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A Solo Traveler's Guide to Italy

Here's everything you need to know about solo travel in Italy.

 
If you're looking for a popular solo travel destination, Italy should be near the top of your list. Whether it's your first solo trip or you're a seasoned solo traveler, Italy is a fantastic country for solo travel.
 

Within this article

Why take a solo trip to Italy?

Visitors to Italy have a wealth of different activities to choose from depending on their interests. Whether you're looking to take a deep dive into the world of delicious Italian food, explore lush valleys surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Dolomites, or trek along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, Italy has something for you.

Italy is a very safe country. Big cities and rural areas alike have low crime, apart from petty theft like pickpocketing. English is widely spoken, especially in major cities, allowing you to independently get around with ease.

On top of all that, Italy is easy to navigate on your own, assisted by an excellent public transportation system.

Popular solo travel destinations in Italy

One of the perks of solo travel is that you can choose and plan exactly what you want to see and do. Maybe you want to get up close to Renaissance art masterpieces in museums and stroll along cobbled streets in Italian cities like Rome, Venice, Pisa, and Florence. Or perhaps you'd prefer to spend time out in nature wandering through vineyards in Piedmont, savoring delicious food. You get to decide!

If you're unsure where to start planning your solo Italy adventure, here are some of the top spots around Italy for solo travelers.

Central Italy

Rome - Italy's capital city is a fantastic starting point for solo travelers. Home to Italy's biggest airport, the Eternal City is your gateway to Italy with rich history, local cuisine, ancient ruins, and world-class museums. You'll be able to cross many Italy must-dos off your list including the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican Museums.

Tuscany - Sample local wine, see priceless masterpieces in the art galleries of Florence, and walk or cycle the rolling hillsides of medieval villages in the central Tuscany region. A great destination for wine and dining, food lovers can go wine tasting, visit cheese shops, take cooking classes, and peruse the wares of local markets.

Northern Italy

Composed of eight different regions, Northern Italy offers travelers grand cities and spectacular countryside.

Venice - Many consider the floating city of Venice to be Italy's most romantic city. But you can fall in love with the city itself while going on gondola rides down the Grand Canal, touring opulent sites like the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square, and learning about local handicrafts like glass-blowing and mask-making.

Lake District - Home to Lake Como, Lake Garda, and picturesque lakeside luxury resorts, villas, and towns, the idyllic Lakes District is known all over the world for its beautiful lakes framed by lush mountains. Along with boat rides, going for hikes or bike rides are great ways to take in the stunning views.

Italian Riviera - Hugging the Mediterranean Sea along Italy's northern coastline, the Italian Riveria charms travelers with its pastel-colored houses, cliffside fishing villages like the Cinque Terre, and delicious seafood cuisine. Walking paths connect the different villages, allowing you to walk between towns.

Dolomites - With its hut-to-hut hikes, alpine lakes and towns, and towering peaks, the Italian Dolomite Alps are the place for hikers to go in northern Italy. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, spend your days traversing ridge lines and then spending your nights in charming mountain hotels with hearty Austrian-influenced meals.

Southern Italy

Sunshine, sea, and limoncello: time to head to the heel of the Italian peninsula to explore Southern Italy's scenic regions and cities.

Puglia - Unique architecture in the form of beehive-shaped houses, vineyards, medieval castles, and delicious local cuisine like regional cheese await in this coastal region that forms the heel of Italy's boot.

Amalfi Coast - Hike along the top of coastal cliffs, wander the streets of colorful towns like Positano, and people-watch at the cafes and beaches of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Amalfi Coast in southern Italy.

Sicily - The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is one of Italy's best destinations for history and culture thanks to the abundance of ancient ruins and historical sites. Clashing empires from the Greeks to Romans have left their mark here in the form of castles and worship sites like the Valley of the Temples. As an island paradise, of course, beautiful beaches, ocean views, and seafood cuisine abound as well.

Sardinia - The lesser-known sister to Sicily, the island of Sardinia's mountainous valleys and rocky coastline make it a spectacular destination for off-the-beaten-path hiking. While wandering, you'll also encounter Bronze Age ruins dotting the landscapes.

 

Top Italy tours for solo travelers

If you're looking to join a tour to travel around Italy, we have plenty of options to choose from. Depending on what you want to see and do on your solo Italy trip, we've got some recommendations:

For Outdoor Lovers

If you like hiking, walking, and trekking, you can choose between easier countryside jaunts in Lake Como or traversing the side of volcanic mountains in Sicily. For a bigger challenge, head to the Dolomites for invigorating day hikes in the Alps or undertake the legendary Mont Blanc Trek.

Prefer wheels to heels? Travel on two wheels between white-washed towns in Puglia, or along sun-kissed scenic coastlines from Cilento to the Amalfi Coast on solo cycling tours.

For Foodies

Eat and drink your way through Italy's best food regions on foodie tours. Sample olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Lambrusco wines in Emilia-Romagna, enjoy wine tastings and farm-to-table dining in Tuscany, and learn to make orecchiette pasta in Puglia.

For Culture Aficionados

From viewing iconic paintings and sculptures in museums to touring historic ruins, discovering local culture is one of the best parts of visiting Italy. If you want to spend all your time soaking up art and culture, you'll be able to do so no matter where you are in Italy. In Sicily, you'll be able to travel back in time at Greek and Roman ruins. In cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice, you can visit famed art collections like the Vatican Museums and the Uffizi Gallery, as well as find centuries-old palaces and cathedrals around nearly every corner.

 

When is the best time for a solo trip to Italy?

The best time of year to visit Italy as a solo traveler depends on the destination and what you want to do. Spring, summer, and fall are usually the best times to visit Italy because the weather is at its finest all around the country. But each season has its benefits and drawbacks:


Spring


Lasting from April to June, spring is a great time to visit for pleasant weather, mild temperatures, and blossoming landscapes. It's also generally less crowded, making this an ideal season to visit popular cities and attractions. However, you do run the risk of hitting rainier weather in destinations like Cinque Terre.


Summer


With hot and sunny weather, summer in Italy is a prime time for visiting the beach or “outdoorsy” adventures like hikes. But it's also peak tourist season, meaning that coastal areas and popular cities will be pretty crowded. Prices for things like hotels will also likely be higher. If you're planning to visit during summer, consider exploring less touristy regions or booking accommodations and attractions in advance.


Fall


Take part in harvest festivals, see the fall foliage in Tuscany and Umbria, or hit the hiking trails during autumn in Italy. Mild weather makes it an ideal time for outdoor activities and the summer crowds have started to disperse. Traveling in Italy during the fall does bring the risk of rainy weather.
 

Winter


The winter months of November to February bring colder temperatures and rainy weather, especially in Northern Italy. Cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice are less crowded, and you may find discounted prices. It's a good time for winter sports in the Italian Alps, Christmas decorations, and experiencing Venice's famed Carnival during February. During this time of year, some northern hiking routes like the Mont Blanc trek aren't accessible due to snowfall.

What to pack for Italy solo travel

What to pack for a solo trip to Italy depends on where you're going and the type of activities you'll be doing, but here's a general guide:

●    Sturdy and comfortable shoes for walking, hiking, or cycling
●    Comfortable daypack
●    Layered clothing
●    Reusable water bottle
●    Sunscreen
●    Sunhat and sunglasses

Is Italy an expensive solo travel destination?

While visiting during the summer high season can be pricey, for the most part, Italy isn't too expensive for solo travelers. One of the benefits of solo travel is that you can customize your trip to fit your budget. If you're on a tighter budget, you can visit during spring or fall, eat at more affordable restaurants, and use mass transit or your own feet to get around. If you're not on a budget, Italy is definitely the place to splurge from dining to shopping.

If you're interested in doing a solo guided tour of Italy, our solo travel guided tours are some of our most affordable trips, starting at $790. Most are in the $1,500-$2,500 range, which includes accommodations, some transit, some activities, and some meals. With those essentials taken care of, all you have to cover are flights, additional meals, and activities.

Is Italy safe for solo travelers?

Apart from petty theft like pickpocketing or bag snatching in big cities and at major attractions, Italy is a very safe country to navigate on your own as a solo traveler. All the same, it's a good idea to purchase travel insurance as security against theft, delays, or natural disasters.

While safe for all ages and genders, women traveling solo around Italy should still take precautions. Here are some safety tips for solo female travelers in Italy:

●    Be mindful of your drinking to avoid becoming intoxicated
●    Be aware of your surroundings and personal items at all times, especially in major cities
●    Always lock your hotel or hostel room door

How to plan a solo trip to Italy

While you can do your own planning as a solo traveler, booking a small group guided solo travel tour makes everything easier. Explore sets up an itinerary for you and arranges lodgings and transportation, allowing you the ability to move at your own pace and do exactly what you want to in your free time.

Explore our Italy tours and start planning your solo Italian adventure today.

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