You guys, I am about to travel to Europe for four weeks by myself for a backpacking trip and I am starting to freak out. I've been anticipating this trip for a long time, but I haven't really hashed out all of my details and I am nervous. A couple of things:

-$$$$ I should have about $1500 for the time that I'm there. I already bought my Eurail Global Pass, so I should be okay in terms of transportation but I don't know if that's enough money for food, shelter, etc. I don't have a credit card. Do they do rush deliveries on credit cards, I think I may need one.

-How will I communicate with family and friends in the states?! Would my Ipod touch work over there if I get wifi and want to use Skype or Facebook? I have T-mobile but I don't want to risk an astronomical bill.

-How can I figure out how to get around? Maps?

-Shoes, luggage. Any recommendations?

-Safety? I've been abroad to Europe before but that was for a study abroad trip and I was totally fine. But I didn't have to carry my life with me everywhere I went. I would rather not stay in hostels, but if I have to, how can I keep my things safe while I am out. I was set on doing couchsurfing but now I am chickening out. I want the experience but I'm afraid something bad may happen.

-I know this might sound silly, but I heard that people in Italy can be pretty racist towards black people, and sexually suggestive toward black women (or women in particular). I don't know much about Italy, but does anyone have any ideas around this and how it could possibly impact safety. I know that's a general statement, but any info that would help me be better informed would help. THANKS!