A few precautions female travelers should consider when traveling in Sicily — or anyplace else

Today I’m gonna talk about some of the precautions solo female visitors should remember when coming to Palermo. I want our lady visitors who visit Palermo to have a wonderful experience but any bustling city always has a few bad apples.

precautions female travelers should consider when traveling in Sicily

Ciao bellissima, Don Tano Bongiorno here, your old semi-official guide to my beloved city of Palermo.

By the way, some have written wanting to know me. Allora, I’m married and mia moglie won’t allow me out without supervision.

It’s true that in my glory days, I stole a lot of hearts while touring about with cute young women on my Vespa but now I’m just an old grouch and I worry about things.

I worry about women, young and old getting themselves into danger.

I think il Signor Einstein was right about his theory: the faster you go the more time slows down. He didn’t mention the inverse: The older you get the more time speeds up.

Mamma mia! Those days on my Vespa seem like only yesterday. Where does the time go?

But not to waste your precious time, I’d like for you to get a copy of the video travel guide created by wearepalermo.com’s founder, Nico.

I’d say he’s not as handsome as I was at his age or as camera-ready but to be honest, I’d be exaggerating. He’s not only handsome but he gets a little touchy when I make any remarks.

He calls me, Vecchietto mio. I think that translates to something like Old Timer. Grazie bellissima anyway, This is just between us.

I know I can trust you not to get Nico upset.

Allora, let’s get on to the Three Things a woman traveling alone in Sicily should be sure to remember.

Three things every woman should do to ensure their safety in Sicily

So the purpose of this little article is to give you some serious safety tips to make your visit pleasant, memorable — and safe.

Without further ado, let’s get moving on the three things every ragazza should know.

1. Be sure to select your accommodations in one of the safest areas

Like all cities, that probably includes your home city, there are parts of town that are much safer than some of the less safe areas.

Palermo is no exception.

Naturally less expensive accommodations are more affordable but usually they’re not in the best parts of the city.

Even if you’re traveling with a group of girlfriends, your best bet you be to spend a few more euros and book a room in a more desirable location.

One of the best areas in Palermo is the Politeama area.

This is not only a bit more upscale but has better police patrols and a very low crime rate. Check out the page where you can find a listing of recommended hotels.

Bonus Tip:

If I had to find accommodations for a close girlfriend, I’d opt for Via La Lumia Street, Via Gaetano Daita Street, Via Ruggero Settimo Street, Castelnuovo Square or Via Mariano Stabile. A couple of good places in these areas would be Liberty Suites and B&B La Bella Vita and Luxury torrearsa with SPA.

2. There far too many ill-educated, ruffians we call Tascios


These should be outcasts. They loiter on street corners with a quart of 40-weight motor oil in their hair and make crude sounds and whistles — I mean these guys sound worse than animals deep in the Congo.

This goes on every time a woman or girl of any age walks past them.

Worst of all, is these bozos really seem to think these tactics will help them pickup any girl. As some ancient philosopher once said, “Ignorance is the worst of all ills.”

But not to worry.

These guys are not at all dangerous but they can be quite annoying. The best defense for you to take is to ignore them completely, avoid eye contact, and just walk a little faster.

Bonus Tip:

If for some reason the Tascios should be particularly insistent, the best way to put them down is by a rejection in Italian. You can say something like: “Non sono interessata e sono qui col mio fidanzato”(I’m not interested and I’’m here with my boyfriend). You can memorize that just in case.

3. Avoid wearing skimpy suggestive R-rated outfits, especially at night

The Tascios (local idiots) seem to have this strange idea under that greasy mop of hair that a foreign woman who’s wearing a skimpy or low-cut dress a girl of loose morals and available.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to dress like a nun.

Just avoid wearing clothing that’s suggestive and don’t give a Tascio reason to believe you might be available or open to “clever” remarks.

Bonus Tip:

If despite the above, you like wearing sexy clothing, you might do better to visit different areas rather than Old Town where the gals tend to be a little more daring. Check out the page on nightlife in Palermo, or watch Nico’s video guide that has more to say on this subject.

A question I’m often asked: Is there any particular danger for Asian or Muslim women?

I mention this because I’ve seen a lot of nonsensical babble on the web.

Palermo may not be perfect — what city is? But I can assure you that Palermo has never been accused of being a racist city. I never hear anything disparaging about Muslims, Asians, or any other race.

Of course you can find idiots everywhere but an occasional idiot doesn’t speak for an entire population. Let me assure you that you may sleep well in Palermo regardless of your race, color or religion.

When you read some of my articles on our website, you’ll quickly realize that I’m very critical of certain things about Sicily, but I’ve never had reason to complain about our acceptance of different races or religions or even Aliens arriving in UFOs.

That’s all I have to say about that nonsense.

Don’t worry. Palermo is considered a much safer city than many others around the globe. Just take the normal precautions you should take when visiting any other city.

Again, I want to recommend Nico’s guide. Personally, I believe this to be very useful for any woman who intends to travel solo. And be sure to take a look at our tourist information page as well.

Okay, I hope you’ve got it. If you have any comments or questions, be sure to use the comment box below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.


Don Tano Bongiorno

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About Don Tano

I’m full-blooded Sicilian born from the noise of the Vucciria market and the gentle sound of the waves of Mondello. I grew up eating “pane e panelle” and “pasta con le sarde”. But most of all, I grew up with an awareness: Palermo is a beautiful city to live intensely and to love without question!