Catania Warnings and Dangers
The city of Catania, a beautiful port city on the East coast of Italy, sits at the base of Mount Etna, an active volcano. But the possibility of Mount Etna erupting and sending lava into the streets isn’t the only thing you need to wary of. Stay safe on your Catania vacation by heeding these warnings.
Be Careful of Purse Snatchers
Keep your wits about you while traveling in Catania — there are petty criminals everywhere just waiting to make their move. Tourists have been known to be victims of purse snatchers. The thieves will literally drive by on motorized scooters and tear a purse right off someone’s shoulders. One woman said that her friend tried to hang on to her purse and was then dragged behind the scooter for a block before she was able to break loose.
If you need to carry a bag with you, consider bringing one that has a long strap you can cross over your body. Cross-body purses are definitely harder to get away from you. You can also make yourself less likely to be targeted by keeping any valuables at home. Tourists with flashy styles — ostentatious jewelry, expensive clothing, designer watches — are much more likely to become victims of crime. And whatever you do, don’t keep your passport on your person! That is one item you do not want to have stolen.
Watch Out for Crazy Drivers
This warning is two-fold. First, as a pedestrian, you need to be extremely careful when crossing the streets. Just because you’re at a marked crosswalk doesn’t mean traffic is going to stop for you. We’ve heard complaints that the crosswalks essentially “mean nothing” to Catania drivers. Make sure you’re looking both ways before crossing the street, and try not to dawdle.
Crazy drivers aren’t just a threat to pedestrians, they’re a threat to other drivers who are sharing the road with them. Driving in Catania is not for the faint of heart. There are very few rules governing the streets, and the street signs aren’t always easy to find. Confidence is key when on the road here. Show signs of weakness and the drivers will … well, they’ll drive all over you!
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to avoid in Catania.