Italy for solo travelers

A six-bedroom dorm at Rome's Des Artistes hostel, For solo travelers, Italy, Italy (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
A six-bedroom dorm at Rome's Des Artistes hostel, Hostels, General

Advice and tips for single travelers in Italy

The dreaded "single supplement" technically only applies to people booking tours or packages—but there are penalties for traveling solo even for the independent traveler.

Some single penalties are implicit.

single room at a hotel rarely costs exactly half of what a double one does (it's usually more like 70%–80%).

When two or three of you rent a car—even if only one person drives it—you still split that cost evenly.

Heck, there are even discounted rail passes and railcards for couples.

Then there are all the little extras.

There's no one to share the cost of the meal (perhaps you would have shared that main dish, and a bottle of wine).

It's sometimes tough to book a day trip, as they often have a minimum participant requirement before they'll go (though you can glom on to a trip that already has participants).

There are often menu items (risotto in particular) that require you order for a minimum of two.

The good things about traveling solo

That said, I spend the vast majority of my travel time going solo (part of the job, you see), and while it might cost a wee bit more, it's still extraordinarily fulfilling.

I get to do what I want, when I want. No negotiating over when to get up, what activity to do or sights to see, where to eat out, and where to head next. I am master of my own itinerary and my own daily schedule.

I tend to notice and absorb a whole lot more of my trip, since all of my attention is focused outward, on the destination, not split between what I am seeing and paying attention to the person or people I am with.

Advice for single women traveling in Italy

There is actually a whole section dedicated to advice for women travelers. » more

Singles tours links

More on Solo travel

A six-bedroom dorm at Rome's Des Artistes hostel (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

Cheap bunks in shared dorms and a backpackers-of-the-world-unite atmosphere

A room at Rome's University (Photo courtesy of University Rooms)

How tourists can stay in cheap university housing in Italy

 (Photo courtesy of Europosters)

Couchsurfing and other hospitality networks allow you to sleep for free in other member's homes

Getting to know some locals is a bit part of staying with a fellow hospitality club member (Photo courtesy of The Affordable Travel Club)

Hospitality networks gather folks who are willing to put up fellow members in their homes for free or for a small fee

This house in the Tuscan hills needs someone to house-sit and watch their dog for three weeks this spring... (Photo courtesy of

Sleep for free on vacation in Italy by watching someone's house (and, often, watering their plants and feeding their cat)

Camping Panoramico Fiesole is in an Etruscan town in the hills right above Florence (Photo courtesy of Camping Panoramico Fiesole)

Camping and campgrounds (campeggi) are a cheap way to spend the night while traveling

A classic train couchette sleeping six (Photo by DB Autozug GmbH)

Sleeping in couchettes on overnight trains

You can stay at the medieval Tuscan Santuario della Verna, where St. Francis received the stigmata (Photo courtesy of La Verna)

Sleep in a religious guesthouse or retreat at monasteries abbeys across Italy from just €17

A frescoed room at Venice's Foresteria Valdese, a religious hospice (Photo courtesy of the property)

You don't have to take vows of chastity and poverty or wear those itchy woolen robes to shack up in an Italian convent for as little as $30. You don't even have to be particularly religious.

The Palagetto Guest House in Florence will give you a room in exchange for: Installing mosquito screens, professional photographs of the rooms, printing brochures for them, gently used bikes, installation of a shower by a professional plumber, or origami lessons by a Japanese artist. (Photo courtesy of the property)

Programs like WWOOF and Helpx let you barter your services for a free place to stay

Sailboats (Photo by plb06)

If you love sailing, or just have an unquenchable taste for adventure and new experiences, you can sign on to help crew a boat just about anywhere in the world, including Italy

Ah, to be single and in Pisa (Photo by Roberto Trombetta)

Singles tours and other options and tips for solo travelers in Italy