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.
Ciao bellissima, it is your friend Nico – the full-blooded Sicilian – here.
If you’re on this page, it’s because you’re a girl who’s traveling alone to Palermo (or any other Sicilian city), and you have a few questions about safety, and not only that.
Straight to the point, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Sicily is a safe place to stay for anyone including single female travelers. The mafia aren’t going to kill you, there are no kidnappers lurking around the corners, or mad rapists breaking into your building at night.
Sicily has one of the lowest crime rates in all of Italy.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s a sort of Disneyland, where the worst thing that can happen to you is to trip over Mickey Mouse’s big foot. As any other place around the world, there are some traps you need to avoid, and precautions you need to take.
Today I’m going to tell you the three things a woman traveling alone in Sicily should be sure to remember.
Let’s get started.
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.
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 Family Affair Palermo (B&B) and Politeama Apartments and Hotel Politeama.
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.
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.
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 my video travel 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.
As I said in the beginning of this long article, women in Sicily have nothing to worry about in terms of safety.
We discussed many important things, but I would like to stress again the most important ones.
- Be sure to select your accommodations in one of the safest areas. I recommend the Politeama district for solo female travelers, but you can find many other good and safe places in the historic center, and on the seaside.
- Ignore people catcalling. There are far too many ill-educated, idiots we call “Tascios.” They will try to flirt with you in any possible way. They are not dangerous, but can be annoying. Just ignore them.
- Avoid wearing skimpy suggestive R-rated outfits. No one is going to assault you if you show too much skin, but this can draw the attention of the aforementioned “Tascios”. As I said, they can be quite annoying.
Before we say bye bye, allow me to remind you that you can get four itineraries that can help you make the most of your Palermo trip. Along with these, you can pick up a video guide on Palermo that features tips from locals. You cannot find these anywhere else. Best of all, it is FREE. Check it out now!
I would also suggest that interested parties should join the free group on Facebook. This allows those visiting, or that have already visited, to share their experiences, tips, and stories.
If you have any questions or concerns about a trip you might be planning, check out the tourist information page to see if your question has already been answered. You can also drop a comment in the box below here, and let me help you find the answer to that question.
A hug for you all,
PS – If you want to experience the city like you are a real Sicilian, without falling into the money-traps, and touristy spots, you should make sure that you check out our guide, The Sicilian Way.