We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Which Rome hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
San Francisco
Level Contributor
16 posts
Save Topic
Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Hello,

I am a single black female, late twenties, and I was thinking of travelling to Rome alone this January, I was reading through several threads and was wondering if racism, and safety would be an issue. I am certain these types of problems plauge all countries, but some of the other threads concerned me so I thought I would ask if anyone had any feedback to offer. Would I feel out of place in Italy?

I have never travelled to Europe before, and am a generally shy person, I did not want to put myself in a bad situation. Thank you in advance for responding.

Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
426 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

I would be very interested to hear some first hand experience about this, too. Unfortunately, most of the black persons we see here in Rome are poor souls, who have had to escape their countries and seeking asylum here and in the meantime doing not-so-great business, if you know what I mean. It might be that you have to pay extra attention to set yourself apart from them, with attire, behaviour, place where you stay etc, but I am just guestimating.

But don't worry about being single, that is not a problem while travelling to Rome.

Antwerp
Level Contributor
90 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Since you are from SF and used to the big city environment, I don't think you would have to worry in Rome. Rome is one of the more safe big cities and violent crimes don't happen that often.

Just use common sense when going about in the city.

I have to say that I was more ''scared'' in SF after dark than I have ever been in Rome.

I also don't think you have to worry about racism.

Kuwait
Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Im also a single female from Kuwait wearing hejab (islamic cover for hair) and I've been travelling alone through Europ I have been in Netherland, Beljum, germany England and I did not have any sort of problem and I will be in Rome tomorrow. I found ppl were rude in shops or resturant in some cases but really I will not let them ruin my holidays be self confident and be your self and enjy your time.

New York City
Level Contributor
4,232 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Hi Justastepaway, Trying to be very thoughtful and proper with my rely, so that it does not offend anyone and invite weirdo type commentary. I do not think there is any safety issue here for you to be concerned about in a very general way. Leilui's post is very interesting and informative. I do not think you would be exposed to any overt racism in Rome, but for whatever reason there appears to be more frequent travel amongst black solo traveler's to cities like Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and many of the Scandinavian countries. Again, that may have nothing to do with any concerns with racism at all.

I would totally disregard the Berlosconi remark about Obama being "tan". Berlusconi owns one of the most popular soccer teams in the world, AC Milan, and players from all over the world live and play in Italy.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Travels !!!

Kamloops, BC...
Level Contributor
9,743 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Hi --

On almost every trip to Italy I've met US GIs of every different shade of skin. I always ask if they have any problems with the locals, and they have always said no.

In Rome a couple of soldiers (not in uniform) once said that there had been some rude people in some of the shops, but they noticed that they were rude to everyone, so clearly it wasn't racially motivated.

I think you won't have any major problems, and you should have a great time. I agree with the person who said they were more afraid in SF than in Rome.

The big risks in Rome are pickpockets, street traffic, and Vespas (motor scooters). If you can avoid contact with those things, you'll have no problems at all.

San Francisco
Level Contributor
16 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Thank you all for yout thoughtful comments, I feel much better now, and I plan to go.

New York City
Level Contributor
4,232 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

Have a great Time !!!!!

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
Level Contributor
37,667 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

My daughters are biracial, and identifiably black. The oldest lived in Rome for one year, and both have traveled there. I have lived in Italy for 10 years. There is certainly some racism in Italy. I've heard people say they wouldn't answer the door, "because a black man was there", for instance.

However, Italian racism is directed more at immigrants (especially illegal ones, of all colors), gypsies, and eastern Europeans (especially Albanians and Rumanians) than particularly at black people. It will probably be obvious that you are a tourist, and that will put you in a totally different category. In the example above, the assumption probably would have been that the black man at the door was an illegal African immigrant.

There are some legal African immigrants in my town, and they are pretty well integrated into the community. Their kids have Italian friends; however, some Italian parents might not be overjoyed if one of their kids married an African. Marriage to a dark-skinned Brazilian or Cuban would be better accepted.

Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
426 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

bvlenci, thank you for the insight! That was kind of what I was thinking, too; now you have confirmed it quasi first hand.

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
20,394 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Single Black Female in Rome - safety/racism issues?

My daughter is also biracial and looks black according to American standards.

We have traveled to Rome three times and never had any problems with safety or racism. We take public transportation and walk together (2 women) after dark even to Termini and we have never been hassled, hurt, or robbed.

There are more people of color than you might expect especially in Rome. One of our favorite restaurants in Rome, La Piazzetta, near the Colosseum has a long time black waitress who serves as the manager when the owner is not there.

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…