in Cinque Terre. I wore my heavy Vasque hiking boots on travel days so I never really had to pack them.
You will want to carry your passport, cash and bank cards with you at all times. This scarf I designed with two secret pockets, accessible with an invisible zipper, worked well. No problem with pick pockets.
A good travel pillow is a must. This one from Pandora de Balthazar, filled with Hungarian goose down, easily squishes into a day pack and is perfect for the long plane and train rides.
Leave extra room in the pack for finds!
Luggage for two, each with a carry on and day pack, ready for the 50-somethings' version of
backpacking in Europe.