Are you thinking about a solo trip to Italy? The joys of solo travel are many. You have complete freedom and flexibility to plan your days and pace. Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn, put on some big sunglasses and embark on your own private Italian holiday. And here’s the definitive guide to touring Italy alone to help you with your solo trip to this beautiful country.
Italy is a safe place to visit. That said, It never hurts to revisit some general safety advice.
Know your way. Schedule your arrival times during daylight so that you are not looking for a hotel address in the dark. As best you can, learn the route to and from your hotel so you can walk in the evening with confidence. The streets in major cities in Italy like Rome, Florence and Venice are busy with people until well after midnight.
Hold Tight. Pickpockets are an annoying reality throughout Italy. Keep your valuables close and separate, for example keep money in a few different places and your passport and important travel documents locked up in the hotel safe. Make copies of your passport, identification and credit cards. If you are really organized mail a scanned copy of your documents to yourself so you have a digital copy that is easily accessible. A cross shoulder bag with a sturdy strap will keep your valuables safe when you are walking around visiting the sights or on the train. Never put your bag on the back of your chair or where you can not see it. You can even secure your iPhone with a leash, which keeps it safe from pickpockets and dropping it into a Venetian canal.
Register with the U.S. Embassy. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to a foreign country. Enrollment allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency.
The Embassy and it’s consulates have a Facebook page to keep up to date on news about strikes, demonstrations and other helpful information the solo traveler can use.
A number of English speaking medical facilities are available in Rome and other major cities in Italy. This link has addresses and contact information should the need arise:
You do not want to spend your Italian vacation lugging a heavy bag up and down stairs and bridges and streets. Pack the smallest small suitcase (with good wheels) you can manage with a few chic, comfortable outfits and you will be free to spend your luxurious time alone time sipping cappuccinos in pretty piazzas instead.
Italy has more sites than you could hope to see in many lifetimes. Museums, archeological sites and over 900 churches in Rome alone.
Museums are wonderful to explore on your own. You can mingle with the crowds and linger at your favorite masterpiece for as long as you wish.
To get the most out of many of Italy’s treasures, book an English speaking day tour or activity. A guide can make ancient ruins come alive. A cooking class or market tour gives you great insight into Italian food culture and daily life.
There are many hotels that cater to solo travelers with communal breakfast tables and evening gatherings. Look for smaller, family run places that will be much more personal than a large chain.
Italy is a great solo traveler destination as there are rarely single supplements charged for hotel rooms.
Evening meals. One of the challenges that solo travelers sometimes feel is eating dinner alone. There are a couple of strategies you can use to make this a bit easier.
Load up your iPad or Kindle and indulge in reading at the table. Catch up on your old New Yorkers or the latest literary releases in the company of a glass of italian wine and a home cooked plate of pasta.
Plan to have your main meal at lunch, when more people are dining solo.
Go to the theater or a concert instead. Grab a cold flute of prosecco and a small plate of appetizers at the theater bar and spend the dinner hour listening to the work of Verdi or Vivaldi.