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Traveling solo but not alone...Italy

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Long time reader...first time poster...

Having just come back from a great 3 week holiday in Italy, France and UK, I really want to start thinking about my next trip.....I love the planning phase!

The thing is, I've normally waited until I have someone to travel with before I commit to going somewhere. This is even though I will usually have some aspect of a trip when I'm traveling solo - just because I know that I will want the time out to do my own thing rather than having to compromise all the time. Now, I've realised that waiting for a travel companion can mean a long time between holidays. So, the obvious thing would be to just go ahead, bite the bullet, and do it alone, but I still feeling a bit ho-hum about organising an entire trip solo. I guess I think solo = alone = lonely.

Big, organised tour groups don't really interest me at this point, as I crave flexibility and independence more than I want social interaction that I group would guarantee.

So...the reason for the post is that I have decided that there is middle ground!

If I pick a destination, and then organise day trips or short group tours (probably activity based, and not longer than a week), then I will have the best of both worlds! But, I'm struggling to find a good resource for day trips, or short group tours that are not aimed at the luxury market. Help!

Ideally I'd like to return to Rome and explore southern Italy. To give you an idea of my interests, I've looked into language schools, bike tours, food tours and cooking classes...but I still seem to be short on options. If it may influence how you respond, I'm late 30s, female and am not trying to find myself 'eating, praying, loving', I'm just wandering, grazing and hanging out.

Are you similar to me? Do you have any recommendations of day tours, or group activities, or short group tours that you've done that you would recommend? As a guide the budget would be 80E for a day activity and up to 150E per day if it was a group tour that included accommodation and maybe some food.

Hoping to hear your thoughts...

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