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A Practical Guide to Solo Travel in Italy

A Vespa is one way to experience solo travel in Italy (photo: La So).

Italy, a country renowned for its history, art and architecture, and exquisite cuisine, is a top destination for solo travelers. From the stylish streets of Milano to the breathtaking views of Sorrento, Italy offers an abundance of experiences that cater to the solo traveler. This guide provides practical tips on packing, safety, sightseeing, transportation, and nightlife, focusing on six must-visit destinations: Milano, Rome, Rimini, Naples, Sorrento, and Sicily. Designed for budget-conscious solo travelers, this guide will help you make the most of your Italian adventure.

A Vespa is one way to experience solo travel in Italy (photo: La So).
Somewhere in Italy (photo: La So)

Packing Essentials

Packing smart is key to a successful solo trip. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • Comfortable walking shoes: Essential for navigating cobblestone streets and extensive sightseeing.
  • Layered clothing: Italy’s climate varies by region and season, so pack layers to adjust accordingly.
  • Reusable water bottle: Tap water is safe to drink, and public fountains are common, helping you stay hydrated without spending on bottled water.
  • Portable charger: Ensure your devices stay charged for navigation and communication.
  • Travel guide/phrasebook: Basic Italian phrases can be beneficial, especially in smaller towns where English may not be widely spoken.

Safety Tips

Italy is generally safe for solo travelers, but it’s always wise to be cautious. Use a money belt or anti-theft bag to secure your belongings, particularly in crowded areas where pickpocketing can be problematic. Stay connected by sharing your itinerary with someone back home and checking in regularly; Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes or accommodations can help you stay in touch without incurring high data charges. To blend in and avoid looking too much like a tourist, dress like a local, and be discreet with maps and guidebooks. Familiarize yourself with the emergency number (112) and save it on your phone.

Italian Destinations

Milano: The Fashion Capital

Women reading in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan (photo: Vitaliy Zamedyanskiy).Women reading in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan (photo: Vitaliy Zamedyanskiy).
The Piazza del Duomo in Milan (photo: Vitaliy Zamedyanskiy)

Start your Milan adventure at the Duomo di Milano, a stunning Gothic cathedral. Climb to the rooftop for panoramic city views. Nearby, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is worth a visit for its impressive architecture and luxury shops. If you want to see Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” at Santa Maria delle Grazie, you’ll need to reserve tickets several months ahead.

Milano’s public transportation system is efficient…

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