How to travel in Rome and not feel alone
It’s true you can never feel alone (at least not for very long) when traveling in Italy. Italians are known for their warmth and hospitality and more so than any country I’ve visited, they really go out of their way to make you feel like you are home. But for those who are a little shy and/or reluctant to travel alone, here is a list of activities that you can feel comfortable doing solo.
Restaurants: Best picks for eating solo in Rome
Eating alone can be pretty intimidating for some but if you go to the right spot, you’ll feel like you are eating at your grandmother’s house by the time your appetizer arrives. Italian culture is a very communal one and most activities (especially eating) are a family affair. If you are open to it, the staff will pay close attention to you – sometimes even sitting you next to other solo diners, or if you’re lucky, a friendly local couple who will gladly keep an eye out on you (along with the waitstaff) for the entirely of your meal. This is hands down my favorite thing to do in Italy. My best nights out and memories have been when I went to a restaurant alone. But if you feel too awkward to sit at a formal dining table alone, there are a few spots with communal tables or bar seating which could be more comfortable for some and a lot of fun like Retrobottega or Eggs, to name a few. If you’re into cooking, why not merge a pasta-making class with lunch! You’ll get to meet fellow travelers, cook, have fun and dine
Bars & Nightlife: Where you won’t feel alone
Pick a spot with outdoor seating so you’re surrounded by a lot of people and action – and also for some optimal people watching. You can bring a book (to read or write in) to keep yourself occupied, but I highly recommend interacting with the other patrons – whether they be visitors or residents of Rome. There are plenty of cool bars for aperitivo and bars for after dinner drinks in Rome. Some of my favorites are Freni e Frizioni and Bar Del Fico with their great indoor/outdoor options and lots of people you can mingle with.
Other Activities: It IS possible to be sociable when traveling by yourself
Pick a neighbourhood that you want to explore (preferably outside of the historic city center) and venture out alone. Do a little research to see which local spot you’d like to eat or drink in to have in your back pocket, but the best thing to do is just wander around and get lost in the neighbourhood. Pop a squat in the local piazza or bar and you’ll be sure to make friends with the locals in no time. Another fun activity is to check out the many wonderful food markets and wine & food events happening in Rome. If you’re outdoorsy, there are plenty of fun outdoor activities in Rome, from biking on the Ancient Appian way to having Yoga classes outdoors.
OR you can go on an aperitivo tour, food tour or cooking class
This is a wonderful way to meet people and other like-minded single travelers when visiting any city or country. You already have a huge thing in common – good food and good drink – which is not only a great icebreaker, it’s the perfect way to bond with other people and make some news friends with fellow travelers. If you’re more interested in drinks than food, maybe a cocktail-making class in Trastevere is the perfect option! You could also join a rooftop aperitivo tour or go for a nice wine-tasting experience in a local wine bar!