What to Expect on Your Solo Trip to Italy Being a Woman
If you don’t want to be disappointed on your solo travel to Italy, read this blog on the top ten things to expect as a solo woman traveller. Save the disappointment and expect the unexpected.
1. You are free and independent
Exceeding your expectation, the happy reality you will get through on your solo travel as a woman in Italy is freedom. I know you would have already gone overboard thinking about travelling solo. Adding to it, you can assuredly expect gender equality in Italy. It just makes the travel experience more empowering and liberating.
There are no places where women are denied access or allowed access if only they accompany a man. Everything is served equally in Italy. You can walk into a bar, drive a car, and rent a Vespa without any hindrance. However, you will need an international driving license. You are your boss!
2. Expect obscene misunderstanding
Next is a piece of sensitive information you must know before travelling to Italy as a solo woman traveller. Italy is not without brothels, but that is not sensitive information. Many African immigrants in Italy are known to be involved in this business. (No offence intended).
That said, black women travellers in Italy are mistaken for prostitutes in certain places. For example, Sicily, Turin, Palermo, Castel Volturno are major zones of human trafficking. Nevertheless, this does not happen all the time, only a rare possibility. Even if you, unfortunately, come across these occurrences. Don’t get shocked. Face the situation with gentleness.
3. Nightlife in Italy is dangerous
Those of you planning your Italy trip to be full of nightlife should be aware that it is not without its dangers. Nightlife as a solo woman traveller in Italy is incredibly terrifying. Crimes taking place at night are still maintained and relatively high.
Unless you have a company, don’t venture into Italy at night alone. I suppose you don’t need any explanation for why it is unsafe to travel at night, for we all know that the night is dark and full of terrors. So, don’t stay outdoor after 7 p.m and avoid consuming alcohol in the evening.
4. Know the food habits of Italian
Expecting sure, as a solo woman traveller, you will have to eat alone in restaurants on your travel in Italy. However, by now, you would have mastered the art of eating alone. But, there is this problem of turning up in the restaurant at the right time. Yes! Italian eating timing varies with simpler food habits.
Light breakfast & heavy lunch
Breakfast is very light. Any bakery item with a Cappuccino will do right. Cafes and bars are the ideal places to have breakfast. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, and it is the time to visit a restaurant. You can expect spicy food at lunch.
No cappuccino after breakfast
No cappuccino is consumed by the Italians after breakfast time. Lunch break is known as Siesta (short nap) time in Italy. During Siesta, the business centres are closed temporarily for the people working to have lunch and take a quick nap.
Aperitivo time of Italians
Now, moving on to the evening food habit of Italians. In the evening, they have a small portion of snacks with espresso. This is called the Aperitivo (pre-meal drink) time between lunch and dinner. And the dinner is usually around 8:00 p.m.
5. Expect Coperto & Servizio charges in Italy
You won’t be asking why Italians don’t tip if you know the coperto and servizio charges.
Coperto? This would be the first time you are listening to this name. Probably you will read this either on the menu or in the bill of restaurants on your solo travel in Italy as a woman.
Coperto is the seating charges. Unlike other countries, Italian restaurants charge separate amounts for using the seats and the time we spend in the restaurant. Plus, it is calculated per person. So, for a family of four, it would be multiplied by 4. Thank goodness, you are a solo traveller!
Servizio is the service tax. It is claimed for the staff service. And that is why you don’t need to do tipping in Italian restaurants. They collect it in the name of servizio.
6. Pay and use public restrooms in Italy
It is not an impossible task to find public toilets in Italy. Your travel alone as a woman in Italy will pass through public centres. So, pretty easily, you can find one public restroom, pay one euro and use it. Other than that, if you want to use the restroom, you have to go to a restaurant or bar. Of course, you will have to order something before using the restroom.
7. Remember to validate the onboarding ticket before train travel
Getting on the Italian train is another important tip you’ll need to know before your solo trip to Italy as a woman. Getting a ticket is so not enough to ride a train in Italy. You can book tickets online and offline as well. If you are booking offline, that is, on the spot, then you get the ticket and wait for the train.
If you book online, then on the day of boarding the train, you need to validate the ticket at the ticket counter. There will be a machine to validate online booking tickets. Remember, when booking tickets online, it needs to be validated before boarding the train.
8. Hotels are expensive in Italy
Hotels are expensive to stay in Italy. So, I chose to stay in hostels. Hostels are cheap and friendly equipped. By friendly zoned, I mean hostels are full of joyful encounters. If you are looking for a place to build friendships, then hostels are the best. You can expect garden areas, common lounge, kitchen, dorms, and private rooms in Italian hostels. Besides, Italian hostels have sophisticatedly designed interiors.
9. Attitudes towards women in Italy
Dealing with Italian men as a woman on your solo travel in Italy is not a hefty task. You can manage it easily if you are confident. Still, let me tell you some tips to chase away men bothering you. Before that, you don’t have to panic about your trip to Italy. This is the usual thing women face everywhere, irrespective of the country.
So, when you see men staring or following, tell them to go away. If they continue troubling you, ask for help. Tell you are married or have a boyfriend. Turn to the public if you are in a public square, bus, train.
10. Travel and Safety tips in Italy
Unfortunately, pickpocketing is a common occurrence in Italy. Pickpocketing occurs in 95 percent of public and tourist places. As a solo woman travelling alone in Italy, you must be aware of it.
Pickpocketing is common in public places like markets, alleys, train stations, and museums. So, always be on the lookout for danger. These pickpockets also work in groups. Interestingly, the individual that rushes to your aid may be an accomplice of the pickpocket.
Another common crime in Italy is bag snatching. Pretty much like pickpocketing, bag snatching is intense in Italy. The incidents occur in crowded places like markets, shopping centres, food kiosks. That said, safeguard your bag and wallet on your travel to Italy as a solo woman traveller. Even when using anti-theft bags and wallets, you must be careful.
Then there is the train station that calls for special attention. Though the train station is a busy-bodied place, it is not without any crimes—the crowded condition of the location sides to the advantage of the thieves. Make sure to stay vigilant. It is important not to be deceived by people’s appearances.
You know the ticket counter. Get a ticket and wait for the train to arrive. If you have any doubts, ask the person at the counter. It is good practice to double-check the line you are in. That way, you won’t need the help of a stranger.
I understand. It is too much talk on safety in Italy on your solo travel as a woman. Don’t overburden yourself. Once you start to mellow, it will be more comfortable.
11. Relish the authentic dish of the city
12. How cool is it to eat pizza in Naples?
So on your solo travel to Italy as a woman, relish the authentic Italian dishes of the place. Bologna is famous for its Parmigiano Reggiano, Sicily for its Cannoli, the Amalfi Coast for Limoncello, and Rome for its Carbonara.
A quick recap: Before you travel to Italy, you must be well aware of the good and bad neighbourhoods in Italy. For example, crowded places like train stations are bad neighbourhoods. Crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching are common in these areas. Italian dining timing is different with the expansion of aperitivo time. Then, there are coperto and servizio charges included in your bill.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.