Italy Warnings and Dangers
People come to Italy from all over the world. When traveling to one of the glorious Italian cities or along the country’s much-admired coast, it is best to keep certain things in mind in order to have a safe and pleasant trip.
While Italy is generally one of the safest nations in the world, there are certain issues that travelers should be aware of at all times. Particular care should be taken when traveling from one place to another. The same is true when traveling in certain parts of the country where crime is known to be an issue, or when traveling at night. In general, Southern Italy, including such cities as Naples, known as the Mezzogiorno, has a higher crime rate than cities like Milan in the northern part of the country. Be aware that it is not uncommon to find locally organized groups of pickpockets that work in groups and may target multiple people at the same time.
Getting Around Italy
Italy has an extensive system of trains and buses, making it easy to get around the country. However, while trains and buses are safe, train and bus stations can be hotbeds of criminal activity. If you are waiting for a train to get from one city to the next, keep a careful eye on your belongings. Second class is cheaper and safe, but be sure to keep your bags with you on the train. Small buses are an excellent way to travel through larger cities such as Rome, but again, exercise caution with your belongings. Motorists are a particular target for Italian scam artists. Make sure you have insurance to cover any damage to a rental and always be aware of the potential for staged accidents when you are parking. Store your luggage in your hotel room, not your trunk.
Another major problem in Italy can be paying for transactions. Always double check any bill to make sure it contains all charges you have agreed to pay. Many cities have historic centers where the major attractions are clustered. However, when visiting this part of town, make sure you know exactly where you have your cash and credit cards at all times. These areas are where you will often find lots of pickpockets. Counterfeiting is also common. Look careful at any bill twenty Euros or larger, as these are the denominations that are often faked. Be aware that you will be given a bill or check for any transaction. Under Italian law, you must keep this bill until you are at least fifty meters away from the destination. This law is intended to crack down on black market transactions. You can be fined if you don’t have it.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Italy.