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Personal Safety

Italy is a beautiful, friendly and largely safe country in which you will have a wonderful holiday. It is a relatively crime free country, and what crime there is tends to be domestic rather than directed at tourists. Anti-social behaviour such as being drunk in public does not tend to be a problem in Italy. However, as with all countries, there are a number of reasons why you should remain cautious and vigilant.

Pick-pocketing and bag snatching by young criminals known as scippatori (or scippi) and theft from cars does occur. Most pockets are picked in crowded tourist sites, on public transport or at main railway stations. These pick-pocketers often work in groups (especially in the big cities such as Rome, Florence, Naples, Palermo, Venice and Saracusa). Beware of situations like small children distracting you by tugging at your clothes for attention whilst another is rummaging through your pockets. Or perhaps a drink is spilled over you and the helpful person assisting you in cleaning up the mess has a good opportunity to snatch your wallet.

There are a number of different police forces that do specific jobs. The Carabinieri handle general crime, drug offences and public order. Should you be assaulted or robbed you should contact the Polizia Statale. The Vigili Urbani deals with traffic. The Polizia Stradale patrols motorways. When in trouble, contact the local Questura (police station), which will also deal with lost passports. Emergency numbers are: 112 for Carabinieri, 113 for general enquiries, 115 for the fire service, 116 for roadside assistance and 118 for ambulance.

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