I like and have small purses and also like them having long shoulder straps. In the italy trip situation, I used the big purse essentially as a second suitcase (camera, a large number of rolls of film - that was 1999, small amount of cosmetics, a couple of books... and probably other stuff I forget, like a hairbrush.) Anyway, I left that big purse in the room unless I was about to hop another train.. that black suit had great pockets, some of them zippered... thus only carried the camera in the open or in plastic bag.
On fanny packs, I don't mind them, but zingari (gypsies) in Rome got mine unzipped when they surrounded me. Luckily I only had some film and, hah, tampons in it. I'm slightly anti backpack for the same reason, not liking the idea of my "suitcase" being riffled at my back. That's only a problem in a few places, I assume, but I was going to those places. My carry on was a duffle bag that had a shoulder strap. I happen to not like the small suitcases with wheels - they tend to be heavy; my duffle bag, even full, was fairly light thus easy to go down subway steps with.