travelling solo

Aug 30th, 2001, 07:28 PM
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travelling solo

I am considering travelling solo to Rome and Florence and possibly other towns in Tuscany. I have only once travelled solo out of the country and that was to Paris. I was slightly overwhelmed then by the sheer size of the city, but everyday became more and more confident by my navigating skills and my ability to communicate.

I am wondering if I will find it more difficult to navigate Rome and/or Florence or about the same as Paris? And although I know that English will be spoken by some, will I be at a disadvantage in doing things that require knowing Italian, like using public transport and reading signs, etc, etc....(I don't know any Italian)

Thanks for any suggestions!
Especially from anyone who has travelled solo to Italy.

Aug 30th, 2001, 08:28 PM
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I have traveled solo to Europe for many years, just did a Tuscany trip on my own in Feburary this year.

Regarding your concern: I find to have good maps( including publice transportation routes) ahead,post it on wall at home to familiar myself with the layout of the area or city is very helpful for on site navigation. At least I would have some idea where I am about. Or in countryside,I could explore different route spontaneously.

It is not hard to learn a basic language.I always barrow some tapes from libraries,listen to it intensively day and nigth for couple weeks, at least let myself familiar with the sounds.
Aug 30th, 2001, 08:47 PM
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I just returned from a solo trip to Florence and had no issues. I was always welcomed in restaurants, almost everyone spoke English and best of all it was fun to wander and explore at my own pace.

I have also been to Rome, but with a friend. I also think it would be a fun city to wander around solo. again, everyone speaks English in Italy.

Take the opportunity and see Italy, you will have a ball! Please check my websight too! It has a ton of info on what to se and do in Rome!

Aug 31st, 2001, 06:56 AM
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I've done all three and I can reassure you that Rome is significantly smaller than Paris, and Florence, although they call it a city, is what I'd call a town (of course, I'm from NYC so my sense of proportion is a little off). But seriously, they're both very very easy to navigate. You can walk to all the sights in Florence without taxing yourself. In Rome, you can walk easily in the center city (Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori), and take buses to the Vatican and St. Peter's, and the Colosseum/Forum area. Bring your Berlitz Italian phrasebook, buy bus tickets at any newsstand or tabacchi. Both cities are much smaller and less complex than Paris.
Aug 31st, 2001, 09:55 AM
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I too have travelled solo throughout Europe, and this past May was in Florence & Rome. I had no problem whatsoever, and found most people either spoke english or tried really hard to help out when needed. In Rome I took the subway to the Vatican, other than that, I just walked all over. I never felt unsafe or in danger and that goes for Florence as well. I did take a bus to Sienna and found it full of other tourists from all over-- but still very worthwhile.
Aug 31st, 2001, 10:02 AM
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I spent a week in Rome along a couple of years ago off-season and had a wonderful time. The one thing I didn't even think of doing at the time but that would have been a great idea is to take some walking tours so that you'll have some group activities. Some of the walking tours include restaurant-hopping, which would be a good way to have dinner company at least once or twice. I haven't taken any of walking tours myself, but there's been a lot of talk about them on this board.
Aug 31st, 2001, 09:22 PM
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I have to agree with the overcast and rain prediction. I went last fall, but even with all the great suggestions from the Fodorites here, I wasn't very smart in that I didn't bring an umbrella. It would happen that I was in need of one more than not. It was cold too, most days. Bring lots of layering pieces and a nice warm coat along with your raingear. Don't forget the gloves just in case!

Hope this helps!
Aug 31st, 2001, 09:29 PM
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I swear that my posts got crossed. I don't know how, but anyway...I will post again to make sure that this posts.

Aug 31st, 2001, 09:38 PM
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*** I wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful suggestions for my solo trip. Judy, I will definitely plan the transport issues in advance. These give me the most concern. I appreciate your helpful advice. And to Richard, thanks for your suggestions, and your site is great! I like the set up. Hotel due Torri looks interesting.

Carol, thank you for the nudge in that direction. I was very happy to hear (more than you know) that Rome and Florence are smaller than Paris and will be easier to navigate. This gives me more confidence.

Mauld, it is good to hear that you felt very safe when in Rome and Florence. That is very reassuring.

And finally, Moira, I will definitely consider taking a walking tour. I know it will be fun to meet up with new people and enjoy the city.

And Once Again, thank you all for your very helpful suggestions. They have all been greatly appreciated!
Aug 31st, 2001, 10:28 PM
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i have traveled to italy 5 times in the last ten years - all solo.

i go to europe at least twice a year 90% of the time alone.

i often rent a car if i am in a rural area. i get good maps and have never had a problem with roads.. or ( my ) lack of language skills.

to do tuscan hill towns properly you need a car.

rome and florence are both user friendly. i feel safer in these cities than manhattan. you need to be aware of pick pockets as you would in any large city.

read the italy rick steeves guide..

pack light.

this is not a difficult thing to do.. it is an adventure.

have fun

Aug 31st, 2001, 10:57 PM
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As an often-solo traveller, I particularly appreciated this thread. More importantly, with all the slamming going on around here, I was just about to delete my Travel Talk bookmark. It's refreshing to come across a thread where all the participants are civilized, articulate and informative.

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