Italy is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and definitely one that would make for a special vacation for anyone. With places such as Rome, Venice, Florence and many others, not giving it a chance would be a mistake. The beautiful and picturesque streets, mouth-watering food and stunning canals of Venice are enough to make anyone feel like they’re in Paradise.
Regardless of the wonderful things it has to offer, there’s a question that would pop up in anyone’s mind upon deciding to visit, respectively “Is Italy safe to visit?”. Being such a popular country, not only it attracts more tourists, but it only makes sense that criminals would be more drawn to doing bad deeds. This is, most likely, the main reason why you accessed this Italy safety guide in the first place.
Luckily, it has what you need, which is not only information about the safety levels in the country, but Italy safety travel tips as well. As such, you will know what to do to prevent dangerous situations, as well as what to do if any occurs. Read the information presented below, and you’ll figure out if Italy should be your next holiday spot.
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Italy
Overall Risks in Italy: LOW to MEDIUM
Italy is not a dangerous country. Considering the high number of tourists that choose to spend their free time here, there’s an increased level of safety, as criminals are less likely to act this way. Moreover, Italy has a ranking of 34 on the world’s safest countries list too, so it’s there for a reason.
Still, that doesn’t mean there still aren’t risks to take into consideration, as each thing has its own rotten apples. From demonstrations to theft and even natural disasters, there are certainly some things you should take care for.
For instance, pickpocketing and bag snatching are things that could happen, as they’ve been happening before in big cities like Rome. Generally, thieves will try to distract the victim before attacking, so look out for such acts. In addition, thieves could try to act in crowded areas and public transport too, thus everyone should stay vigilant.
Drivers or just anyone in cars aren’t safe from thieves either, as they sometimes target cars as well, stealing from those in vehicles in Pisa, Rome, Milan or many others. This is why properly locking the car is necessary, as well as not letting yourself distracted by anyone who’d try to stop the car.
There have been situations of spiked drinks in bars, after which the victim has been stripped of belongings, without memory of what happened when they woke up. This is why drinks should never be left unattended.
In certain parts of the country, natural disasters pose a risk too. Volcano eruptions, as well as earth tremors, have been happening before, so there’s a chance of them happening again. Considering you can’t know for sure when Mother Nature decides to strike, natural disasters are even more of a risk if you think about it.
In terms of terrorism, although the risk is not as high as it would be in countries on other continents, you still can’t rule out an attack. It might still happen, and anyone could be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in Italy: HIGH
When asking yourself “How safe is Italy for tourists?”, one of the biggest concerns you may have is regarding theft and pickpocketing. After all, it’s one of the most common crimes whenever a tourist visits a certain place, so it’s only natural you come to worry about it yourself.
Well, when you think about it, Italy is a very popular vacation spot for people, especially those who are living in Europe. Everyone is aware of this, and thieves are no exception to the rule. That being said, they know it would be like a chess field, where they make the move and try to win. In other words, places frequented by tourists would seem perfect to them, as they can choose their prey and act when the right moment comes. In places such as town centers, public transport and many others, they could try to distract you, while someone else comes and pickpockets you. Moreover, bag snatchings are no stranger in Italy, so you should take this risk into consideration as well.
Also, if you’re in a car, you should know that theft from vehicles is possible too. There have been cases where criminals would try to distract a driver, in order to make him stop the car, which ended in robberies.
- How to Avoid pickpocketing and theft in Italy?
Avoiding such a situation may be hard, as you can’t predict the future, but there are safety precautions you could take to ensure you don’t end up without your belongings. For instance, you need to stay vigilant in any public area, and guard your bag, as well as your pockets. If possible, try not to bring too many valuables with you, specifically not big amounts of money. Leave them at the accommodation, and in a safe place, so you’re sure they will remain yours. Be wary of anyone who’s being too friendly all of a sudden and tries to distract you, as it could be a game where they try to pickpocket you.
If you have a handbag or a bag, you should always hold it tightly in front of you, especially in areas where a bag snatching seems very likely and easy to happen. Moreover, when on the road, make sure the driver locks the doors properly, in the event someone tries to rob you of belongings.
Scam Risk in Italy: HIGH
Italy is one of the top destination countries, so it only makes sense that scammers will try to take advantage of it. Having said that, scams are very much possible here, especially when the intent is to conduct them on tourists. Basically, as a tourist, you’re less aware of the country and how things usually unfold there, making you more prone to being a victim of scams.
This is possible in just any country, and Italy is no exception to it. As such, you can be targeted at any time. Especially in landmark areas and popular cities, they will do their best to take advantage of you. Very known scams include people offering you unwanted help with your luggage, either in the airport or public transport areas. They could also try to distract you while someone else comes and steals from you, or you might not get the right amount of change when purchasing something. All of these are situations that could easily become real if you’re not on the lookout.
- How to avoid getting scammed in Italy?
One of the best things you could do is never trust strangers, and always stay vigilant. If someone tries to distract you, you should keep the distance and be wary of your surroundings. In addition, always double-check your change whenever you end up spending your money on something, and agree on the deal before you hand out the cash.
Also, do not let strangers help you with your luggage – you might end up being asked for money in return for their services, and the sum may not be pocket-friendly. If you refuse to pay, it might end with consequences too, so it’s better to avoid being in such a situation.
Kidnapping Risk in Italy: LOW to MEDIUM
Kidnappings are not something to joke about, because they’re serious crimes that could end up badly for anyone who’s a victim. Although Italy is not the most dangerous country when it comes to kidnapping, you should still maintain a certain level of vigilance.
Kidnappings do not happen on a daily basis, yet there have still been some reported cases. Generally, tourist visits, are trouble-free, but that doesn’t make you fully safe altogether.
- How to avoid getting kidnapped in Italy?
What you can do to possibly prevent such a situation is avoid walking alone on the street, specifically in deserted or poorly lit areas. Make sure you return to the hotel before the sun goes down, so you are not exposed to any risk. Do not trust strangers, especially if the gut feeling is telling you that something is not right.
Terrorism Risk in Italy: MEDIUM
Despite not being that big of an issue compared to countries such as Syria and Iraq, you certainly can’t help but ask “Is Italy safe to visit regarding terrorism?”. Maybe you’re at a lower risk indeed, but that still shouldn’t make you let your guard down. Terrorist attacks have happened before in neighbor countries, and whereas Italy hasn’t suffered from them, it increases the risk of terrorism in the future.
Also, there have been isolated cases of domestic terrorism too, aimed mainly at official Italian targets, and in the form of incendiary devices and small bombs. Furthermore, if an attack happens, it could be indiscriminate, so the fact that you’re a tourist means nothing to a terrorist. The terrorists only cares to achieve his goal, thus you being ready to sunbathe won’t stop a potential attack.
- How to avoid terrorism in Italy?
You might not be able to stop an actual attack, but there may be chances to prevent yourself from being a victim. That being said, always be on the lookout in public areas, especially those that are crowded and seem to be popular spots for locals and tourists. In religious spots, be wary of your surroundings too, as they could be places where terrorists are likely to operate.
Also, if you notice that an attack happened not far from you, keep the distance between yourself and the attack.
Risks for Women Traveling Alone in Italy: LOW
Women often feel unsafe when it comes to traveling alone, so you’re not exactly in the wrong asking yourself “Is Italy safe for solo women travelers?”. After all, you’ve heard about so many cases where women have been attacked while alone, and your family is not doing you a big favor by worrying so much.
Thankfully, Italy is not that big bad place to worry about. Due to its popularity as an European holiday destination, it’s very safe for solo women travelers. It’s unlikely to be attacked, and even so, most tourist destinations are pretty much crowded any time anyway.
At the same time, you can’t help but worry that you may be one of the exceptions to the rule, so you need to be careful still.
- How to avoid crime as a solo woman traveler in Italy?
What you can do to prevent being a crime victim is return to your accommodation before dark. It’s recommended to avoid walking in poorly lit or deserted areas, as they make perfect places to act for those who don’t know better. Do not flash your valuables around, and make sure you don’t trust strangers, as you never know what their intentions truly are.
Rape Risk in Italy: MEDIUM
Being such a serious and terrifying crime, rape is definitely something to avoid. When you’re asking “Is Italy safe for solo women travelers?”, rape is one of the biggest concerns involved.
Considering Italy is one of the top European destinations, the risks for women are not so big, meaning you’re generally safe. Most popular places are crowded at almost all times, so criminals are less likely to act. Unless you’re walking by yourself in the middle of the night, the risks should be pretty low. Conversely, you shouldn’t take this for granted, thus you should maintain some vigilance.
- How to avoid getting raped in Italy?
Ensure you are always properly dressed, and do not show too much skin. That being said, maintain a decent dressing code, and do not walk alone in deserted or poorly lit areas. Moreover, if you’re going to a bar, do not let your drink unattended, and definitely do not accept drinks from strangers.
Risks for People Traveling With Children in Italy: LOW
Kids are the happiness of your life, and because of the love you have for them, you want them not only to be safe, but also happy. Italy is friendly to children, and there are lots of fun activities for the little ones to keep them entertained. Still, you want to know how to keep your kids safe, as unexpected situations may arise at any time.
- How to avoid unwanted scenarios?
Never leave your children unattended, whether you’re at the hotel or any popular tourist spot. Be near them at all times, and watch out for your surroundings too, so you make sure there’s no risk involved.
Natural Disaster Risks in Italy: MEDIUM
Natural disasters may happen in Italy regardless of the area, but there are areas where certain disasters are a much greater danger. Volcano eruptions are some of the things you’d want to avoid, but some of the most common disasters to hit Italy are avalanches and earthquakes.
Apparently, there are many parts of Italy that happen to be on a major seismic fault line, thus making small earthquakes a very common occurrence. As such, you shouldn’t be surprised to feel minor tremors during your time there. Make sure you know what to do before and after an earthquake, in the event that something occurs, and monitor the news for any update on how things are at that moment.
Transportation Risks in Italy: LOW
Regardless of the type of transportation you’re going to choose during your time in Italy, you’ll be more than happy to find out that most of them are safe. That being said, there’s no need to avoid them, meaning you can freely use them whenever you need.
However, there are some things you need to be aware of when doing so. First of all, if you’re going to spend your holiday in a large city, expect it to be very crowded, thus the traffic being very chaotic and busy. Although some vehicles are required to stop at the zebra crossings under the traffic code, some usually don’t. Having said that, do not always expect vehicles to stop for you – be careful and watch out for the vehicles on the road.
Make sure you always purchase tickets before using public transport. Ticket machines are generally positioned at the entrance hall in metro stations. On buses and some trams, they should be positioned on board. If you don’t have tickets, the patrols may issue an on the spot fine, which could range from 100 to 500 euros.
If you choose to drive yourself instead of using public transport, make sure you are aware of how things are going in Italy. For example, there are days with traffic restrictions, which serve as a way to reduce pollution. Additionally, you should know that some historic centers of many Italian cities do not allow vehicles to enter them without a pass. Thankfully, you can buy a pass from most car hire companies if your hotel is in the center of one of these cities.
Night-clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in Italy: MEDIUM
Nightlife can be really fun, and during a vacation in a foreign country, it’s a great way to find out more about the place itself, as well as make some new friends. Being such a known country, you are going to find a lot of bars and pubs, so you’re never going to be bored. At the same time, these are not entirely safe, depending on a lot of factors. For instance, if you’re going alone, there are higher risks of being targeted by unscrupulous beings, who are waiting for the right moment to drug you and rob you.
Situations of spiked drinks are no stranger, and there have been such cases in Italy. Because of that, the best thing you can do is to never let your drink unattended. Keep your eyes on it at all times. Also, you shouldn’t accept drinks from strangers either, as they may already be spiked, or they may ask you for money in return afterwards. If possible, do not go alone either, as if you’re with a friend or family member, you can protect each other.
Health Risks in Italy: LOW
Italy is not so dangerous for your health, and there are many things that can be prevented by vaccines. Some risks you expose yourself to are the risk for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, but there’s also the risk of contacting rabies from mammals and bats in the country. Therefore, if you’re intending to spend some time in nature, it could happen.
Make sure you take the proper vaccinations and you always clean and sanitize your hands, as well as the objects you’re using frequently.
List of Vaccines You Need in Italy
Upon leaving your birth country and visiting Italy, you should consider going to the doctor. If you do this, he can determine whether you need the following vaccinations:
- Routine vaccines
- Hepatitis A and B
Most Dangerous Area in Italy
Some places are more dangerous than others, that’s a fact. In Italy, there are obviously cities with higher levels of crime compared to others. For example, Rome is the capital, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if criminals try to make a move here, considering the number of tourists visiting every year.
Milan is another dangerous place, as theft is not uncommon. Naples and Bologna are in the same boat, so you should guard your bag and pockets as much as you can.
Concluding Remarks: Is Italy Safe to Visit?
Worrying about your safety during a trip is only normal, which is why you’ve probably accessed this Italy safety guide to help you before purchasing plane tickets. As you’ve seen, Italy is generally safe, but there are still some things to take into consideration, especially in certain areas.
Hopefully, these Italy safety travel tips will come in handy, and you can enjoy a trouble-free vacation, whether you’re alone or with your loved ones.