8 Top Tips for Solo Female Travellers in Italy
Italy is a truly beautiful place to travel to - every city or town has their own personality and it is something worth exploring. The country is full of history, sights-to-see and cuisine that will absolutely blow you away. Italy is where Western Civilisation was first developed - from the philosophies, the art and the inventions - and is considered to be a cultural leader all over the world. Next time you are eating a pizza on a Friday night, remember to give thanks to Italy, the land where pizza - and many other glorious foods like pasta and tiramisu - was first invented. So, are you a solo female traveller going to Italy? Look no further, we are going to be giving you all the most useful tips for your Italian adventure.
“The search term ‘Solo Female Traveller’ grew 52% higher”
Did you know? According to research, the term ‘Solo Female Traveller’ grew 52% between the years 2016 and 2017? It is set to grow even more in the next few years when many women are getting comfortable to travel by themselves. So, for all you first-timers and veterans, we want to help you make your next trip to Italy smoother, so here are several useful tips for you.
#1 Plan Your Transportation
When you are travelling to another country, it is important to make sure that you know what your transportation options are to avoid getting lost, delaying plans or spending unnecessary amounts of money. Are you renting a car? or are you taking public transport? Those are important questions that you need to ask yourself when travelling to another country like Italy. In Italy there are many rent-a-car options from the airport that will allow you to drive an car for the length of time that you will be staying - and fortunately, the transportation infrastructure in Italy is pretty good, for example, there are high-speed trains that run the length of the whole country which can help you to quickly travel from Florence to Milan. Furthermore, you need to be aware that though the cities have lots of public transportation options - the rural areas may not - so check if your hotel offers any shuttle services to get to Area A to Area B; for instance our Hotel in the Italian Alps offers this service.
#2 Will You Have to Worry about Men?
In general, men can be really fun to talk to, especially when you’re travelling because it allows you to learn about the country even more. But of course, there is always the chance of men approaching or catcalling women - and it is something that women cannot avoid in any country that you go to. If this happens to you, you should try not to be too surprised but should be more aware on how you can handle those situations. There is always the option to say no, reject or walk away - but in the rare cases of more serious incidents like groping, you could try shouting “Che Schifo!” (How disgusting") out loud in public areas, and that will likely get them to stop. But in Italy, it is generally something that you should not excessively worry about because harassment and gender equality is protected by the law, so you know that the country does not tolerate that behaviour.
#3 Try and Learn Some Italian
You are travelling to another country where most people’s first language isn’t english, so wouldn’t it make sense to try and learn the local language? In general, there probably isn’t too much of a need to learn Italian when travelling to the cities like Rome or Florence because of the many foreign tourists and generally, many Italians can speak a little bit of English - but sometimes, you will encounter some people where their English is probably not the best, most especially in the rural areas of Italy where there are less tourists roaming around. Learning Italian is definitely helpful, from asking where certain places are, or whether a dish contains an ingredient you’re allergic to, or you could just learn Italian for your own enjoyment. If you learn to speak some Italian, the locals will definitely appreciate your effort and may be even nicer to you - so it’s definitely worth a try! Some basic phrases are Buongiorno (Good morning), Grazie (Thank You) and Mi Scusi (I’m Sorry / Excuse Me) - there are many websites and apps that can help you if you could just do a quick Google search.
#4 Pack Lightly
Do you really want to have the burden of carrying a 20kg luggage around the rough, cobbled streets of Italy? I don’t think so, just imagine bringing it up a flight of staircase, it would be a nightmare. If you are travelling solo it is ALWAYS best to travel lightly, so this means bringing a backpack or a small carry-on luggage to make it easier for you. As women are naturally more high maintenance than men, it can often be difficult to try and reduce the number of items to bring. One way to reduce the weight of items to bring is through not bringing too many liquids (shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste) because you can purchase them when you arrive in Italy! Another tip is to try to bring versatile clothing like jeans or neutral coloured clothing so that they can be easily mix-and-matched or be worn more than once - for more tips on packing check out our blog post on Packing for Corteno Golgi.
#5 Embrace Eating Alone
Eating alone is often perceived as something depressing or sad - but only if you think that way! If you can think more positively about it, then it won’t be as depressing. In reality, people would actually love to be in your position, just imagine you eating in an authentic Italian restaurant in a warm summer’s evening, that is such a dream! While eating alone in a cafe, bar or restaurant, there is always the opportunity to be doing other things like editing your photos, planning the next activity or even being present. Your time in Italy will quickly pass, so grab a cup of Italian coffee and try to absorb the present as much as you can before you have to go back home.
#6 Lonely? Do a Group Tour
Does it feel weird just travelling and sightseeing by yourself? Or do you just need to take a break from travelling by yourself and go see other people? There is always the choice of doing a group tour. Italy is full of tourists, and there are so many excursions and tours that assemble groups of tourists to sight-see or do activities together. It is not hard to book a tour, and actually, you might really like doing a tour because sometimes you can learn many interesting facts from the tour guides. You can book online or even find excursion companies on the day to arrange a tour for you.
#7 Be Smart with Your Money
You are in another country so you cannot afford to make a mistake with your money - whether it is getting your wallet stolen, realising you haven’t brought enough or become surprised by how many unexpected expenses there are. It is worth it to double check and be smart with your money, for instance, try not to keep your money all in one place - you should try to spread your money in your bag, your purse, in pockets - so that if you lose your purse, you haven’t lost every single penny. And though you can withdraw money from an ATM in Italy, there could be an extra charge on your card, so bringing Euros is still pretty important when you are travelling to European countries like Italy.
#8 Stay Alert
This is common advice for any kind of traveller in any country; remember to stay alert at all times especially when you walking around in the city centre. There are all sorts of theft and scams that occur in these areas. In big cities, Rome, Florence, Venice or Milan, there will be people who will be sly with you, for instance, the typical ‘while you’re distracted I’m going to quickly sneak my hands into your pocket’. But if you are staying in more rural areas of Italy where there are less tourists, these scams are less likely to happen, but it would not hurt to remain careful.
We hope that these tips will help you out when you are solo-travelling to Italy! For more articles about travelling to Italy, visit our blog: