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A Practical Guide to Solo Travel in Italy

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).
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 and affordable. A 24-hour travel card costs around $7.60 (€7) and offers unlimited rides on trams, buses, and the metro. For a lively night out, head to the Navigli district, known for its canals and spirited nightlife. Many bars offer aperitivo deals, where you pay for a drink and get a buffet of appetizers—a budget-friendly way to experience Italian cuisine and meet new people.

Rome: The Eternal City

The Colosseum is a must for first-time solo travelers in Italy (photo: Den Harrson).
The Colosseum (photo: Den Harrson)

Rome is an open-air museum filled with historical landmarks. Begin at the Colosseum, then head to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The Pantheon is another must-visit site, with free entry. Don't miss the Vatican City; St. Peter's Basilica is free to enter, but the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel require a pre-booked ticket ($22, €20).

Rome's public transportation network includes buses, trams, and the metro. The 48-hour Roma Pass ($35, €32) offers unlimited travel and free entry to two museums or archaeological sites. For going out, Trastevere is the place to be. Its narrow streets are lined with bars and affordable restaurants. Join a pub crawl to meet fellow travelers and experience the local nightlife.

Rimini: A Beach Haven

Sunrise on a beach in Rimini (photo: Fabio Tura)
An ethereal sunrise on a beach in Rimini (photo: Fabio Tura)

Rimini is famous for its beautiful beaches and Roman history. Start your visit at the Arch of Augustus and the Tiberius Bridge. Rimini is best explored by bike; many hostels offer daily bike rentals for about $11 (€10). This allows you to explore the city and its beachfront at your own pace. Rimini's nightlife is centered around its beachfront, with numerous clubs and bars. Look for places that offer free entry or drink discounts, especially during happy hour, to keep your night out affordable.

Naples: The Heart of Southern Italy

Naples and Mount Vesuvius (photo: Grafi Jeremiah)
Naples and Mount Vesuvius (photo: Grafi Jeremiah)

In Naples, ancient ruins meet vibrant street life in a captivating blend of the past and present. Visit the Naples National Archaeological Museum, which houses artifacts from Pompeii, and explore the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A day trip to Pompeii is highly recommended; a return train ticket costs about $5.50 (€5).

Naples' public transportation system includes buses, trams, and the metro. A daily pass ($5, €4.50) offers unlimited travel, making it easy to get around the city. For a fun evening, head to the Spanish Quarter, known for its bustling bars and affordable eateries. Don't leave Naples without trying a classic Neapolitan pizza, which costs between $5.50 and $11 (€5 and €10).

Sorrento: Gateway to the Amalfi Coast

Swimming in Sorrento offers the perfect way to cool off for solo travelers in Italy (photo: Vincenzo Godono).
Swimming in Sorrento (photo: Vincenzo Godono)

Sorrento offers stunning coastal views and a charming town center. Take a stroll along Corso Italia and visit Piazza Tasso. For a budget-friendly day trip, take a ferry to Capri (around $43.50 or €40 round trip). Sorrento is easy to explore on foot.

For longer journeys, use the Circumvesuviana train to connect to Naples and Pompeii. Sorrento's nightlife is more relaxed than that of other cities. Enjoy a limoncello at a bar or watch a traditional tarantella dance show. These experiences offer a taste of Sorrento's culture and are perfect for winding down after a day of sightseeing.

Sicily: The Island of Wonders

Hikers on Mt. Etna in Sicily (photo: Matteo Badini)
Hiking Mt. Etna (photo: Matteo Badini)

Sicily offers solo travelers to Italy a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. In Palermo, visit busy markets like Ballarò and the stunning Palermo Cathedral (free entry). The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento ($13, €12), which you can visit free on the first Sunday of every month, and Mount Etna are must-see sites.

Sicily's public transportation can be unreliable, so buses are often better than trains. Consider renting a scooter ( from about $33, or €30 per day) for more flexibility, especially when exploring rural areas. Palermo's Vucciria market transforms into an energetic nightlife spot after dark, offering street food and local music. In Catania, Via Etnea is the place for bars and clubs. Look for happy hours and promotions to save money while enjoying the Sicilian nightlife.

The Perfect Accommodation Finder For Your Solo Travels

For solo travelers on a budget, cozycozy is an invaluable accommodation finder search engine that simplifies the process of finding the perfect place to stay in Italy. Whether you're exploring the fashionable streets of Milano, the ancient wonders of Rome, the sunny beaches of Rimini, the historic charm of Naples, the coastal beauty of Sorrento, or the cultural richness of Sicily, cozycozy helps you locate the best options to suit your needs.

By aggregating listings from various accommodation providers, cozycozy offers a comprehensive comparison of prices and amenities, ensuring you get the best deal. You can filter your search based on your budget, preferred location, and specific requirements, such as Wi-Fi, breakfast included, or proximity to public transportation. This makes it easy to find affordable hostels, B&Bs, or budget-friendly hotels catering to solo travelers, allowing you to enjoy your Italian adventure without breaking the bank.

Solo travel in Italy offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural enrichment. By following these practical tips on packing, safety, sightseeing, transportation, and nightlife, you'll be well-prepared to explore Milano, Rome, Rimini, Naples, Sorrento, and Sicily on a budget. Embrace the freedom of solo travel and immerse yourself in Italy's incredible experiences. Your Italian adventure can be both affordable and unforgettable with careful planning and an open mind. Buon viaggio!


This story is published in partnership with cozycozy.

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