Alone in Italy – Lessons I learnt on My Solo Travel to Italy
To my fellow travellers,
I am overtly happy to share my experience as a solo woman traveller in Italy. Can’t believe I am suddenly trying to do philosophical stuff. It is so funny. You just have to adjust with me on this one.
Join me in my journey. Alone in Italy, the lessons I learnt on my solo travel to Italy.
1. Doubt builds trust
I have already mentioned it as one of the 25 tips to know before travelling to Italy. The best way to connect with locals and make friends is to trust people even if the air around does not permit it. However, I travelled solo that did not become my whole journey. I encountered people, both native and travellers like me. And, it did not stop with that. There were times when I needed to trust them. Like in those situations, you leave your backpack with them for safety or give money to get you drinks. I won’t lie and say I straight away trusted them. No, not at all. However, it did end well when they returned to me, proving me wrong. My trust in them got sealed forever.
2. Beauty is spread everywhere—admire it
On the whole, Florence, the leading light of Italy, is a package of artistic beauty. I cannot specifically say which attracted me better—no room for this or that. As I mentioned before, Florence is a wormhole to the past. To the renaissance, to the medieval, to literature, to creativity, to inventions, to beauty, to philosophy, to tradition.
With that blissful dialogue comes the realisation that Florence, in its entirety, is awe-striking. As you walk past the ordinary buildings in the streets, it gives a glimpse of the glorious past painted with beauty. It will be unjustifiable if I say I learnt to admire everything in Florence. Instead, the right way to say this is, I admired everything of presence in Florence and through which I learnt to admire everything in my life.
3. There are better things to worry about in life
Hehehe. A silly thing I identified on my solo woman travel to Italy is gelatos in Rome are fake, leaving out a handful of sellers. Save the laughing and look at its seriousness. How can Rome do that to us?
Gelatos are the beacon of Italian cuisine. It must be on your must-try Italian dishes. I was a bit shocked when I learnt that most gelatos sold in Rome are fake. For a fake dish, gelatos sellers are skilled to give it the look of perfection. Unless you grab it in your hand and lick the corners, you won’t spot the natural taste gone missing. But, who has patience enough to emphasize my problem with Rome gelatos? It is true, 80% of the gelatos sold in Rome are fake. Even with that, there are always better things to worry about. Definitely not gelatos.
4. Miracles happen
Listen to me, ladies. Never have I thought that I would taste the grapes from the vineyard of Leonardo da Vinci. After all, miracles do happen in my life. Not that Leonardo da Vinci is my saint patron, but growing up, somehow down the line, his name was caught up in our talks of science, inventions, paintings, anatomy, and physiology. And after watching the movie The Da Vinci Code, I was like, who the hell is this man?
So, visiting his vineyard in Milan was a surreal experience for me. In my world, he was a ghostly creature, but it turns out he was a normal human being who lived in a villa with a beautiful vineyard.
5. You can find everlasting happiness in simpler things
Yes, you can find eternal happiness in simpler things. How simpler?
Simple as a gesture of smile from the passers-by or simple as the gondola ride in Venice. The gondola ride is the landmark of Venice. But if you look at the flipside, gondola rides are not something outrageous. Venice is a city of water. I assume gondola rides must be an ordinary phenomenon to the people of Venice. It is their mode of transportation in water. To travellers like us, it is a thing of admiration. Such that we look up to it as if we don’t have boat rides in our native place.
The gondola ride was the best experience in Venice and one of my favourite moments on my solo travel to Italy. The ride was simply magical and gave the joy of two worlds. And that is when I realised even the smallest thing could bring joy in abundance. I love you, Venice.
6. The evil course of nature
Nature is unpredictable. I have heard it in my environmental science class—it is the cliché catchphrase said after experiencing natural disasters. I understand this topic is spilt milk to you. Sadly my blabber mind won’t stop until I share it with you. So allow me, buddies.
My experience in Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, and Mount Stromboli gave me a smack of nature’s power in the universe. One moment, they are dead calm, and the next moment, they ferociously cry till heavens. How do they excel in mood swings better than a woman in the world? Great!
Likewise, the two columns of Bologna called the Asinelli Tower and Garisenda Tower have a story to tell. These two towers have withstood the cannon fires but were shaken from the land by lightning. If you visit Bologna, go and see this wonder. The towers have lost their connection with the land and can be seen leaning upon each other.
7. Embrace the chaos
Besides the shrill and thrill in nature’s evil course, I grasped the lesson they are pointing to us—to embrace the chaos. Even though nature is chaotic, we like them—for example, my visit to Mount Etna. I know the volcanic mountain is active. All visitors are aware of it. Still, we take a step forward to experience the disorder. We need to divide that approach with our life. When we may come across chaotic moments in life, without losing hope when we embrace it, we move forward in life with hope, confidence, gratefulness, and joy.
8. I love things that don’t bend my ways
Did I sound like a bad bitch?
Chill down. I was going to talk about the language problem I faced in Italy. Damn. The Italian language was core hard to learn. Of course, there is no rule that one must know Italian before travelling there. Yet, I had high hopes that I would learn to speak more than a few sentences in Italian. I even took up free courses online. But the angel did not side with me. I struggled hard to spell the few basic Italian phrases I memorised.
Nevertheless, Italian phrases like ciao, viola(!) come out of my mouth without tension. By the way, I like the word viola with the exclamatory mark. Getting to the point right from the beginning, I struggled to learn the language. At times, when I got tiresome of the results, I did not think about stopping learning or hating the language. My love for the language just added up. Maybe, this woman loves things that are hard to master, and she learnt it on her solo travel in Italy!
9. Life without the internet is possible
To begin with, I am not addicted to the internet or gaming. That said, somehow I spend most of my time on the mobile phone. Even when I have nothing to look for on youtube or google or any sort of entertainment, I tend to spend most of the time online. I don’t know, but it is the truth. Meanwhile, when I got to know about the Wi-Fi condition in Italy, I was shocked. The fear of running out of internet connection in a time of need stood as a threat to me as a woman travelling alone in Italy. But, I got adapted to the Italian lifestyle.
Surprisingly, I did not spend time on the internet. The Wi-Fi plan I recharged from my home was sufficient enough to guide me in times of need. After all, living is possible without the internet.
Hostels are the best place to make friends. Given that I have to save money on all possible occasions, I preferred staying at hostels or dorms in Italy.
I can not complain as hostels are equally comfortable like a hotel. Forget about the ambience, food, and rooms. I blindly love staying in a hostel because it is a whole new experience I excelled in from my solo travel to Italy as a woman. You know, returning for the day to see bright faces who have returned from the same journey as you are is simply nice. I might have ended behind the closed doors in luxurious hotel rooms if not for the refreshing hostel.
10. Travelling is pricey
I don’t need to take up a course to know the fact that travelling is pricey. Travelling to Italy as a solo woman traveller was pricey is a view of the fact. That puts me in the state of saving money whichever way possible. That said, flying within Italy is double the trouble. So, I had to take travel passes and use only public transport to save money on my solo travel. I would say Italian trains served me best. And they are the best and cheap public transport in Italy.
11. The great impact of world war II
A moment of silence to all those who have lost their lives in the second world war. My solo travel to Italy as a woman traveller was full of admiration towards history. Italy presented me with three special locations reflecting the traces of war: the two columns in Bologna, Ponte Vecchio in Florence, and the Jewish ghetto in Venice. The three places mark the war effects in Italy. Thankfully, my motherland was left out of the German list. Witnessing the massive fallbacks of world war II in Italy was a live revelation of war to me.
12. Never fail to do things that make you happy
Alone taking up adventure activities, I learnt the importance of freedom in a woman’s life. The reason behind people wanting to travel solo is because they need to feel the free air. The freedom that comes with independence has no words to define. I am sure, you as a woman traveller, know it. By adventure, I imply a soul-elevating experience to break away from the daily nuisance of life.
Mountain biking in Trentino and hiking in Mount Eṭna are two of many favourite adventure activities in Italy. I love exactly how happy those rides were activating the pleasure nerves. I learnt that women have to sign up for adventurous items of life to break away from the routine, mundane life.
13. We have to preserve ancient history at all cost
When I turn back, glancing through my solo travel experience in Italy and, of course, what I said so far, I can tell one thing for certain. That is, I would not have gained superb experiences that are not only jovial but also some enriching in life if Italy wasn’t a tourist place with an abundance of archaic artefacts, monumental buildings, and thorough history. Unless we preserve the present like how the past was bottled up to us, we would be missing out on significant things in life.
Need more life lessons?
If you want more of this, comment below. Travelling alone as a woman is challenging. I shadowed the challenges and had a splendid time in Italy. In the end, I wanted to be creative, chaotic, beautiful, and wild, just like Italy.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.