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Carrying money & passport - crime in Italy

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I have searched several posts on pickpockets in Rome. We will be in Rome and Florence next month. Is is not safe for my husband to carry a small amount of cash and a few credit cards in his front pocket? That is what he usually does. Do they steal from your front pocket?

I plan on carrying a purse with enough room for a couple guidebooks, my small camera and putting cash and credit card in a zippered compartment inside it. It has a short strap and I'd carry it toward the front of me. Should this be a problem or am I being crazy.

Finally, there seem to be differing views - can I just take a copy of my passport with me and leave the original in the room/safe? I'd take my driver's license around with me or should I even do that? We will be driving to Tuscany area for a few days and know I will need it then.

We travel often but have never used a money belt. We have been to some countries where it has been advised to take off my diamond jewelry so we are pretty aware travelers, but for some reason I'm worried about Rome! Thanks for any advice.

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