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Italy is one of the most popular countries in Europe and is one of the best European countries for solo travellers. It is so easy to plan a solo trip to Italy, and that is one of the reasons it is so popular amongst solo travellers.
That and the fact that visiting Italy is basically an essential stop for any travellers. There is hardly anyone you chat with that doesn’t dream of visiting Italy one day!
Italy is one of the easiest countries in Europe to travel alone it. It is easy to get around, is relatively inexpensive, and has amazing sights. It is, however, also easy to get scammed while in Italy. Especially when you’re on a solo trip to Italy.
This post covers the top ten things you need to know before travelling to Italy alone.
We’re covering the good, the bad, and the ugly of taking a solo trip to Italy.
Okay. There is no ugly part about solo travel in Italy, but you know how the saying goes!
By the end of this post, you’ll have a better idea of how to plan the perfect solo trip to Italy and what to expect when travelling alone in Italy.
You’ll be fully prepared to take on Italy and experience all the culture (and food) it has to offer!
1. The Transportation System is Awesome
One of the easiest parts of travelling to Italy alone is their transportation system.
It is so easy to travel between cities in Italy!
There is a train system that takes you pretty much anywhere in the country.
It is easy to use, trains run between the most popular cities on a regular basis, and they run on time the majority of the time.
Which is amazing! It is amazing how often trains don’t run on time in other countries!
The downside to the inter-city transportation is that it is expensive.
It may even be the most expensive part of your trip (excluding airfare).
To get the best deal on your train tickets, buy them in advance and travel during off-peak times.
You will be amazed at how much those small things can reduce the price of your ticket!
Also, never travel in first class. It isn’t worth the additional cost under any circumstances!
You can also easily get around within cities.
Most cities don’t have a metro system, but they do have an extensive bus system. Or boat system if you’re in Venice.
You won’t have any issues when it comes to travelling within or between cities in Italy.
I know it may sound like a trivial thing to lead this post off with, but if you’ve ever been to a country where the transportation is a nightmare, you understand why a great transportation system is something to be cherished.
2. You Need a Wifi Plan
Unfortunately, the wifi situation in Italy isn’t anything to write home about.
There isn’t an extensive wifi network in Italy, and you have to rely on businesses that provide complimentary wifi out of the goodness of their hearts.
Cafés, restaurants, hotels, and the occasional museum are your best shot.
Not every restaurant or café provides complimentary wifi, but a lot of them that are in the main tourist areas do.
If you need access to the internet on a consistent and reliable basis, you should not rely on public wifi.
You need to find a wifi alternative, and you have two options:
- Rent pocket wifi
Both options will give you unlimited access to the internet no matter where you are!
It is disappointing that Italy doesn’t have an extensive public wifi network, but most countries in Europe don’t either. They definitely need to up their game!
You will be relying on public wifi during your solo trip to Italy.
Even if you have a pocket wifi device, it eventually needs to be charged, and you will be forced to connect to your hotel wifi.
Any time you connect to a public wifi network, you put yourself at risk of having your information stolen.
The only way to keep your devices safe is by installing a VPN on your phone, laptop, and tablet.
A VPN makes a public wifi network just as secure as your home wifi network where you’re the only person who knows the password.
If you can afford to travel, you can afford a few extra dollars per month to protect your online safety.
My Favourite VPN
I’ve used a lot of VPNs over my years of travel, and, frankly, most of them suck. They slow down your phone so much that you disconnect from the VPN in frustration and put your devices at risk.
The only VPN I’ve used that doesn’t slow down my phone to a snail’s pace is NordVPN.
It is by far the fastest VPN on the market, which is very important to travellers. We all know that public wifi isn’t always the fastest, and you don’t need your VPN slowing down your internet connection even more!
Another reason I love NordVPN is the ability to cloak my location.
You can change your location int the app to make it look like you’re in a different country than you actually are.
This allows you to unlock that country’s Netflix catalogue (yay!) as well as any hotel or flight deals exclusive to that country.
Protecting your online data is essential.
There is zero excuse to leave your online devices open to being hacked and having your information stolen.
It is so easy to protect your online data, and it costs less than the prices of a Starbucks per month!
3. Beware of Scooters in Rome
I wouldn’t call Italy a dangerous place. The fear of getting hurt certainly isn’t a reason not to take a solo trip to Italy.
The one major exception to that are the scooters in Rome.
They can cause some serious harm.
I’ve seen many tourists almost get hit by scooters because they aren’t paying attention.
Please, please, please look both ways before crossing the street and keep an eye out for scooters.
Especially at night!
There may be a red light in front of them, but they don’t always stop. If nobody is coming from the other direction (especially at night), there is a chance they may go straight through the light.
The scooter drivers may not see you, and it is your responsibility to stay out of their way.
Just be cautious.
Nobody needs to get hurt because they’re trying to beat a scooter across the street!
4. English is Widely Spoken
You won’t run into a language issue during your solo trip to Italy.
Nearly everybody (young and old) speak English. You can ask pretty much anybody you run into for directions, and they will be able to understand and communicate with you.
You won’t run into any communication issues, which makes travelling to Italy alone a breeze.
I always recommend that travellers learn a few words in the local language before travelling.
It is polite and shows a level of respect for the people and country you’re visiting.
Just a few common words like hello, goodbye, and thank you are enough.
The more the better though!
5. Get Off the Beaten Track
Italy is home to some of the most popular cities in Europe.
Nearly everybody dreams of visiting Rome, Venice, and Florence, but Italy has so much more to offer.
One of the best parts of travelling to Italy alone is that you’re in complete control.
You can do and see whatever you want, and you should take advantage of that.
Get off the beaten track and see more of what Italy has to offer outside the most popular cities.
There are countless small villages, towns, and cities you can (and should) explore. They give you a different taste of Italy.
An idea of what Italy is like without the hoards of tourists.
The Italy that locals enjoy and love.
Visiting off the beaten track locations is one of the best experiences you can have while travelling!
You don’t have to go out of your way to experience a less touristy area.
You can take a day trip from a major city and experience a different side of Italy.
Add an extra day or two onto your trip and dedicate it taking day trips from Rome or Florence.
It doesn’t take much of a Google search to learn about cool, often forgotten about destinations that are a few hours from the major tourists hubs.
You’ll be so glad you took the time to get out of the city and experience more of Italy!
6. Be Courteous (Especially in Venice)
This is one of the most important things you need to know when you visit Italy.
Not just when you’re on a solo trip to Italy. Everybody who visits the country needs to know this!
It is imperative that you’re respectful and courteous.
Italy is overrun by tourists, and it often feels like there are more tourists than locals in some cities.
But people actually live there and deserve to be respected.
I’m specifically talking about Venice, but it applies to every city.
Venice is hugely popular with tourists, and the locals are getting fed up with tens of millions of tourists visiting their city every year.
It impacts their daily lives and makes their normal day harder to navigate.
They have to fight through crowds when travelling to and from work or running errands.
They have to wait in long queues to eat at their favourite restaurants, and over tourism is increasing the waste and pollution in the city.
I’m by no means saying not to go to Venice or other Italian cities.
You just need to make sure you’re visiting them as responsibly as possible.
Travel is a privilege not a right.
You need to disturb the local environment as little as possible when you visit any city as a tourist.
So be aware of your surroundings, try not to get in the way, and leave Italy cleaner than when you got there!
7. Indulge in a Food Tour
Italy is known for its incredible food, and there is no better addition to your solo trip to Italy itinerary than partaking in a food tour!
There are food tours in every major city, and they range in price.
You can spend a lot of money and go on a high-end food tour or spend a fraction of the price and go on a more everyday food tour.
Any food tour you take will be amazing and worth every penny you spend on it!
You can also find food tours that cater to any dietary restrictions, which is amazing!
One of the best parts of a food tour is you get to try a bunch of different food places that you probably wouldn’t have time to visit on your solo trip to Italy.
You get a taste from a number of different restaurants and food providers, and if you fall in love with one place, you can go back for a full meal on your own!
Food is an important part of any culture.
Going on a food tour with an expert helps you understand the different ways food has shaped Italy and how food has grown and melded flavours from different regions over time.
Plus who doesn’t want to walk from restaurant to restaurant with an expert guide trying all the amazing carb-loaded dishes Italy is known for?!
Plus there is a good chance you’ll get to sample some of Italy’s incredible wine!
8. It is Very Affordable
You solo trip to Italy won’t break the bank!
Italy is one of the least expensive of the popular tourist countries in Europe. Travelling alone in Italy will cost significantly less than a solo trip to France, Germany, UK, Ireland, Belgium.
The list goes on and on and on.
The affordability of Italy is what surprised me most about the country. I expected it to be much more expensive considering it is a tourist hub!
Italy isn’t as affordable as a country like Ukraine, but it is on par with Spain and Portugal.
A solo trip to Italy may be a good choice if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to sacrifice too much comfort or miss out on any experiences.
Venice, unsurprisingly, is one of the most expensive cities in Italy.
If you’re going to rely on cheap eats and the grocery store anywhere in Italy, it will definitely be in Venice!
But outside of Venice, a Euro goes a long way.
You can get dinner and a glass of wine for less than €10 in Rome and Florence. As long as you’re not eating right outside the popular tourist attractions.
Get a little ways outside of the tourist hub and find a local place.
The food will be better and less expensive!
9. Beware of Scams
There are, unfortunately, a lot of scams in Italy.
Every popular tourist destination has scams, so that isn’t a reason not to take a solo trip to Italy.
You just need to be educated on that most popular scams, so you can not fall victim to them.
Rome is the hot bed of scams in Italy and where you should be most on guard.
The city of Rome has been getting better at stopping scammers, but it is impossible for the city to completely eradicate it.
Pick pocketing is a huge issue, and you need to be aware of your surroundings.
Keep your purse in close to you at all times and don’t keep valuables in your pockets.
Bus route 63 is one of the most famous places for pick pockets to get tourists. The bus route hits a lot of the major tourist sights in the city, and pick pocketers hang out along the route and pry on unsuspecting tourists.
Another thing to be weary of are Romeo boys.
This is where men try to woe tourists (more commonly women) into thinking they are going to have an Italian love affair (such a trope in movies!), and they end up scamming tourists out of a lot of money.
As a basic rule of thumb: if a man approaches you at Trevi Fountains and tells you you’re the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes one, sorry to tell you, but you’re being scammed.
This isn’t a romance novel. Sorry to crush your dreams!
But it is way better to be safe than sorry!
All in all, as long as you’re aware that scamming is an issue in popular Italian cities and keep your wits about you, you’ll be fine and won’t run into any issues.
10. Cities are Very Walkable
If you enjoy walking, a solo trip to Italy is a no brainer!
The cities in Italy are very walkable.
Once you arrive in the city, you can pretty much walk everywhere and not have to rely on public transportation to get around!
Not only does this save you money, but it also lets you see parts of the city you wouldn’t get to if you too public transportation.
You never know what sights, sounds, and tastes you’ll stumble upon when walking from one tourist attraction to the other.
I’ve stumbled on some of my favourite restaurants and neighbourhoods just by walking over my years of travel.
Plus it is a great way to walk off some of those carbs and make room for the next meal!
Unique Solo Travel Safety Tips
Do you feel more prepared for your solo trip to Italy?!
It is truly one of the easiest countries for solo travellers and a great way to start your solo travel career.
Travelling alone in Italy is so easy and a very good choice for your first solo trip to Europe.
It is affordable, easy to get around, the people are friendly, and the food is incredible!
It isn’t personally my favourite country in Europe, but I think I’m in the minority with that one.
I know so many people who are obsessed with Italy and keep going back year after year to explore more and more of the country.
They must be onto something right!
It is hard to beat the sights of Italy, and once you get out of the major tourist hubs, it is a much more relaxing trip.
I highly recommend a solo trip to Italy.
You’ll have an amazing time and easily navigate solo travel if you’re new to it.
And if you’re an experienced solo traveller, all the better! Get far off the beaten track and experience some of Italy’s hidden gems.