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.