Is Italy a safe country?
One of the questions I get the most is about public safety in Italy. Italy is, in general, a very safe country, with no major problems with violence; moreover, the country has no diplomatic problems with any other country, and the crime rate is not the highest. Obviously, violence exists, as in the rest of the world, but if we compare Italy to others countries, Italy becomes an extremely safe country.
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1) Is Italy a safe country? KNOW THE POTENTIAL RISKS
Minor crimes can occur with some constancy, but violent crimes are rare in the country – especially against tourists. The north is much quieter than the south, but in large conurbations, especially public transport, it is good to stay aware! In the center south, pay attention – mainly in Rome and Naples – and the ‘suspects’ are the ones who ‘offer’ the least risk at first sight: women with lap children, for example! Yes! Sounds unbelievable, but that’s the way it is!
A small note to the WOMEN…
The Italians men are not exactly threatening, but they can be VERY, VERY annoying! Especially with foreigners (with whom they have a certain ‘fetish’!): if you keep winding them up, they will be around forever! So, if you feel uncomfortable, be firm, polite and sneak out! Read also How to behave in Italy?
Thefts in Major Tourist Sites
In the big Italian cities it is necessary to be aware of muggings in the places near the main tourist spots. Using common sense is also advised: avoid walking with a wallet in the back pocket of your pants, for example, or with your purse/bag open. Also watch out for theft of vehicles parked near tourist spots.
The rental car is easily recognizable and some may find that it has suitcases and other valuables inside, so avoid leaving objects on display. A very valid tip is also to keep a copy of documents in an e-mail! This makes it VERY easy to request a new one in case of theft or robbery. Read about caution in our post: I lost or someone stole my passport in Italy, what to do?
2) Is Italy a safe country? KNOW THE POLICE!
What about policing in Italy? It’s great! You can relax! The number to call the Carabineiri in case of need is 112. Let’s hope you don’t have to use it, but if you do, it’s good to know it by heart!
3) Is Italy a safe country? KNOW THE TYPICAL SCAMS!
There are a few scams in Italy and it’s good to know them:
The bracelet scam!
The bracelet scam it’s one of the most common scams you can imagine: so, imagine that you’re admiring a monument, and out of the blue, a super nice person comes up to you and insists of tying a bracelet on your arm saying it’s a gift! JUST SAY “NO, THANKS”! REFUSE IT! After the bracelet is tied, the person will ask you for money and, if you say no, will set up a scene in the middle of the street; another variation of the same scam is that, while one person distracts you, another takes advantage to steal your belongings. It doesn’t hurt to be alert, right?
The flower scam!
The flower scam: the classic of the classics! Someone comes up to you and hands you a flower; in the same moment you pick the flower the person will ask you for money (a lot of money for a flower, actually!); if you refuse, it will make you feel super bad saying that you don’t have a heart and this, and that, and OMG all over. DO NOT TOUCH THE FLOWER! Just say ‘no, thanks’ and walk away!
The Ring Scam!
The ring scam: you’re walking around when someone stops you and asks if the ring that ‘was found on the floor, near you, is yours; you say ‘no’ and the person says it’s a gold ring (it’s actually brass!); then they’ll ask you if you want to buy it for a value X (way too cheap for a gold object, but way too expensive for a brass one!). If you say that the ring is yours, you may have problems too, so back off and let it go!
The photo scam!
The photo scam: no, you didn’t misread! The people are getting more and more creative, guys! While you’re trying to find the best angle to take pictures of a monument, a person approaches you and asks if you want them to take the picture for you. If you say yes, the person will charge you for the photo or run out with their cell phone/camera. Just say ‘no, thanks!’.
The gypsy scam!
The gypsy scam works like this: a gypsy comes to you and presents you with a bouquet of herbs. Then she asks you to extend your hand and she says she will read your destiny! Don’t fall for that! After she reads your hand she’ll ask for money and if you don’t give it she’ll “curse” you, your family and the rest of your life for the next 300 generations! LOL! Just stay away from them!
The “Unconscious” Scam!
The ‘unconscious’ scam: wow! One of the ‘best’! Someone walks by your side and throws a wallet on the floor, discreetly. At the moment you take your hand to the pocket where your wallet is to know if it is still there; in the meantime, someone is watching you and has understood in which pocket you put it. The rest of the story…
The Flying baby scam!
The ‘flying baby’ scam: a woman approaches you and literally throws a ‘baby’ in your lap. In shock, until you realize it’s a doll, this same woman’s accomplices have already turned over your pockets and purse and you didn’t even notice! Pay attention! Let the ‘baby’ fall! He’ll be ok!
Guys, of course this may or may not happen to you; there are still countless other types of scams, but: we know them, right?! We are used to much worse things! LOL… Anyway, the freedom we have in Europe to walk in the streets with tranquility is incomparable with the freedom we have in other countries, so you can travel peacefully!
Never, under any circumstances, buy tickets from moneychangers who stay at the door of the stations. It’s cheaper, but it can give you a lot of headache!
Watch this video and learn: What is the average cost of a day in Italy?
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Is Italy a safe country? Generally, Italy is not dangerous, but as anywhere in the world, the tourist cities attract the “little thieves”, so in the big cities it is better to always stay alert, ok? In the small cities and in the burgos (villages) it is very, very quiet.
And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier
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