I went to italy as a single female traveller and nothing bad happened, but common sense and just being aware of whats going on is important. the italian men are USUALLY just cheeky but some really do go outta their way to get a pash in or something (as happened to me). just be careful what you do, if a guy rowing the boats in a grotto stops you getting out of the boat and offers you a ride alone, then my advice is, dont take it! ie it happened to me, and i got felt up and bleh..... watch out for the young gyu on the boat at the emerald grotto in amalfi!! lol but seriously, most of the time the guys are just being cheeky, tho sometimes i felt uncomfortable walking around alone n stuff, but i never felt in danger. naples is the pickpocket capital, just dont be stupid. dont leave anything in your backpack at the top or in the front pocket. if someone comes up to you holding a baby or something then walk away, they have scams where the "baby"takes your attention away from whats really going on and all of a sudden you lose your wallet. these ppl might not be well off but theyre pretty damn good at begging and i reckon they make a fairly tidy profit from it. teh gypsies learn that kinda stuff from birth... the north is generally a bit more "civilised" than the south but the south is beautiful. they speak alot less english there and the men are a bit more out there in showing they like how you look (ie you have 2 legs and a pulse :P) but if youre with a friend it would be cool.
i was in pompeii and it was great, loads of tourists n stuff but its not TOO bad, you feel safe there, its fine. the other northern cities, venice, florence, pisa etc and rome, have loads of tourists, so youll be safe there too. tourists attract pickpockets, but youre just another person in the crowd if you know what i mean. sometimes having no tourists around makes you wonder what youre gonna do if something goes wrong, esp if you dont know the language or something, for a timid traveller sometimes hitting the tourist hotspots first is a good way to ease your way into it. i would advise going to northern italy first and heading south.
if you go to pompeii youre really close to the amalfi coast and you really have to just check it out for a few days, its beautiful... you should also DEF stay in ischia, an island off the coast. way less touristy than capri, cheaper!!! stay at the ring hostel, its owned by some brothers who take everyone in a MAD van ride thru narrow alleyways to their parents restaurant where you eat mamas food (the white bean soup was sooo good!) and drink papas limoncello and wine, which i recommend! sometimes they take you to the hot springs at night as well, or just out on the town afterwards. i highly suggest you go there, its a stunning island. i have pics on my facebook and myspace if you wanna see em, IM me.