19 year old in Rome?

Dec 6th, 2010, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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19 year old in Rome?

Hey everyone. I'm a 19 year-old female living in Singapore who wants to visit Italy (Rome, more specifically) very, very badly. Unfortunately I can only go alone as none of my friends/family can afford to go with me.

So basically I have two questions:

1) Is it safe for someone my age/gender to travel to Rome alone?

2) How do I convince my mum that I can take care of myself while I'm abroad by myself?

Thanks for your help. ^^
Mowser is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 06:26 PM
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If you can;t deal with your mother I doubt you can deal with Rome.

If you are financially dependent on your mother - good luck. If you're not - you're an adult, just do what you want and tell her about your plans - don't ask.

If she says know- get a job, earn the money - and then go.

(I went to europe the first time when I was 19 - with my boyfriend for 5 weeks. I naturally told my parents about my plans - but since I was paying my own way through school - they had no right to say anything - nor would they have anyway, since we all agreed I was an adult.)

As for going to Rome on your own - where else have you traveled alone? How will you pay for the trip? What research have you done? What plans have you made? What do you want to see/do there (besides meet cute Italian guys)?

I don;t mean to be discouraging - but if you can't realistically convince your own mother - how will you deal with the challenges of a foreign culture.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 06:28 PM
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I was in the same position when I was 20 (now about to be 40!) I flew to Rome from the States, on my own, because I wanted to go and had no one to join me.

If you are city/travel savvy in general, you will be fine. I never for a moment felt unsafe in Rome. It's such a busy, bustling city that you always feel surrounded by people having a good time. The biggest threat, I think, is pick-pocketing, but I never experienced any. Be hyper vigilant in train stations, etc. and you will be fine. Use common sense at night. I was never out very late, so this wasn't really an issue for me. During the days I walked, took the Metro and rode buses and never once felt unsafe.

As for your mother... does she believe you have a good head on your shoulders? If so, she will hopefully trust your good judgment. Maybe showing her details of your plans and research will set her mind at ease. I told my mother that I was paying for it and I was going. There wasn't much she could say Good luck and have a wonderful time!!
look11 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 06:45 PM
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Perhaps Mom would be slightly reassured if you were staying in housing just for women? I have not stayed there myself, but am always intrigued by mentions of the Foresteria Orsa Maggiore, http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ld-in-rome.cfm , which gets pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor:


Apart from perhaps reassuring Mom, this might provide an opportunity to make connections with other women traveling solo. Good luck!
MoonGirl is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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whoops, sorry, here is the correct link for Orsa Maggiore:

MoonGirl is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 06:53 PM
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@nytraveler: I fail to see how being unable to convince my mother somehow means that I'm not mature enough to travel overseas alone. For the record, I can pay for the trip on my own and am relatively independent. It's just that my mum is the issue (I'm from a conventional Asian family... you know how it is). Thanks for the reply anyway.

@look11: Thanks for your helpful reply. ^^
Mowser is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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@MoonGirl Your suggestion is perfect, it's within my budget too. Thanks a bunch!
Mowser is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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I completely understand your desire to make your mother comfortable with your plans. I do not agree that if she is not paying for your trip she has no right to say anything. The parent-child relationship should not devolve into a purely financial arrangement at any age, and I applaud your desire to respect her feelings.

The best way to convince your mother you can take care of yourself is to show her you can handle complicated arrangements and be mature and responsible in the tasks you take on in your daily life. You might be able to help her become more comfortable with your trip if you talk through the situations that might arise and show how you would handle them. And the best way to do that is to research the trip thoroughly and know what challenges you will face. If you can present lots of details about your trip it will show that you have thought your plans through and that you have prepared for the challenges of travel abroad.
Nikki is online now  
Dec 6th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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My 20 yo daughter spent 3 days in Rome on her own a couple of weeks ago, and enjoyed it a lot. She felt comfortable using public transport, stayed in a hostel, and walked a lot. She also stayed in Venice on her own that same trip, but in a B&B.

Go and have fun.
stokebailey is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 09:54 PM
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I traveled through Europe, including Rome, for a couple of weeks when I was 19 - with a couple of other people, but we were all equally novice travelers! Use common sense and you will be as safe as in any major city. Don't walk in deserted areas late at night, don't drink so much that your judgment is inhibited, don't leave your purse slung on the back of a chair, don't go off with complete strangers. Do have a good idea of where you're walking, and DO enjoy yourself.

I'm 30 and have been traveling since that trip when I was 19, anywhere from solo to with a group of ten people. My parents have never loved the idea of me traveling somewhere unfamiliar with just me or one other person. (And no, I've never asked their permission to travel since high school. But we have a good relationship and I don't want them to worry.) But they trust by now that I've done my research and have a good head on my shoulders. They know that I don't do stupid things at home (at least, stupid things with permanent consequences ), and that I do a LOT of planning beforehand so I know, more or less, what to expect. And I tell them about what I'm planning as I'm getting things worked out. It helps them be less worried if they know what I'm going to do and can hear how excited I am about it.

So, I'd suggest that - plan your trip, but tell your mom what you're going to be doing. Not in a "my mom has to have an itinerary of my trip" way, but more how excited you are to see the Colosseum or whatever. Since I don't know your mum, no guarantees that'll work, but in my situation it definitely helps. And the more responsible and proactive you are at home, the more she'll be able to see you being so in Rome.
jent103 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2010, 01:47 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. Off to do further resarch on Rome now, fingers crossed!
Mowser is offline  
Dec 7th, 2010, 03:14 AM
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mowser, the three bad things that are more likely to happen to you.
1) pickpocket, not a gender thing or an age thing
2) rip off, not a gender thing or an age thing but if you book a hotel from home, bring any documents
3) mollested on public transport, yes a gender thing and a minor issue in the Machismo mind of young men in Italy. My Kiwi niece was taught by her school to rake her boot down the side of a man's calf and shout very loudly. On her visit to rome it never happened

Each of these can occur in any tourist area. This is not singapore

Upsides are enormous
bilboburgler is online now  
Dec 7th, 2010, 07:42 AM
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Assure your mother that you will give her a detailed itinerary before you go that includes your flight information and your hotel information. Show her that you will carry the information about the location of your Embassy in Rome.
The housing suggestion above is excellent.

Do your trip planning and include your mother. Make a list and talk to her about the places in Rome that you want to visit. The more you include and talk with your mother about the trip, the more comfortable she will be with your plans.

Tell you mother that you will email her when you arrive and are settled. There are internet cafes from which you can do this. Tell her that you will email her a couple of times when you are there.

Accept that your mother will worry as that's what mother's do, but the more organized you are the better she will feel.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Dec 7th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Well, coming from I guess a "nontraditonal" family - going off to college at 17 and running my own life - with my parents assuming I was a capable, intelligent adult - I don't get the need to convince mom of anything. But if you feel you need to do so, then just show her your plans and some of the threads here - which report on a ton of people having traveled alone at that age without any problems.

Rome is basically a very safe city, granted some pickpockets, but you will find them anywhere. And it's a fantastic place to visit - undoubtedly you will make new friends to do thngs with at your hostel, pension or convent.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 01:31 AM
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Hi Mowser!
Hostels are great, safe way to see Europe - both my children used them when 19. They are a great way to meet fellow travellers at a reasonable price. You can book female only or mixed dormitory styled rooms.
The hostels offer travel guides including walking tours, pub crawls etc.
I think they booked through hostelworld.com
ozlinz is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 02:21 AM
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Has anyone considered that it might be helpful to know exactly what Mom's concerns actually ARE and just why she feels as she does? Staying in a certain type of hotel may very well have nothing to do with it, for example.

The OP has said nothing about the specific whys Mom is worried about the take care of myself part. Could it have something to do with who she might meet? What she might DO? Who knows?
Dukey1 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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I've been to Rome a number of times on my own and never felt unsafe, although I would say avoid the area in front of the main railway station at night (this goes for a lot of European cities, and non-European cities too for all I know). As others have said, just be alert as you should be in any big city (and presumably are at home) - particularly making sure to keep hold of your handbag especially in crowded places, bars, etc - and you'll be fine. I don't know what crossing the road is like in Singapore but it is pretty scary in big Italian cities - if in doubt just wait until a local strikes out and stick close to them
caroline_edinburgh is offline  

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