Guys, I must say, there really is no solo travel like Italy solo travel.
Italy really is the PERFECT country to travel solo in!
It’s a place where life is best taken slowly – with afternoons spent people-watching in a piazza and days spent listening to the sounds of the sea lapping up against the shore.
Just be sure to chase those days with some mouthwatering pizza and you’ll be good to go, especially if that pizza is brought to you by a tall, handsome, stranger.
You definitely don’t want anyone else getting in the way of all that next level awesome, Italy solo travel, now do you?
No, a thousand times no (That’s the correct answer, in case you were wondering)!
Like anywhere in the world, there are some safety concerns associated with doing a solo trip to Italy.
Which is why I’m here!
I’m gonna share all of my expert tips for planning a solo trip to Italy with you, so that you can quickly, put all of those nightmare inducing scenes from Taken out of your mind.
Because I pinkie promise:
Italy really is an amazingly safe country for solo female travelers, with exceptionally low rates of violent crime,.
Contrary to what Hollywood might have you think, you definitely won’t be confronted by the Mafia as they, “make you an offer you can’t refuse”.
Unless you literally go around banging on doors and demanding to see them.
But you’re way too smart to do something like that!
You’re a busy woman.
Let’s skip the idle chit chat and take a closer look at how to plan some solo trips to Italy, as we discover why this beautiful country is an amazing place to fly solo (pun intended)!
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Solo Travel Italy 101: How to Stay Safe During Your Solo Trip to Italy!
1. Forget About the Mafia. They’ve Got Bigger Fish to Fry
In case you’re still not totally convinced of just how safe Italy really is, let’s tackle and completely squash the idea that you might actually encounter any member of the Mafia.
While there are some active, organized crime syndicates in various parts of Italy (most notably Sicily, Calabria, and Naples), I can almost guarantee that you won’t have any issues with them.
Like at all.
“Why?” You may rightly wonder?
When The Mafia actually does target an individual, it’s usually someone who is a part of a large business or someone who is a government official.
They just really don’t have any interest in tourists who will be leaving the country within a few days.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll find even a trace of them during your solo trip to Italy.
Let’s tick that unrealistic concern off your never-ending list of worries!
2. Don’t Worry Too Much About Unwanted, Male Attention
Like I’ve said before:
Italy really is a super-safe country for solo female travelers!
And while you may be concerned about Italian men and their reputation for being overly flirtacious, I personally haven’t experienced, or seen, any harassment of women while I’ve been in Italy.
Some guys may be a bit flirty in manner, but it’s generally slightly tongue in cheek and self-effacing and nothing disrespectful.
Always use common sense when judging a particular situation. And if something feels off or like it has gone too far, then a simple “non, grazie” (no thanks) or “basta” (that’s enough) should suffice.
If the behavior does persist, then be sure to seek help from others by saying “aiuto!” (“help”, pronounced aye-YOO-toe).
3. Watch Out for Pickpockets
The biggest problem that you’ll likely encounter as a solo female traveler are pickpockets.
Sadly, this is the most common scenario in which you’ll become the victim of crime!
And Rome, Milan, Verona, and Naples are all notorious, pickpocketing capitals of Italy.
When traveling to these Italian cities, always be sure to keep an extra-close eye on your belongings, especially near train stations and historical sites since these are the places where pickpockets are most likely to strike.
And while the Colosseum in Rome is utterly amazing:
You definitely don’t want to lose all of your hard-earned dollar bills while getting a photograph of it, now do you?
No, you do not! That’s why:
You should always make sure that your valuables are securely stored within the deepest, darkest recesses of your backpack, making them rather difficult for pickpockets to find and access (If you’re super concerned, you can always get a lock for your bag or purchase an anti-theft backpack, like the one shown on this list of best carry on bags for women).
I would also suggest leaving most of your valuables inside the safe, back at your hotel and carrying only the cash and credit cards that you need for the day.
If your wallet does get stolen, you’ll still have cash, a credit card, and a debit card all, readily available to you, back at your hotel.
Now, I know this all seems a bit excessive, but trust me:
I had my wallet stolen in Barcelona and can assure you that it is a very UN-FUN experience!
4. Be Careful When Walking Around Alone, at Night
Italy is a pretty safe place to wander around alone, at night.
Which is awesome since Italy has this uncanny talent for lighting up some of its most spectacular buildings in the evening (Don’t believe me? Go see the Duomo in Florence, at night, and tell me I’m wrong!).
There’s really no better way to walk off all those calories than with a quiet, post-dinner walk.
Even though, after all that delicious pasta, you may feel more like nursing your enormous food baby back at your hotel.
However, that being said:
Some Italian cities are a bit safer in the evening than others.
So while you’ll generally be safe in most city centers and touristed areas, there are a few neighborhoods, in certain cities that are best avoided after sundown.
Rome: Tor Bella Monaca, Trullo, Corviale, and the area around the Termini railway station.
Milan: Generally safe, but avoid the main train station in the evening.
Naples: Scampia and Secondigliano.
You won’t have to worry about anything too bad since violent crimes and muggings are both relatively uncommon throughout Italy.
You’ll definitely want to avoid looking too much like a tourist, or flaunting any expensive items that you own.
Just appear confident by walking with purpose and looking straight ahead.
Also be sure to keep an eye on your bag, as well as your surroundings, and you should be totally fine, except for maybe a slight problem with inadvertently going cross-eyed.
Solo Travel Italy: What You Need to Know About Public Transportation!
Italy has an absolutely fantastic train network, making it really fast, and easy, for you to hop from one city to another.
Just stand in the central train station of basically any major city, and you’ll see a departures board full of tantalizing sights and cities, all of which are just a quick, train ride away.
The only MAJOR headache that you might experience are with the tickets themselves!
“How can a simple piece of paper cause such unimaginable levels of stress?”, I hear you groan!
It all has to do with the fact that Italy has a very strict system in place for validating train tickets.
Even though you may be happily sitting there, clutching your newly purchased ticket, with the correct date on it, all of that really doesn’t matter if you haven’t correctly validated your ticket before boarding the train.
Because failure to do so could lead to a hefty, 60 euro fine!
Talk about Yikes!
And no, feigning ignorance because you’re a tourist won’t help either.
Some kindly train conductors may take mercy on your poor wretched soul, others won’t.
Try to avoid the 60 Euro fine altogether and ALWAYS validate your ticket before boarding a train. Even if you’re worried that you might miss your train!
Where can you find this saucy little minx of a machine?
Well, validation machines are usually pretty easy to spot since they’re either bright yellow or powder blue in color.
Feel free to ask a nearby station worker if you’re having trouble finding one.
Buses in Italy are also quite plentiful and reliable, even though they do tend to get quite crowded, especially in busy, well touristed areas, like the Amalfi Coast.
Now, not surprisingly:
Buses also run on the same type of ticket validation system as trains.
You’ll typically purchase a ticket at the local tobacconist, validate it in a small machine attached to a pole behind the driver, and that’s it!
And yes, most attempts at buying a ticket directly from the driver are futile and will result in you being directed to the nearest tobacconist, as you cry salty tears and watch the bus sail off into the distance without you.
Because in all seriousness:
Public transportation in Italy is nothing if not punctual.
Which is why these buses and trains wait for no one!
If there is one, steadfast rule that holds true for basically the entire continent of Europe, it’s that taxis SUCK.
Yeah, it’s true.
Almost without exception, they’re incredibly overpriced, especially for a part of the world that has notoriously wonderful public transportation systems.
Feel free to ignore all of those overly pushy taxi drivers who will try and escort you to and from the airport.
Because unless you’re pressed for time, or heir to the Kardashian fortune, then the taxi ride really isn’t worth the exorbitant fee.
Make use of that highly efficient, Italian public transport system that you’ve been hearing so much about!
Both of Rome’s airports are serviced by train lines that will quickly take you right into the city center, as is the case with Milan.
Venice, Naples, and Bologna are all served by an ample number of shuttle buses that will quickly take you to and from the airport.
Florence, however, is the slight anomaly in this equation since it’s generally cheaper for you to fly into Pisa and then catch a train from Pisa to Florence.
This is extremely simple to do, and gives you the opportunity to visit the world-famous, Leaning Tower of Pisa if you should feel so inclined!
Regardless of where your travels will take you during your solo trip to Italy, you’ll have zero problems getting to and from the airport!
When is the Best Time of Year for a Solo Trip to Italy?
Although it’s possible to have a fabulous solo trip to Italy during any time of the year, it’s safe to say that the best time to visit Italy is in either May, June, or September.
These are the best months for enjoying comfortable weather conditions that include pleasantly warm, sunny, verging almost on hot, days.
If you can:
Try to visit in May, when the country’s many fields of flowers are in full bloom, leaving areas like the Amalfi Coast and Florence simply resplendent with botanical beauty.
Hotel prices at this time of year are also infinitely cheaper than they are at the height of summer!
Speaking of summer:
Italy can get unbearably hot and humid throughout much of July and August.
The country also becomes totally inundated with tourists, making this the worst time of year to visit the country (PS: Traveling to the marshland of Venice in July and August is an exceptionally bad idea since the city is brimming over with tourists).
Most locals tend to take their vacations any time after August 15th, as they attempt to escape the heat and enjoy the cooler climates of the mountains.
A lot of local businesses will actually be closed during this time of year, which is yet another reason why you should avoid Italy like the plague during the summer.
And while spending the winter in Italy can make for an enjoyable trip:
I wouldn’t expect too much sun since Italy can get extremely rainy (and COLD) during the winter months.
And while winter prices are accordingly, quite low:
Some cities make for better winter destinations than others, so prepare accordingly when planning your Italy solo travel itinerary (If you can, avoid Venice in the winter since it’s prone to flooding. Also avoid the Amalfi Coast since most businesses in the area will be closed for the winter).
11 Amazing Places to Visit When Traveling to Italy Alone
The Eternal City has been delighting people since ancient times – well, with the notable exception of the gladiators doing battle with lions in the Colosseum.
But, that’s a tale for another post.
These days, Rome is pure, Italian heaven for anyone looking to do a bit of Rome solo travel.
Rome might be a bit more chaotic and less relaxed than a lot of other Italian cities, but it more than makes up for with it’s wealth of ancient ruins.
The Colosseum is the most visually impressive, (Visit via the Metro system, and prepare to be amazed as you exit the station!), and famous of these, but it is only the start of the amazing network of Ancient Roman ruins that you can explore.
Take some time to visit the vast, complex of the Roman Forum, which was once the power base of a massive empire that stretched all along the Mediterranean, or the impressive Pantheon with its iconic, oculus in the ceiling.
You’ll literally struggle to walk around the city without stumbling over yet another piece of Rome’s famous, ancient roots.
If you’re in search of a place that is a bit more serene, then a visit to the Vatican is a must (plus you can tick another country off your bucket list!).
St. Peter’s is also another amazing building with some truly beautiful art inside, as is the Sistine Chapel, which is literally right around the corner
The lines here are disheartening long, but the wait is so worth it, especially since you get to see the Swiss Guards prance around in their rather unique, albeit gaudy, uniforms.
It should also be illegal to leave Rome without sampling carbonara, a divine, local specialty that is best sampled at Da Danilo restaurant in the Esquillino neighborhood.
Stop by and get ready for pure, unadulterated, carbohydrate bliss.
Orsa Maggiore Hostel for Women Only (budget) – If you’re a solo female traveler, then finding a hostel where you actually feel comfortable staying can be a bit tricky. This is particularly true in Rome, where the majority of hostels are located near the Termini train station, which isn’t exactly the nicest area to be walking around alone, at night. So, what’s a girl to do? Try Orsa Maggiore Hostel instead, where dorm rooms start at just $35 per night! It’s a female-only hostel (no snorers; hurrah!) that sits in the lovely, uber-leafy, neighborhood of Trastevere (one of Rome’s nicest areas). Plus, they even have a beautiful, onsite garden for you to chill out in, and swap travel stories with like-minded travelers.
Hotel Pulitzer (mid-range) – This is the perfect place to stay if you want to start writing the next great, American novel (geddit?). And while this hotel is a bit far from Rome’s congested center, you can still easily access many of the city’s top attractions city through the use of a nearby metro station. Plus, as soon as you catch a glimpse of the hotel’s gorgeous outdoor pool, you’ll forget all about Rome and start planning a few lazy afternoons at the pool instead! Single rooms are also available, start at $95 per night, and provide you with a fantastic view of the Roman skyline.
Home of the Renaissance:
Some of humanity’s greatest works of art can actually be found right here in Florence.
A statue of a pig that will voraciously eat all of your money also may, or may not, be included amongst these iconic, works of art!
But either way:
One thing’s for certain, Florence really does have it all!
History lovers of even the smallest measure should head straight for the famous Duomo, one of Italy’s biggest attractions, and gawk at the exquisite decor that adorns the entire exterior of the building.
For extra brownie points:
Ascend the church’s cumbersome staircase and explore the inside of the duomo itself (you could also climb the bell tower next door too if you’re feeling SUPER ambitious).
Meander on over to the river and walk over the Ponte Vecchio, a historic bridge that is surrounded by a wealth of ancient goldsmiths and jewelery makers, all of whom are only too happy for you spend all of your hard earned cash on not-so-essential souvenirs.
Lovers of all things beautiful (and I mean really, who isn’t?) should then head to the Accademia Gallery and soak up the immortal grandeur of Michelangelo’s most famous creation, the Statue of David.
And if your mind still isn’t blown up enough already:
Then stop by the Uffizi Gallery and check out the iconic works of Botticelli and Da Vinci, among countless others.
The Uffizi Gallery is actually famed for being one of the best art galleries in the world and is home to more people saying “wow!” than any other place on Earth.
Probably. That last bit I kind of made up.
Oh, and if you love the taste of food even a little bit, then you should definitely head south of the river, and grab a pizza from Gusta Pizza.
“What makes this pizza so different from all of the other pizza in the city?” You may rightly wonder.
If you’re one of the chosen few, you’ll get a mesmerizing, heart-shaped pie that is just too Instagrammable for words (at least it is until I swan dive, head first, into that delicious pile of cheesy goodness!).
Florence Comfort B&B (budget) – If you’re looking for a cozy AF, super charming B&B, then this is the place for you! Because Florence Comfort really lives up to its name, which is kind of surprising considering that rooms here cost just $40 per night. And included with the price of your room is a free sauna, as well as either a hydromassage shower or a spa bath (both of which sit inside your room). So, not only do you get to stay in an adorable B&B that is nicely hidden away from the city center but without being too far away, but you’ll also get thoroughly pampered too! Talk about a win-win!
Boutique Hotel Hugo (mid-range) – Not only is this super-fashionable hotel well-located, and all without being completely in the middle of it all (Do you really want people roaming around beneath your window at night? Yeah, I don’t think so!), but it’s also really close to the Accademia Gallery. Which is a MUST if you actually want to visit the statue of David without being mobbed by a crowd of selfie-stick wielding tourists! See, because of the hotel’s super awesome, central location, you can easily wake up early, have some breakfast, and still be the first one in line at the Gallery! Best of all, they offer single rooms at a reduced rate of $110 per night! Yes, my friends, we call this living the solo travel Italy dream!
***For more info about Florence, check out this 2 days in Florence itinerary!***
Although the never-ending crowds that clog up Venice’s notoriously narrow streets may leave you wondering how this city ever got a nickname like “The Most Serene”, there’s no denying that Venice really is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
The crowds here are proof of that.
Venice has become a victim of its own success, which has led to a series of strict rules that are designed to regulate travelers and limit crowds.
But don’t let this deter you!
Because while you may have to share St. Mark’s Square with tour groups aplenty (unless you get up at the crack of dawn), it’s still more than possible to enjoy a few moments of respite amidst the tour group induced chaos.
To find a brief moment of calm, wander down a quiet side street and get intentionally lost.
Because along the way:
You’ll encounter a beautiful maze of scenic passageways and tiny bridges that will take you over some of the most breathtaking canals in all of Venice.
Also take some time to marvel at the glorious palazzos along the Grand Canal, and treat yo’self to a gondola ride, or a more economical trip on the water bus, if you’re feelin’ just a tid bit frugal.
And since you’re here anyway:
So, when you’re ready:
Venture inside, and be duly impressed by the copious amounts of gold and gorgeous, painted murals that you’ll find everywhere!
You can also pay a small fee and visit some of the famous horse statues here, many of which are originally from Constantinople!
Because seafood is kind of a big deal in Venice, be sure to get your fishy grove on at Ristorante Rio Novo, a restaurant that is known for creating some of the most spectacular fish dishes in the entire city!
Generator Venice (Budget) – In a city as fancy as Venice, finding a budget hotel room can prove rather difficult. However, the Generator Venice makes it easy since they give you everything you need, and all for just $32 per night! Located on an island just opposite of St Mark’s Square, you’ll enjoy scenic views of the ancient port here, and all without having to fight your way through gobs of tourists. And if you want to visit all of the city’s major attractions, not to worry because you’re just a short, 10-minute water bus ride across the channel. Mixed and female-only dorm rooms are also available here, as is a fantastic common room where you can relax and enjoy a few drinks at the end of the day!
Hotel Santo Stefano (Mid-range) – This well-appointed hotel has single rooms available for just $115 per night (Trust me, that’s insanely reasonable for Venice). In exchange, you’ll get a beautiful room in a centrally located hotel that was actually a 15th-century watchtower in its former life. Seriously, how cool is that? I mean, why just visit history, when you can actually stay in and become a part of history, too! It’s also just around the corner from St. Mark’s Square, making it super easy for you to get up early and grab those early-morning photographs of a stunningly quiet square!
***For more info on Venice, check out my post on how to see the best of Venice in JUST one day!***
Although Milan may not be as classically beautiful as places like Florence, Rome, and Venice, Milan more than makes up for its slightly industrial feel with its very own form of glamor – fashion!
Yea my friends:
In case you weren’t aware, Milan is the fashion capital of the world.
If your wardrobe is in desperate need of a little love, then this is the place to go!
Because believe it or not:
All of the world’s most famous fashion houses (think Prada, Gucci, Versace, etc.), Italian or otherwise, have outposts here, in the city’s iconic fashion district.
It’s easy to spend an entire day on these insanely fashion conscious streets, totally distracted by the most beautiful and outrageous clothes that Italian designers can conjure up (Spoiler Alert: Things can get pretty wild).
If fashion really isn’t your thing, then you’re in luck because this city definitely has some distinctly non-fashion related charms!
The Duomo here is absolutely gorgeous, with it’s multitude of soaring spires.
The enchanting shopping gallery of Vittorio Emanuele II is basically right next door.
You can easily stop by and see the original branch of Prada while you admire the shopping arcade’s exquisite, classic architecture and stunning glass roof.
If you have time:
You can also see DaVinci’s one and only Last Supper, which is housed inside the Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie.
You only get to spend about fifteen minutes inside, with this immortal painting (for preservation purposes) but it was probably one of the most stunning fifteen minutes of my life.
So yeah, totally worth the trip. FYI though:
Do book your tickets well in advance (like months in advance) since tickets sell out incredibly quickly due to limited visitation.
Wait, I almost forgot!
You also CAN’T visit Italy without sampling ALL the gelato.
After all that culture, be sure to get yourself to Gelateria della Musica, where you can stand in awe of the sheer number of flavors that are available to you!
Umm, buttered bread and jam gelato anyone?
No, I swear, it’s waaay better than it sounds! Pinkie promise!
Babila Hostel (Budget) – Want to save money on your accommodations, just so that you can blow your entire budget on designer clothes instead? If you’re emphatically nodding your head yes than Babila Hostel is the place for you since rooms here start at $55 per night! Located just around the corner from Milan’s famous fashion district, you’ll have iconic, flagship stores, like Prada and Burberry, within easy walking distance. But, the glamour definitely doesn’t stop there! Because believe it or not, this fabulous hostel also sits inside a gorgeous, former school (from 1898), making this one of the most stylish and attractive hostels in the entire city!
Hotel Capitol Milano (Mid-range) – What, feel like you’ve totally shopped yourself out? If so then Hotel Capitol is the ideal place for you to come back to in the evening and recuperate! Because either a spa bath or hydromassage shower await you and will take care of any aches and pains that you may have acquired while lifting all those uber-heavy designer bags. Plus, all of the fully soundproofed rooms here, which start at $200 per night, will help you to get a well-deserved, full night’s rest before you’re up and at ’em again in the morning! This hotel is also conveniently located near various public transportation access points, allowing you to quickly and easily get into the heart of the city!
***For more info about Milan, check out my post on how to visit Milan in JUST twenty-four hours!***
Located just south of Naples:
Pompeii is the site of one of history’s most tragic events.
In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius violently erupted, immediately affecting the nearby towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Those residents who saw and understood the immediate danger they were in immediately evacuated their homes.
Many others stayed behind, resulting in a monumental number of deaths as residents were buried by copious amounts of ash and rock from the erupting volcano.
As a result:
Pompeii was basically wiped off the map, and was only later re-discovered, beneath a thick layer of solidified ash, in 1748.
Continued excavations of the ancient town have completely reshaped the way we think about life in ancient Rome.
Because of this think layer of ash, many of the buildings in Pompeii survived more or less intact, including whole arenas, gymnasiums, manor houses, a brothel, and even some temples.
To add to the tragedy though:
A number of corpses were also encased in this thick layer of ash.
Voids in the ash were created by the disintegration of the victims’ bodies and were later filled with plaster to help recreate the final positions of many of the town’s residents.
Today, you’ll find ash/plaster statues of former residents trying to shield their faces, a mother trying to protect her child, and even a dog tied up, writhing in pain.
It’s an unsettling, but important record of their lives, making Pompeii a fantastic addition to any solo trip to Italy.
If you do visit, be sure to pack plenty of water, a hat, and some comfy shoes since the combination of Italian sun and ancient Roman cobblestones can be pretty unforgiving!
Domus Annae B&B (Budget) – Located a mere 750 yards from the ancient ruins of Pompeii, this cozy little apartment house is the perfect place for you to relax after a long day of exploring (You budding Indiana Jones, you!). For just $42 per night, you’ll enjoy a private, beautifully decorated, spacious apartment, as well as a lovely, fresh breakfast, courtesy of the owner! Truly the ideal choice for anyone exploring Italy’s ancient past on a budget!
Hotel del Sole (Mid-range) – Not content with exploring the Roman ruins? Want to feel like an actual ancient Roman during your stay in Pompeii (minus the exploding volcanoes and excruciating deaths)? How about this gorgeously decorated hotel? Not only does this hotel sit directly opposite of the entrance to the ruins, but the rooms here are truly something to behold. Picture Romanesque frescoes all along the walls, authentic marble tile beneath your feet, and spacious, corner baths that you can you luxuriate in for just $60 per night!
Naples is a vacation hotspot waiting to happen.
A lot of people are still put off by the city’s reputation for violence and squalor.
Most visitors will encounter nothing but kind locals and awesome food since this is one of the best places to try some of Italy’s most delicious dishes!
Even though the city’s many charms tend to be a bit rough around the edges, there’s no denying that there is a fantastic amount of history to uncover here.
If you want to experience Naples more cultural side, be sure to visit the famous, Veiled Christ statue at Cappella San Severo church (Just be sure to book tickets WELL in advance since the line here makes the Great Wall of China look painfully short).
You can always stop by The Archaeological Museum, which houses many, original finds from Pompeii, removed here to guarantee their proper preservation, as well as some rather racy items that can be found in the Secret Cabinet.
We’re talking jars adorned with people doing obscene things to one another, as well as the occasional goat or two.
But, if ancient stuff really isn’t your thang, then head to the outskirts of town and enjoy the massive pile of historic awesomeness that is the Capodimonte Museum.
It’s one of the biggest museums in Italy and even has a gorgeous palazzo building to boot!
You’ll struggle to find a more impressive museum, and certainly struggle to find one with artwork that is THIS beautiful!
Let’s be totally real for a minute here people. Because we all know that you’re really here for one thing and one thing only.. the pizza!
You simply can’t leave the city without sampling its most famous dish at Da Michele, a small, local pizzeria that is known for serving some of the very best pizza in town!
Hostel of the Sun (Budget) – The Hostel of the Sun is a local legend in Naples, which is why pretty much everyone has heard of it! And it’s easy to see why since this hostel is renowned for its bright atmosphere, friendly staff, excellent wifi, and cheap beds, which start at $33 per night. It’s also in a great location right near the port and is just a ten minute walk from the city centre. You could also head to the port itself and take a lovely day trip to either Sorrento or Capri!
Hotel Metro 900 (Mid-range) – This sleek, ultra-stylish hotel is done in soothing shades of blue-grey and black, making this the perfect place to recuperate after a long day spent out in the Neapolitan sun. Rooms here start at $70 per night and are luxuriously appointed with walk-in showers and marble floors. The location is also great too since this hotel is situated in the lovely neighborhood of Chiaia, one of Naples’ nicest areas. Therefore, you can easily take a walk along Naples’ famously gorgeous waterfront before retiring for the evening!
Italy’s other renowned destination for foodies is Bologna, which is famous for an insane number of Italian foodstuffs like Mortadella ham, Parma ham, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and tortellini.
If any destination is worth visiting for the food alone, then Bologna would be it!
That’s not to say that Bologna doesn’t have anything else going for it because that would just be one, big fat lie.
And we hate those!
Because this charming, Italian city is brimming over with museums, picturesque squares (check out the impressive public space of Piazza Maggiore), and scenic towers (Two of which have a noticeable lean. Yeah, clearly Pisa isn’t the only place in Italy with a leaning tower).
You could also spend many a happy hour here browsing through the market of La Piazzola, which features over 400 vendors who sell pretty much any food product that you can think of.
So yes, let’s stock up on ALL the food!
It also goes without saying that you’re spoiled for choice on where to eat in Bologna.
There are so many fantastic eateries to choose from that picking a single restaurant will probably leave you clutching your head in agony as imaginary plates of pasta swirl through your head.
So, let me take the strain off of you!
Because Trattoria di Via Serra is where it’s at, and a total must-visit, thanks to its locally renowned, slow-cooked meals.
You really can’t go wrong with anything that you order here!
We_Bologna (Budget) – Who doesn’t love a good underscore? Am I right?? Okay, apart from the quirky name, this hostel also offers its guests an incredible location, right near the central train station, and supreme flexibility! See, the latter comes in the form of your accommodation which starts at $42 per night and can be either a bed in a mixed dorm or a private room (Oh, la, la. FANCY!).
Casa Bertagni (Mid-range) – This quirky hotel is perfect for anyone who wants to show off their cool digs on Instagram. Because there’s not a corner of this hotel that isn’t covered in interesting decor! From the cobalt blue, spiral staircase, to the wobbly-looking lamps, this is the place to stay if you feel like being a total, Instagram baller. Thankfully though, the rooms themselves, which start at $150 per night, are a little less busy, allowing you to get a much needed, restful night’s sleep. The hotel itself is also situated in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in the city and the perfect location for any aspiring photographers out there!
8. Lake Como
Nestled deep within the far north of the country:
Lake Como is known for being one of Italy’s most scenic regions.
A reputation that is well-deserved since you’ll find a crystal blue lake, an abundance of beautiful greenery, a wealth of charming villas, and a view of the Alps, off in the distance.
How can you not fall in love with a place like this?
It’s beauty has been captured by so many artists that you’ll probably start to feel like you’ve already been here.
But, let’s be real:
Nothing quite compares to seeing this amazing place with your own eyes!
There are also plenty of fun things to do here, like visit the stunning cathedral at Como.
It took over three centuries to build this religious structure, (I mean, come on, ye olde builders! Get it together!) but that just means that it’s an intriguing mishmash of architectural styles, making it one of the most unique sights in Italy!
You can also visit the insanely charming town of Varenna, or take a scenic boat ride to Bellagio, one of Lake Como’s most famous towns and home to a variety of high-end shops where you can continue that EPIC shopping spree that you started in Milan!
Whilst in Bellagio:
Also, be sure to pop by the restaurant of Alle Darsene Di Loppia since a meal served in their exquisite garden is a total must!
Ostello Bello Lake Como (Budget) – This is one of those hostels that will have you booking as long a stay as humanly possible! That’s because this amazing place is situated right next door to the lake, making it the perfect place from which to explore the entire area. The beds here are also outstandingly comfortable, start at $52 per night, and are perfectly complemented by a lovely, communal terrace where residents gather in the evening. You can also try your hand at cooking and enjoy some of their fantastic, cooking classes during the day!
Hotel Centrale Bellagio (Mid-range) – Want to be as close to Lake Como as you can get, but all without getting your feet wet? Want to sit amidst glorious surroundings, breathing in the ethereal, flower-scented, mountain air? Want to have a view of said mountains from your very own, private outside dining area? Well, you can have all of this, and more, at the Hotel Centrale! Rooms here start at just $140 per night and all sit a mere 450 yards from the ferry to Varenna and Griante. Now that’s what I call a central location!
9. The Amalfi Coast
Next on our list of contenders for “The Prettiest Place in Italy” is the Amalfi Coast.
What most people don’t know about the Amalfi Coast is the fact that it’s actually comprised of three separate towns – Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.
And before you even ask:
Yes, they’re all equally gorgeous, but in slightly different ways.
Positano is the region’s glamour puss; a town that serenely cascades down a picturesque mountainside, gathering along a pristine beach that is filled with private yachts and jet skis.
This town is a popular haunt among fashionistas, celebrities, and sun worshippers alike.
Which makes sense since this town is ridiculously beautiful, especially as the sun sets beneath the horizon!
On the other hand:
Amalfi is a bit more stately and dignified, though still imbued with an ethereal, small-town charm that always has the crowds coming back for more (People also MAY or may not come back for the town’s beautiful selection of regional ceramics).
It was also once a major trading center in Italy..until an earthquake in the middle ages caused about half of the city to slip beneath the sea.
Fortunately though, the town’s cathedral survived intact and still stands today; a stunning building with an almost hypnotic frontage that protects a number of holy relics within.
And then there’s Ravello, perched high atop the region’s many hills.
It’s a tiny town, but worth visiting for the exquisite, highly photogenic ,views from Villa Rufolo alone.
Imagine nothing but blue skies that stretch endlessly into the stunning seas below.
For the area’s best eats though:
You’ll want to head back to Positano and amble on over to Chez Black for a beautiful mixture of delicious food and ample celebrity spotting opportunities.
Via Col Vento – Ravello (Budget) – Getting budget accommodations on the Amalfi Coast is difficult, to say the least. I mean, this is the most exclusive region in Italy and as a result, high accommodation costs ensue. But, there is one notable exception to this general rule, and that is Via Col Vento! Seriously, grab this bargain of a hotel with both hands because this place abounds with the mesmerizing views that first made Ravello famous. Which makes sense since this enchanting place is just 450 yards from Villa Rufolo itself. It also sits right next door to a bus stop where you can board the bus and explore the enchanting, nearby town of Amalfi!
Hotel Villa Felice Relais – Amalfi (mid-range) – Amalfi is the perfect place to stay along the Amalfi Coast since it’s cheaper than Positano and located smack dab in the middle of Ravello and Positano. And of all the places to stay in Amafli, Villa Felice Relais is one of the best. Not only are the rooms here luxuriously appointed, with stunning views of the coast, but prices start at just $150 per night, which is pretty reasonable considering the sheer grandeur of your beautiful surroundings.
10. Cinque Terre
If you’ve ever seen a calendar or screen saver that features a photo of Italy, then you’ve probably seen Cinque Terre.
Come on, you know the one I’m talking about.
It features a small cluster of brightly colored houses that surround a beautiful blue harbor with several little boats bobbing around inside.
Know the one I’m taking about?
Good, because that’s Cinque Terre.
Located not far from Florence:
The five tiny villages that make up Cinque Terre were definitely not designed for mass tourism.
As this area becomes increasingly popular among tourists, the streets become infinitely more crowded, resulting in serious problems for anyone who wants to drive, or walk, around the area.
In spite of the intense crowds, this place is still totally worth a visit, especially at sundown, when the coastal views here are at their most majestic (The hordes of day trippers have also departed by then so you’ll be able to experience some relative calm.).
That’s also why an overnight stay is definitely preferable, especially since you’ll be able to see real, local people emerge from their homes and enjoy a nice, evening walk.
And If you do decide to spend the night:
Be sure to grab dinner at A Pie’ De Ma’ in the village of Riomaggiore since this is the perfect place to sit outside, devour some delicious food, and watch the sun set.
Hotel La Villa Degli Argentieri (Budget) – Staying in the heart of Cinque Terre National Park is a rare treat indeed. But Hotel La Villa Degli Argentieri makes it even better with super friendly staff and rooms that start at $120 per night. Plus, each room here comes with a hydromassage shower and a terrace where you can watch the sun set over the sea.
Hotel Souvenir (Mid-range) – Guys, Hotel Souvenir is a thin slice of heaven that sits smack dab in the middle of Cinque Terre. It’s a bright, colorful hotel that showcases tropical flowers EVERYWHERE. It’s also just a five-minute walk from an insanely gorgeous beach where you can relax and order a delightfully fruity drink with an umbrella in it. The rooms here are also clean and bright, with a beautiful, Mediterranean design aesthetic that will leave you googling “home decor”, so that you can try and recreate the hotel’s chic design when you get home. You won’t however, be able to recreate the fabulous breakfasts, which are filled with a plethora of sweet and savory items alike.
Sicily is a gorgeous island in the Mediterranean, with a dazzling array of diverse landscapes and cultural treasures that are just waiting to be discovered.
And while the island’s biggest city, Palermo, still features some less than stellar areas, the city itself has been undergoing a dramatic, systematic regeneration that is slowly transforming this metropolis into a cultural capital of the island, and maybe even the country.
Using funds confiscated from the Mafia:
Palermo’s marina has been transformed into a gorgeous place, filled with enchanting gardens and lush green spaces that are only eclipsed In beauty by Palermo’s iconic, Cappella Palatina chapel.
If the city really isn’t your thing, then there are still plenty of other, super stunning places for you to explore.
Taormina stands out among them as a postcard-perfect town that is filled with a series of quaint, winding streets that all sit nestled along the coast, quietly overlooking the deep blue sea.
There’s even a stupendous, Roman/Greek amphitheater here that is a great place for all the cultural afficionados out there to explore.
Catania is yet another amazing, ancient port city that is the perfect home base for anyone looking to explore the extremely active volcano of Mt Etna.
If you’d rather not experience a very LIVE version of Pompeii, then you can always head to the sun-kissed city of Syracuse instead.
Because trust me:
Sicily has got A LOOOT going on.
You’ll have ZERO problem finding many somethings to fall in love with, including the excellent food!
Because honestly, who doesn’t love a good meal?
Okay maybe not my pants when I’m sporting a massive food baby but that’s a tale for another post.
Because tor one of the best meals on the island:
It is imperative that you head straight back to Taormina (No passing go and no collecting $200. Okay???), and reserve a table at Al Saraceno, with its super snazzy outdoor terrace, amazing panoramic views, and wealth of tasty fish dishes.
Your tastebuds will most definitely thank me for that rec right there.
Hotel Columbia – Palermo (Budget) – Want to experience the fabled beauty of Sicily, but with the budget of a broke college kid? No problem! Because Hotel Columbia is a gorgeous place, located down a quiet side street, that sits next door to most of the city’s main attractions. This place is also notorious for having amazingly friendly staff and clean rooms that start at just $54 per night!
Panoramic Hotel – Taormina (Mid-range) – As soon as you arrive at this gorgeous hotel, you’ll immediately understand how it got its name. Just stand out by the poolside terrace and you’ll get a stunning view of the sea, and the town of Taormina below! This enchanting hotel is also just 20 yards away from one of Sicily’s most beautiful beaches and gives you easy access to a cable car that will take you into town. However, you could always just spend the day relaxing in your room (starting at $160 per night), enjoying a private balcony that overlooks the area’s exquisite coastline.
A 10 Day, Italy Solo Travel Itinerary
Milan (2 nights)
Put your most fashionable foot forward because we’re about to start this very Italian vacay in Milan!
Spend two glorious days exploring the city’s glorious cathedral, one of Italy’s finest, and sauntering along the city’s most fashionable streets.
While you’re here:
Don’t forget to visit Davinci’s immortal, Last Supper and explore the ethereal beauty of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade!
Venice (2 nights)
Take the train from Milan to Venice, the Most Serene Republic, and one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
While in the city:
A voyage along the canals is a must, as is the Basilica di San Marco, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Gallerie Dell’Accademia.
Do have plenty of cash on hand since that gondola ride is gonna cost ya!
And if you have time:
Do try and take a day trip out to Burano island, to see the charming, brightly-painted houses there.
Florence (2 nights)
The birthplace of the Renaissance has a timeless beauty that will make you feel as though you’ve been transported back in time.
During your two days here:
Gaze upon the masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery, or the equally impressive architectural grandeur of the Ponte Vecchio and the stunning Duomo.
Also, stop by the Museo di Sam Marco and savor some traditional, Florentine cuisine at the Mercato Centrale!
Rome (2 nights)
The Eternal City is fiercely proud of its ancient history, and rightly so since it’s home to some of the most iconic Roman ruins in the entire world.
The Colosseum and the Pantheon are a total must, as is the sprawling Forum. St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the Vatican, at least for all my history-loving homies out there!
While you’re here:
I’d also get up super early (like the crack of dawn early) and visit the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps since no people here = infinitely BETTER photo ops!
Naples (2 nights)
You’ll come away from Naples with a real love for this amazingly down-to-earth city.
Because aside from being the perfect spot for an amazing day trip to the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Naples also serves as a fantastic gateway to both Sorrento and Capri.
Naples has its own set of historic charms, some of which can be found in places like Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Museo di Capodimonte, and Cappella Sansevero chapel.
And don’t even get me started on the pizza, which is some of the best in the word and an absolute must-try while you’re in the area (Yeah, you’re kind fo obligated to eat your weight in pizza while you’re here).