Italy is a country situated in South Europe, and it is considered to be the cradle of Western culture. Famous for its food, its culture and its gorgeous language, it is one of the most visited countries in Europe because it is also where the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites lie. You can find monuments and pieces of fine art in every corner of this beautiful country.
From Venice’s gondolas, through Florence’s museums all the way to its bright blue coastline, Italy is the country that keeps on giving. And while it is considered a very safe country precisely because of the number of tourists, there are some cities and areas that should be avoided. However, the most dangerous thing likely to happen is pickpocketing near tourist destinations and landmarks, so using common precaution measures should suffice.
Warnings & Dangers in Italy
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Italy is ranked 34th on the list of world's safest countries, and since it's filled with tourists all the time, you should feel safe traveling here.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Public transportation and taxis are normally safe in Italy, so there is no need to avoid them.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Since Italy is a very attractive and popular tourist destination, there is, naturally, a high risk of pickpocketing. You should keep your valuables in a safe place, make sure nothing of value is in your back pockets, and never keep all your money in the same place.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Some of the worst natural disasters that could strike Italy are avalanches, though it is somewhat improbable they will. White Friday is the name given to the day when one of the worst avalanches in Italian history happened, during World War I, killing 270 people.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Italy is relatively safe when it comes to mugging and kidnapping, and such cases rarely happen, even more so to tourists, but do pay attention to your surroundings.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
It is best to stay alert and aware of your surroundings in Italy, since its neighbors, France and Belgium, have been victims of terrorist attacks. However, Italy hasn't suffered from such occurrences.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
When a country is a top tourist destination, you should expect people trying to take advantage of it. This rule applies to Italy too, where scammers will likely try to take advantage of tourists and rip them off whenever they can, mostly in large, popular cities and landmark areas. Be on the lookout for anyone trying to distract you, help you with your luggage or groups of people acting strange.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Italy, as other popular European destinations, is very safe for women travelers.
So... How Safe Is Italy Really?
Just like all popular European destinations, Italy is a safe country. Violent crime is rarely reported and tourists are not likely to have any incidents involving anything more than petty crime.
Pickpocketing is the most prominent form of crime that represents a threat for tourists, especially since pickpockets often work in teams or are in some sort of a deal with the street vendors. Similar thing happens with beggars – they work in organizations and because of that begging is pretty common in Italy, like in every larger capital, but tourists are unlikely to experience aggressive beggars.
As for terrorism, Italy’s neighbors (France and Belgium) have experienced it and because of that Italy has increased security in almost every larger city, in case of such an occurrence.
Be especially cautious in public transportation or crowded places such as train stations, bus stations, restaurants or airports and tourist landmarks because this is where the muggers might try and snatch your bag or steal your valuables. Mugging and bag snatching is a serious problem in Italy, and you should be aware of your surroundings at all times, because they might try distraction as a tactic to steal from you. Take the usual precaution measures like you would when traveling to any other country (do not walk alone at night, leave your valuables unattended in plain sight or carry all your money in one place, easily reachable to potential muggers) and your trip will most probably go smoothly.
- Visas - Visa is not required for any stays shorter than 90 days, and members of EU (Schengen) can stay in Italy for as long as they like. Be sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your planned date of return to the country you're visiting. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Currency in Italy is euro, like in most popular European destinations. Although it is cheaper than other European countries, sightseeing and visiting all the remarkable landmarks can add up to a high budget. Take into account that you'll need about 70€ per day, including accommodation.
- Weather - The weather in Italy is warm and dry; it is absolutely gorgeous in the summer, with a Mediterranean climate calling to tourists all June through September, which is the time when it is best to visit Italy, although you can visit the big cities all year long, and still be amazed.
- Airports - The busiest airports are in Italy's capital Rome (Leonardo da Vinci International Airport), Milan (Malpensa International Airport, Linate Airport, and Bergamo Orio Al Serio), Naples (Naples International Airport), Bologna (Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport), Pisa (Pisa International Airport) and Venice (Venice Marco Polo Airport).
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Italy, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.