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A Solo Traveler’s Guide for Females Around Italy

Shopping in Italy

Traveling alone may seem daunting at first, but it can be one of the best and most rewarding experiences you can have as a woman. Not only does going solo help you become more confident and feel empowered, you might also learn new things about yourself while immersed in the culture of a different country.

Here are a few travel tips that might prove helpful if you’re a woman who’s planning to take a solo trip to Italy:

Avoid the peak seasons

Not only can the heat be punishing in the summer, but you’ll find that you’re coming in to crowded cities that will only be half-open. Italians take vacations, too, and they usually do so around a two-week national holiday in August called Ferragosto. Food, lodging, and airfare will typically skew towards the pricier side as well.

Do your research and plan as much of your trip in advance as possible

Planning ahead saves you a lot of time when you’ve landed – just follow your itinerary and go. Instead of wasting precious hours in Italy figuring out where to visit and what to do, you can spend a lot more time exploring and enjoying yourself if you do your research before you arrive. You’ll also want to have a basic idea of the local customs and etiquette, dress codes and the weather. The last thing you want is to only have packed sundresses when the temperature is on the chillier side.

A lot of the more popular tourist attractions in Italy are churches and cathedrals, and you’ll be expected to cover up when visiting these places. If you choose to go to these sites, dress appropriately, or carry a light shawl that you can wrap around yourself on entry.

You’ll definitely want to book your first night in a hotel, regardless of the region or city you’re visiting. It will be nice to have a place to rest, waiting for you at the other end of a tiring airplane ride instead of winging the process and only starting to look for accommodations when you’ve already landed. Finally, get reservations wherever possible ahead of time, whether it’s to a great restaurant you’ve heard about or to a famous museum or historical site. You can expect crowds or a queue around the block for these places, especially during the high tourist seasons. Getting reservations and advanced tickets ahead of time can help you skip to the front of the line.

Pack your best outfits

They don’t call it one of the fashion capitals of the world for nothing. Italians dress very well and put a lot of stock in presentation. If you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, put your best fashion foot forward. Wearing black is a safe bet, as is having a trusty designer accessory, like a well-made handbag or a pair of sunglasses. You’ll also want shoes that are comfortable – you’re going to be doing a lot of walking in them, so make sure they’re the kind you won’t regret having on all day.

Trust the locals

Make friends wherever possible, and you’ll be surprised at the windfall of rewards that can come your way. Not only can locals help you eat better in Italy (they know where all the great places are, instead of tourist traps), they can also assist you if you happen to get lost. They can also give you some practical tips on how to have a more enjoyable experience in their country.

Be safe

Most people travel with a smartphone and a camera. Some may even opt to bring a tablet or a laptop computer. These things are hot button items for thieves and you’ll want to keep an eye on them at all times. If you aren’t using them, try to keep valuable items hidden away as much as possible. You’ll also want to keep important documents like your passport somewhere close but difficult for anyone else but yourself to get to.

Pay attention to your environment, and drink only enough of that great Italian wine to enjoy yourself, but not to get intoxicated. If you do feel like you’ve had a bit too much, it may be safer to take a cab back to your hotel or lodgings instead of walking the streets and getting yourself lost. You never know what might happen to you if your senses are less than sharp. Travel during the day as much as possible, and avoid sparsely populated areas at night.

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By Priscila Siano (266 Posts)

Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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