The Pontifical North American College

Things to Bring / Your NAC Room

What to Bring to Rome

  1. Packing (Essentials / Non-Essentials / What Not to Bring)
  2. ID Photos
  3. More information

It can be difficult to know what to bring with you and what to leave at home. Some things are easy to find in Rome, whereas others can be more difficult. You certainly don’t want to spend money to buy something that you already own at home if you don’t need to. But remember that this will be your home for the next four or five years. The following list and resources can help you to determine what is needed and what is not. It will be much easier if you can ship as much as possible to Rome before you leave (heavier items especially) so that you don’t have to bring as much with you on your flight.


What to Bring (Essentials)

  • Quality luggage (You will be traveling frequently)
    • Large main suitcase (for longer trips, i.e. Christmas and Easter breaks)
    • Smaller carry-on, duffle, or larger backpack (for weekend trips)
    • Standard Backpack/messenger bag (for day trips and for class)
    • Although flights are very cheap in Europe, baggage allowances are much stricter, so always check with the airline before you travel
  • Two black suits
  • Clerical Wear (Once classes start, you will be wearing black clerical most of the week to class and around the house)
    • Short and/or long-sleeved clerical shirts
    • Bring at least one set of clerics. You will have the chance to buy more here (which tend to be cheaper and better quality than back home)
    • 4-5 pairs of black dress pants
    • Plenty of black dress socks
    • 2-3 pairs of sturdy and comfortable black dress shoes (you will be walking a lot and they are worn very often)
  • Casual wear (Casual wear at NAC means a collared shirt tucked into long pants)
    • Collared shirts (dress shirts and/or polo shirts)
    • Long pants (dress pants, trousers, chinos, khakis, jeans, etc.)
    • Shoes for casual wear (dress shoes, boat shoes, nice tennis shoes, etc.)
      • Nice sandals with socks are allowed (birkenstocks, chacos, etc.)
    • During the year, you can usually change to casual in the afternoon after pranzo, and most of the weekend is also free to wear casual clothing
    • During orientation and summer language study, clerics will not be worn, so bring enough collared shirts for this time and for times during the year when clerics are not required
  • Athletic wear (shirts, shorts, shoes, etc.)
  • Outerwear (sweaters, pullovers, light jackets, etc.)
    • Hoodies are not allowed to be worn over clerics, but are fine for casual wear
    • Darker colors are preferred for clerical wear
  • Clothes for colder weather (hat, gloves, heavy jacket, etc.)
    • The winters in Rome are typically mild (snow is pretty rare, but happens on occasion), but many travel destinations in Europe can be very cold in the winter, so prepare accordingly
  • Extra undershirts and underwear
  • Gear for activities you enjoy (hiking, skiing, etc.)
  • Hangers
  • Rain jacket and umbrella
  • Beach towel, swimming trunks (for the beach day during orientation)
  • Regular towels
  • Large bag or basket/hamper for laundry
  • Toiletries (e.g., comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and deodorant, etc.)
    • Bring enough to last the first moth or so
    • Toiletries are very easy and affordable in Italy and most major brands can be found. The college KNAC store also sells many of these supplies
  • Glasses or sufficient supply of contacts and cleaning solution
  • Laptop and computer accessories
    • Major electronic devices such as tablets and computers can be more expensive here and are harder to acquire
    • Smaller items such as keyboards, headphones and other small electronics are easy to find and are affordable
  • Two or three plug adapters (for more information on electrical issues, see our guide to electrical issues in Italy)
  • Four-volume Liturgy of the Hours (U.S. and Canada)
  • Excellent Bible(s)
    • It may be worth bringing two Bibles for different purposes:
      • a large/giant print version for your room (e.g. click here)
      • A small and protected Bible to carry with you frequently (e.g. click here)
  • Academic and spiritual reading books:
    • There is a very large English library at the NAC (click here), yet please note that purchasing books in English in Europe is often expensive.
    • If you think you may want a particular book, know that it will likely be harder to get it once you are in Italy
      • One solution is to use free books in the public domain; another solution is to purchase eBooks
  • Checkbook for money exchange at the college’s Economato office
  • Copies of all vital documents (i.e. passport, visa, driver’s license etc.)
  • Academic files for possible course dispensations (for more information on what this means and if it applies to you, see the section on Academics)
  • Loan deferment forms, if applicable (consult the explanation of loan deferment procedures)

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Nice to Have (But Not Required)

  • Cassock
    • We do not wear it often (only for major papal events if you choose to go)
    • Cassock is required each week at Sunday Mass if you are in the choir (house surplices are provided for this)
  • Accessories such as sunglasses and a watch
  • Bathrobe
  • School and office supplies, (it’s a good idea to bring some things to get started, i.e. pens, note pads, etc.)
    • Office supplies are easy to find and inexpensive in Italy, and the college’s KNAC store sells them as well
    • Some office supplies are different here than back home (such as 4-hole punchers and 4-ring binders as opposed to 3), so if you prefer items from back home it would be a good idea to ship them over
  • Flash drive or external hard drive for backup and transfer of data
  • Digital camera
  • Sports equipment (e.g. glove, tennis racket, ski gear, shoes, cleats, etc.)
  • Personal books (remember books tend to be more expensive here)
  • Italian grammar books, CDs, or dictionary
  • Musical instrument, art supplies or other hobbies
  • Religious art, family pictures, or other decorations and personal effects for your room
  • Sacred Places: Rediscovering the Churches of Rome Book
    • Lots of great pictures, facts, maps of where important things are located inside and out of Rome’s Churches, and more.  It is written by an able and ardent Catholic from MN. Nevertheless, it is a bit technical at times.
    • Definitely not a required item.  The book can be found here.
  • Biblical Greek and/or Biblical Hebrew Laminated Guides. (Greek and Hebrew classes are required if you haven’t taken them before)
    • For Greek, Click Here
      • Typically useful for class at the Angelicum, Gregorian, and Santa Croce
      • Please note that there are additional resources for Greek from the same company available
    • For Hebrew, Click Here
      • Typically useful for class at the Gregorian, and Santa Croce

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What Not to Bring

Note that sheets, bedding, blankets, and pillows are provided, though you may bring your own if you like. (Towels are not provided.) Laundry supplies, including detergent, bleach, irons, and ironing boards are all provided. Kitchen supplies are provided in the hall lounges. Hot plates and toasters are not allowed in your room for safety reasons. Electric hair clippers, fans, lighting, plug-in alarm clocks, or other items will not usually work with the Italian electrical system, so leave those at home as well. Other things such as lighting fixtures for your room, fans, room furnishings, printers and ink, and snacks are all easily purchased in Rome upon your arrival.

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ID photos

You will need several ID photos (a few extra photos, just in case, doesn’t hurt). Photos can be done at Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, CVS, FedEx Office, and other similar stores. You may also do them yourself at (following the requirements for a standard passport photo and using your own digital camera). If you do it yourself, it is recommended that you cut these pictures with a paper cutter, rather than scissors. The photos must be the same photo, not different pictures, and should not be done in clerics.

N.B.: Once appointments are set up for your residency permits here, you will need to take a new set of ID photos at one of the photography studios here, since the size requirements are slightly different.

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Your Room at the NAC

It’s important to remember that your room at the NAC will be your home for at least the next four years. You are free to modify the room to your liking, and many seminarians transform their rooms to make them more comfortable and personalized. When you’re here, feel free to hang posters and art on all the walls, arrange the furniture and add your own touches. There’s no need to bring or ship any furniture or appliances as this can all be easily found here. The college will do a trip to IKEA at the beginning of the year to allow seminarians to purchase things for their rooms. Although each room comes with basic furniture, (bed, bookshelf, desk, desk chair, desk lamp and reading chair), many opt to acquire furniture from their diocesan brothers (patrimony), wait for free items to be given away (regalo), or simply buy newer furniture later on. Below is an example of how a seminarian set up his room, along with a PDF with room dimensions and other room photos to aid in your preparations.

  • Your Room at NAC (Room dimensions and diagrams to aid with your packing and planning)


Example  of a seminarian’s finished room



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