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Is Italy Safe for Travel in 2024? Travel Warnings You Should Know

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Is Italy safe? Traveling to Italy is an exciting experience, but it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers associated with crime in the country.

Is Italy really safe? Generally speaking, yes; however, there are certain precautions you can take to ensure your safety.

I will provide you with all the information you need to know about crime and scams in Italy, as well as advice on the safest cities to visit and which cities to avoid.

Italy is famous for its pasta, limoncello (my absolute favorite),  culture, and of course its sexy language, it is one of the most visited countries in Europe because it is also where the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites are.

From the Coliseum in Rome, Venice’s gondolas, and museums in Florence to the beautiful Amalfi Coast,  Italy is definitely a country that you need to visit multiple times because it is the gift that keeps on giving. 

While Italy is considered a very safe country there are some cities and areas that should be avoided or you need to take some of my simple precautions. 

According to the U.N. and Global Peace Index, Italy is ranked 30th to 35th safest country in the world, well ahead of the U.S.

However, the most dangerous thing likely to happen is pickpocketing near tourist destinations and landmarks, so using common sense should suffice.

Don’t take my word that Italy is safe —check out the data! The number of crimes reported by the police to the judicial authority in Italy decreased in the past years.

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Plus, you’re never far from a police officer: Italy has 550 officers per 100,000 people, which means it’s 9th in the world in terms of police presence.

For context, the US is ranked 45th.

That means you can explore Italy’s incredible places to visit without having to worry much about safety.

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Is Italy Saafe

Overview of crime in Italy

In terms of overall crime rates, Italy is generally considered to be a safe country for tourists. The Italian government takes crime prevention seriously and has implemented various measures to ensure the safety of visitors.

You should be aware of certain types of crimes that are more prevalent in Italy.

One of the most common crimes targeting tourists is pickpocketing. Busy tourist areas, crowded public transportation, and popular landmarks are often hotspots for pickpockets.

To avoid falling victim to this crime, it’s important to keep your belongings secure, avoid carrying large sums of cash, and be cautious of your surroundings.

I understand you will be in awe of the architecture, buildings, and churches but occasionally look around you and make sure no one is following you.

In addition to pickpocketing, you should also be aware of scams that can occur in Italy.

These scams often involve overcharging for goods or services, fake petitions, or distraction techniques. It’s important to be vigilant and never give out your personal or financial information to someone you don’t know.

While crime can occur anywhere, there are certain cities in Italy that are generally considered to be safer than others.

Some of these cities include Florence, Bologna, and Venice. These cities have lower crime rates and are generally safer for tourists to visit.

On the other hand, there are a few cities in Italy that have higher crime rates and are recommended to be avoided, especially at night.

These cities include Naples, Palermo, and Catania. These cities have higher instances of organized crime and petty theft, making them less safe for tourists.

In case of an incident or emergency, it’s important to know the emergency numbers in Italy.

The general emergency number is 112, which can be used for police, ambulance, or fire services. It’s also recommended to contact your country’s embassy or consulate for assistance in case of any major incidents.

Overall, Italy is a relatively safe country for tourists.

By being aware of the types of crimes that can occur, practicing caution, and knowing which cities to visit and avoid, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Italy.

How to avoid pickpocketing and theft

When it comes to pickpocketing and theft, prevention is key. Here are some tips on how to stay safe and protect your belongings while exploring Italy:

1. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay vigilant and pay attention to the people around you. Pickpockets often work in groups and create distractions to steal your belongings. If someone is acting suspiciously or trying to divert your attention, trust your instincts and move away from them.

2. Keep your belongings secure: Invest in a quality anti-theft bag or wallet that is difficult for pickpockets to access. Opt for bags with multiple compartments and slash-proof straps. Keep your bags zipped and close to your body at all times. Avoid carrying valuable items or large amounts of cash unless necessary.

3. Avoid crowded areas: Pickpockets thrive in crowded places, so be extra cautious in tourist hotspots, public transportation, and busy markets. Keep your hands in your pockets or wrap a rubber band around your wallet to make it more difficult for thieves to snatch.

4. Use hotel safes: When leaving your accommodation, secure your valuable items such as passports, cash, and electronics in the hotel safe. Avoid leaving them unattended in your room or in easily accessible areas.

5. Use locks and secure your belongings: If you’re staying in hostels or using shared spaces, make use of lockers and combination locks to secure your belongings. Avoid leaving valuables unattended, and consider using a luggage lock to secure your bags when in transit.

By following these simple safety measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of pickpocketing and theft during your trip to Italy.

It’s better to be safe than sorry so take preventive measures rather than lose your valuable belongings.

Also, click here if you need my Travel packing List. You can find everything from drones, Snorkeling Gear, Hiking, Back packs, Cargo Pants, and more for your Next Trip.

Common scams in Italy and how to recognize them

Common scams can be prevalent in popular cities in Italy, and it’s important to be aware of them to protect not only yourself but your family.

By knowing how to recognize these scams, you can avoid falling victim to them and have a more enjoyable trip. Here are some common scams in Italy and tips on how to stay safe:

1. Overcharging: In tourist areas, some businesses may overcharge unsuspecting tourists for goods or services. Always check prices beforehand and be cautious of any suspiciously high prices. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Fake petitions: Scammers may approach you on the street asking for your signature or a donation for a cause. They may distract you while their accomplice steals your belongings. Avoid engaging with strangers who approach you with petitions or donation requests, and keep your belongings secure.

3. Distraction techniques: Scammers often use distraction techniques to steal your belongings. They may spill something on you, drop something in front of you, or engage you in a conversation while an accomplice steals from you. Stay alert and be cautious of anyone trying to create a distraction.

4. Counterfeit goods: Beware of street vendors selling counterfeit designer goods or souvenirs. These items may be of poor quality and it is illegal to buy or sell them. Stick to reputable stores or markets and be cautious of any suspiciously low prices.

5. Ticket scams: Be cautious when purchasing tickets for attractions or events. Scammers may sell fake or overpriced tickets. Only buy tickets from official vendors or trusted sources.

To stay safe, trust your instincts and be skeptical of anything that seems suspicious.

Is it Safe to Travel to Italy Right Now?

  • Is it safe to travel to Italy? Yes, Italy is extremely safe but you need to know which towns are the safest, where to go, where to eat, and what areas to avoid. 
  • As with any destination, there are parts of Italy where you’re more likely to become a crime victim.  
  • You will need to exercise extreme caution on public transit, and taxis therefore I prefer rideshare companies like Uber, and leave your jewelry and expensive electronics at home, especially in Rome.
  • Is Italy safe from terrorism? Italy hasn’t had any issues with terrorism but if you are visiting Italy you still be aware of your surroundings when you are in crowded tourist spots and enroll in the STEP program which will make it easier to find you just in case there is an emergency.

Safe cities in Italy for travelers

Italy is a country full of history, culture, and incredible sights, but safety is always a concern when traveling. Luckily, there are several cities in Italy that are known for being safe for travelers.

Whether you’re a solo adventurer or traveling with family and friends, these cities offer a sense of security that will allow you to fully enjoy your Italian experience.

Florence, Italy

One of the safest cities in Italy is Florence. Known for its stunning architecture and art, Florence is also known for its low crime rates.

The city’s compact size makes it easy to navigate, and its friendly locals create a welcoming atmosphere if you decide to visit.

Take a stroll along the Arno River or explore the famous Uffizi Gallery without worrying about your safety.

Bologna, Italy

Another safe city to visit in Italy is Bologna. This vibrant city is known for its delicious cuisine and rich history.

It is also recognized for its low crime rates, making it an ideal destination for your family.

Wander through the picturesque streets and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city, knowing that you are in a safe environment.

Venice

Venice is another city that is considered safe for travelers. With its unique canals, beautiful architecture, and charming ambiance, Venice offers a magical experience.

While the city can get crowded with tourists, it is generally a safe place to explore. Just be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas and keep your belongings secure by purchasing diversion devices.

When visiting these safe cities in Italy, there are some general tips on how to stay safe. Avoid walking alone late at night, especially in poorly lit areas.

Stick to well-populated and tourist-friendly areas. Be mindful of your surroundings and keep your valuables secured.

By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and charm of these safe cities in Italy without any worries.

Cities to avoid in Italy and why

While Italy is generally a safe country for tourists, there are a few cities that are recommended to be avoided, especially at night.

These cities have higher crime rates and pose more risk to visitors. Here are the cities you should be cautious of and why:

1. Naples, Italy

Naples is known for its stunning architecture and vibrant culture, but it also has a higher crime rate compared to other Italian cities.

Organized crime, such as the Camorra, is more prevalent here. Pickpocketing and petty theft are common, particularly in crowded areas and public transportation.

It’s advisable to avoid venturing into less touristy neighborhoods and to be cautious of your belongings at all times.

2. Palermo, Italy

Palermo, located in Sicily, is another city that has higher crime rates. Organized crime, such as the Sicilian Mafia, is more present in this city.

While the historic center of Palermo is generally safe, it’s recommended to avoid certain neighborhoods, especially at night. Exercise caution, stay in well-lit areas, and be vigilant of your surroundings.

3. Catania, Italy

Catania, also located in Sicily, is known for its stunning landscapes and rich history.

However, it’s important to be cautious in this city due to its higher crime rates. Pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas and markets, is a common issue.

It’s advised to avoid walking alone at night, stick to well-populated areas, and be mindful of your belongings.

While these cities may have higher crime rates, it’s important to note that incidents can occur anywhere.

By staying vigilant, following safety precautions, and avoiding risky situations, you can still enjoy your trip to Italy. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings,

keep your belongings secure, and trust your instincts.

How to Explore Italy Safely 

While Italy’s crime rate is extremely low, please be aware of your surroundings on public transportation and in one of the many city centers. 

Rome’s Termini station is notorious for pickpocketers and petty theft so I suggest purchasing your train tickets ahead of time just to be on the safe side. 

When using taxis or Uber rideshare cars in Italy, use licensed vehicles that have a taxi sign on the roof, and make sure that the driver resets the meter before you start your drive.

Fake taxis have been known to steal passengers’ belongings and overcharge them once they arrive at their destination.

Uber rides are available only in Rome and Milan so if you decide to use a rideshare company make sure you wait on your ride in a crowded well-lit area and you confirm the license plate before you get into the car. 

Lastly, don’t tell the driver your name when you arrive instead ask for the name on the booking instead.

Solo Travel in Italy

If you are traveling to Italy solo and worried about your safety there are certain precautions you need to take because like most men Italian men can come off as aggressive and do not know how to take no for an answer which some women may consider harassment.

Solo female travelers often experience unwanted flirtation and stares which can cause them to feel uncomfortable. 

It is not uncommon for a lady to hear “Ciao Bella”(Hello Beautiful). Just ignore the comment and walk on. 

Again, using common sense, staying in public areas or with your tour guide is not only a good way to see the places you want to see but also a great way to meet other travelers.

I suggest walking away, ignoring the comments, or simply stating I am waiting on my husband which usually works.

 The three cities that have the highest rate of sexual assault are Bologna, Florence, and Milan.

  • Book your stay at a female-only hostel.
  • Dress appropriately if visiting the Vatican.  There is a dress code for both men and women. Wear a shawl that will cover both your knees and shoulders.  
  • Use the same precautions you would at home—don’t accept drinks from strangers and don’t walk alone at night.

While sexual harassment can be a problem in Italy the other end of the spectrum is prostitution.  Prostitution is on the rise and legal in Italy which means sex workers are easy to find.

Italy’s crime rate has increased in towns like Catania, Ravenna, Ancona, and Alessandria where prostitution Is more accessible.

How to Stay Safe at Night in Italy

Italy has more crime at night, and more crime of a non-violent nature than in the U.S. Pickpockets, boosters, purse snatchings, and the like tend to occur when individuals don’t take ordinary precautions to protect themselves.

Many cities including Amalfi Coast, Rome, Sicily, Florence, and Venice have nighttime walking tours along lighted streets where you will find police patrols on a regular basis.

From personal experience walking in Venice and Rome in the early, early morning has never been a problem. 

I suggest making a concerted effort not to dress, or act like a tourist because potential scammers will see you coming a mile away.

Is Italy Safe for Black Americans

Pockets of outright racism do exist in Italy, especially in the Veneto and the Northeast in general but let’s be honest pockets of racism exist everywhere.

If you are a Black woman be aware of your surroundings because your olive skin color and 4c hair mean that you are different and will more than likely be stared at in coffee shops or on trains.

While it is harmless it is still exhausting cause like “what are you starring at”

Small towns might feel more unsafe than bigger cities like Milan, Turin, or Florence, where diversity was more accepted so just be keenly aware of your surroundings at all times.

You might even get the occasional “Are you traveling for your honeymoon” or “What’s the occasion” because how dare Black people to have money to simply explore the world. 

Italy Travel advisory

Driving and Transportation In Italy

Driving in Italy can be very scary! I don’t which is worse Italy or Costa Rica because they both had me needing a cocktail by the time I arrived at my destination.

Cities like the Amalfi Coast can be extremely busy and hard to navigate because of the huge buses, mopeds, narrow streets, and one-way systems which is enough to make you never want to travel again.

Italy has an excellent public railway and bus system. These systems are generally easy to use. In many places, announcements are in English and Italian.

However, there is one thing you need to be aware of. When you have gotten your paper ticket, make sure you get it validated (punched and time stamped) before you get on the train or bus.

There are multiple time stamping machines (validation machines), available at bus and train stations.

Failure to do this doubles the cost of the ticket which must then be repurchased in transit and can produce an additional fine.

Go where the locals go to eat and drink and leave the touristy spots for thousands of people who didn’t do their homework before visiting Italy.

Emergency numbers and what to do in case of an incident

Emergencies can happen anywhere, including when you’re traveling in Italy. It’s important to be prepared and know what to do in case of an incident.

In case of an emergency, the general emergency number in Italy is 112.

This number can be used to reach the police, ambulance, or fire services. Make sure to have this number saved in your phone and easily accessible.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance, it’s also recommended to contact your country’s embassy or consulate in Italy.

They can provide you with the necessary support and guidance in case of any major incidents.

In the unfortunate event that you become a victim of a crime, it’s important to report it to the local authorities as soon as possible.

This can be done by contacting the nearest police station or calling the emergency number.

Provide them with all the relevant details and any evidence you may have. It’s also advisable to keep a copy of the police report for insurance purposes.

If you require medical assistance, Italy has a reliable healthcare system. In case of a non-emergency situation, you can visit a local hospital or clinic.

Make sure to have your travel insurance information handy, as you may need it for any medical expenses.

Remember, it’s better to be prepared and know what to do in case of an incident.

By staying calm, contacting the appropriate authorities, and seeking assistance from your embassy or consulate, you can navigate through any challenging situations and ensure your safety while traveling in Italy.

Travel Information

  • Visas – If you are not staying longer than 90 days a Visa is not required but make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting.
  • Currency – The euro is the currency in Italy but make sure you budget accordingly because tours, hotels, food, cocktails, taxis, and rail services can get expensive.  
  • Weather In Italy – The best time to visit Italy is either the spring or fall but summers are normally the busiest and hottest. 
  • Airports – Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Milan (Malpensa International Airport, Linate Airport, Bergamo Orio Al Serio, Naples (Naples International Airport), Bologna (Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport), Pisa (Pisa International Airport), and Venice (Venice Marco Polo Airport).
  • Always have Travel Insurance – I recommend getting travel insurance no matter your destination because travel insurance covers the costs of medical problems and theft.

Earthquakes and Volcanoes in Italy

If you are concerned about a natural disaster occurring while you are vacationing in Italy you’ll need to understand when these disasters are likely to happen and what to do in case of one.

Look out for summer wildfires on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, landslides in Calabria, the Amalfi Coast, and Cinque Terre, in Sicily and Tuscany. Venice is notoriously known for flooding as well.

In more recent years Italy has seen multiple earthquakes, and active volcanoes including Mt. Etna in eastern Sicily; Mt. Stromboli, on the island of Stromboli; and Mt. Vesuvius, near Naples.

General Tips in Italy

  • Ordering Coffee in Italy: There are multiple ways to order coffee. The common “café” in Italy is our espresso. “Café Americano” or a Café Longo” is the equivalent of an American cup of coffee.
  • Italians walk a great deal so sturdy walking or hiking shoes are a must.
  • Currency exchange: Currency exchange windows have the worst rates of exchange and are the equivalent of an unnecessary middleman. Use the ATM and your debit card for euros.
  • Keep your money safe: Keep your hands on your purse and don’t flash your cash. Keep small amounts in multiple safe places as you travel. Always use the hotel room safe for valuables you are leaving in your room.
  • Understand the differences between Southern Italy (any place south of Rome) and Northern Italy. Southern Italy is more casual and easygoing. The food and wine are different and the costs in southern Italy are much lower than the costs in northern Italy just as the costs in small towns are lower than in the larger cities and major tourist attractions.
  • Asking for changes to the menu is a no-no and you may find you have insulted the chef. Food is taken much more seriously in Italy than in most places in the world. 
  • Remember that Italians have a different notion of what constitutes dining “service.” In tourist areas “turning the tables” may be important but in most of Italy when you get a table it’s yours for the night. Service is slower and more casual the farther south you go.
  • Check the prices before you order so you are not surprised. If you are handed a menu in English, make sure there are prices indicated. Check the bill when it comes. Know what to expect on your bill before you ask for it. Italians don’t tip.

Indulge in Opulence: Discover the Most Luxurious Hotels on the Amalfi Coast

Along this stunning coastline, you’ll find a collection of exquisite hotels that redefine luxury and safety and offer an unparalleled experience.

  1. Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello: Nestled in the charming hilltop village of Ravello, the Belmond Hotel Caruso stands as an enchanting retreat. Immerse yourself in the sumptuousness of this 11th-century palace, boasting elegantly furnished rooms, breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and exquisite terraced gardens. Unwind by the infinity pool perched high above the coastline or indulge in gourmet delights at their Michelin-starred restaurant. This architectural gem exudes timeless elegance and unmatched sophistication.
  2. Palazzo Avino, Ravello: Formerly a 12th-century private villa, Palazzo Avino exudes old-world charm and impeccable luxury. Located in Ravello, this grand hotel offers stunning vistas of the Amalfi Coast, opulent suites adorned with antique furniture, and a private beach club. Indulge in their renowned rooftop terrace restaurant, Rossellinis, boasting a Michelin-starred dining experience while being treated to panoramic views of the coastline. Palazzo Avino is the epitome of refined extravagance.
  3. Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi: Overlooking the picturesque town of Amalfi, Hotel Santa Caterina presents an idyllic haven of beauty and tranquility. This family-owned gem boasts elegantly appointed rooms, a private beach club, and exquisite dining options. Unwind by their cliffside infinity pool, perched on the edge of the azure sea. The hotel’s impeccable service and attention to detail ensure an unforgettable stay where every desire is catered to.
  4. Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa, Conca dei Marini: Embracing the charm of a 17th-century monastery, Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa is a hidden sanctuary nestled into the cliffs of Conca dei Marini. This boutique hotel offers unparalleled luxury, boasting breathtaking views, lush gardens, and a world-class spa. The elegantly designed rooms and suites feature stunning sea vistas, while the Michelin-starred restaurant indulges guests with refined Mediterranean cuisine. Prepare to be captivated by the tranquility and exclusivity of this exquisite retreat.
  5. Le Sirenuse, Positano: Set in the heart of the captivating town of Positano, Le Sirenuse is a legendary hotel that radiates glamour and sophistication. Adorned with vibrant colors, elegant furnishings, and breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, this hotel captures the essence of Italian splendor. The rooms and suites offer a blend of modern amenities and classic charm, while their Michelin-starred restaurant, La Sponda, provides an enchanting dining experience under a canopy of twinkling lights. Le Sirenuse is an emblem of refined luxury on the Amalfi Coast.6. Hotel Onda Verde, Praiano: Nestled in the picturesque village of Praiano, Hotel Onda Verde is a hidden gem that offers a luxurious and tranquil escape on the Amalfi Coast. Perched on a cliffside, this boutique hotel provides breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea..


 

Useful Resources to Help You Stay Safe and ExplorE Italy

    • Expedia: the best website for finding cheap flight deals and hotels to and from Athens.
    • Booking.com: my favorite hotel booking website, as it consistently has the best selection and prices.
    • Hotels.com: another excellent hotel booking website for finding fabulous Athens accommodation.
    • Tripadvisor: this famous review website now allows you to book accommodation and tours directly as well.
    • Get Your Guide: my favorite resource for finding tours and activities in Athens and elsewhere.
    • Viator: another great option for finding fun things to do, skip-the-line tickets, and fabulous tours in Athens.

Conclusion of Is Italy Safe

It is currently not safe to travel to Italy as the cases of coronavirus continued to rise with more than 2,000 infections and 52 people have died in Italy from the Coronavirus.

I am hopeful this will change before summer and things will be back to business as usual.

I will continue to update this article and keep you informed when it’s safe to visit Italy again and things are back to normal. 

According to Statista In 2019, 94 million tourists spent a total of 216 million nights in Italy last year, according to new figures released on Thursday. This was more than the 140.7 million nights spent in France so while Italy is currently struggling I firmly believe things will turn around. 

Whether you are visiting Capri, Florence, or the Amalfi Coast I suggest learning a few Italian phrases and venturing off into the countryside of Tuscany so you can get a real understanding of the culture, food, and people. 

✈️ Get Travel Insurance NOW! Travelex Is my preferred Insurance


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Travel Guide

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

What to Pack for Italy

19 Beautiful Hotels on the Amalfi Coast

16 Dreamy Towns on the Amalfi Coast

Are you worried about the Italy Travel advisory and wondering is Italy safe for travel? I hope my Italy travel advisory has prepared you if you are planning a trip to Italy.

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