Solo Travel in Florence

Dec 21st, 2000, 08:52 AM
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Solo Travel in Florence

I'll be heading to Florence this January by myself. I've been there several times, but never "solo" and would love to have recommendations for safe places to go in the evening that 1) don't cost a fortune and 2) I won't feel uncomfortable being a single woman in. I'm not really interested in discos or clubs, just quiet places where one might strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler or pleasant local, eat some simple food and enjoy some good wine. Also - any thoughts on good places (cafes) to sit and read a book? (By the way, my Italian is excellent, so I'm not worried about the language barrier)

Any other information would be most appreciated!


Dec 21st, 2000, 08:58 AM
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Where are you staying? If you stay in a youth hostel you'll meet more single travellers. I've done it and recommend it regardless of your age.
Dec 21st, 2000, 09:42 AM
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I use Fodors guides always,
I find the Rick Steves Guides
also a good source.
The Italy guide might fit your
request, when travel Solo.

Dec 21st, 2000, 12:30 PM
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I just came back from Florence and quite frankly, there is not that much nightlife. There is a small Irish Pub on the Duamo Square and a copy of sing-a-long cafes. I beleive there may be more on the lower bank or side of the river. Most people seem to dress-up, walk the streets, and smoke and kiss. I would suggest a resaturant called Yellow Bar. I think it is good food and not a formal resturant.
Dec 22nd, 2000, 05:55 AM
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I would go to the other side of the Arno across the Ponte Vecchio and you will find more of the "locals". There are many americans you will find in Florence to study language,art etc. I can't remember the name of the restaurant we went to but it had a fun crowd and live music outside, it was near the cute little San Spirito church. I was also traveling alone but met a woman that was living there for a month so we went together.
Dec 22nd, 2000, 06:13 AM
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Have you travelled solo in Italy before? About 15 years ago, I travelled to Europe solo several times and enjoyed it - met a lot of new people, had so much flexibility. Only downside was that I thought it was a little lonely and quiet in the hotel room at night. A radio or portable disc player would probably help.

That said, my worst trip was to Italy. The men were just plain nuts. I went to a nice family style restaurant in Florence where they sat me at a large table with other people (usually a really good thing) - a stranger kept groping me under the table, continuing even when I protested and stabbed him with my fork. Then there was the 85 year old man who licked my face in Pisa. I was ready to grab a plane in the middle of my trip and fly back. And if you knew me, you'd know that the situation must have been extreme.

Hopefully, things have changed. My advice would be to link up with other travellers or locals during the day and join them in the evening. Using that technique, you really don't have to worry about finding neat places and having fun. With contacts, you can just throw away the guide books. And they will protect you from the idiots.

Dec 22nd, 2000, 09:01 AM
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Christina -

Please don't let the last post scare you off! I have been to Florence on my own twice in the past two years, and had no such problems. In fact, Florence is one of my favorite cities. I too recommend the Oltrarno - for wandering, eating, getting more of a feel for the local color. I've almost always managed to strike up a conversation with a neighboring table and/or the restaurant staff at the smaller places I like to go. Please e-mail me directly if you'd like me to check my travel notes for some specific recommendations.

If you have not been to Fiosole, it is an easy 20 minute ride on the city bus. I've also enjoyed daytrips via bus or train to both Lucca and Oriveto.
Dec 28th, 2000, 02:36 PM
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Thanks to one and all for replies. Been to Florence before, well accustomed to the Don Giovanni game and not bothered by it, but thanks for the warnings. I just can't for the life of me remember seeing any good plop-yourself-down-with-a-drink-and-read-a-book-cafes (unlike Paris, where they seem to exist in abundance). Maybe that's why Hemingway ended up where he did...

Thanks again,

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