Getting Robbed in Italy

Dec 27th, 2012, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,958
"Whoa! What a post from a brand new poster as of December 2012.

Toxic much?

She'll be gone soon enough (well maybe not quite soon enough). She has broken the rules under each of her previous screen names. Just can't help herself. Its only a matter of time before this one is nuked too . . .

one_searcher: Pickpockets/petty thieves are maybe more common in some parts of Italy than you are used to back home. That is why so many threads talk about being aware of your surroundings. And you really need to keep your car doors locked - but then you should in many parts of the States too. If you have trip insurance - that should cover your losses.

Expecting Italian police officers to speak English really not reasonable IMO. Did you have an Italian/English phrase book or translating app? That would have solved that problem . . .
janisj is offline  
Dec 27th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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Janis, Adrienne, StCirq and everyone...Miss Golden Autumn of 2012 has posted on over 60 threads in 8 days...leaving precious little time for her venom transfusions.
tower is offline  
Dec 27th, 2012, 07:48 PM
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Hi Stu - love your humor. Happy New Year!

StCirq - love your "pestilence" comment - quite accurate!
adrienne is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 12:33 AM
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I think it is always worth posting about untoward incidents. If you read a lot of travel stuff, you know about snatches from scooters and bicycles. But if you don't read a lot of travel stuff, you don't know. It happened to a friend whose gold necklace was snatched in Boston and to a different friend whose camera was snatched in Barcelona.

It is always worth waiting until you are calm to post since we can and possibly should be merciless about diatribes.

There is a lot of discussion on here about whether to travel individually or in groups. This poster seems to have had the worst of all possible worlds: 30 people traveling in rental cars. If ever there was a situation that resembled herding cats, this is it. You are always at the mercy of the lowest common denominator.

ekc has the right perspective: what's the base? In a group of fairly clueless tourists, most of whom were probably not familiar with urban areas, 10% were robbed. That's not terrible, since a few elementary precautions might have cut the number to 3%.
Ackislander is offline  
Dec 28th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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I really am sorry you had anything stolen...i was lucky in Rome recently to get a pair of Ferragamo sunglasses left behind (and overnight) returned. They could have kept them but they didn't. I also left my camera in a public area at our hotel and git it back. Crime does happen everywhere and there are honest people everywhere, as well. Try not to take it out on an entire country. I have been to Italy twicw without incidence.

I do think it is unrealistic to expect English speaking police in Italy. Tourist areas will cater to visitors because they pay and bring money into the economy. The police are not there to cater to tourists no matter what language they speak. I do recall two officers in Trastavere who managed to give us directions to our restaurant in broken English. We were glad for the help, but did not expect them to speak English.

I hope there were some enjoyable parts to the trip.
denisea is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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one_searcher welcome to Fodors, what a nasty experience. I hope you are calm now, I know that it can be very disturbing and the same "mirror" emotions can be triggered many times later.

Generally this site does not do much SHOUTING as it generally does help calm discussion.

What is a "plack" it is not a word I've come across?

I've never done a multi-person tour so I wonder if this is an issue? I've certainly never been robbed in Italy but I am normally on my own or in small family groups, maybe tours attract more action. Which city were you in? I guess you know that stuff varies by regions and I've been on business to Naples' back streets where my host's security staff would not let me get out of the car without checking first. If you could advise where that would be a real help.

I for one will not stop visiting because of robberies, though knifings would worry me and the general level of gun ownership and murder in the States always puts me off (a tad) from going there on holiday. Still just back from Egypt which proved very safe and pleasant.
bilboburgler is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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The OP probably meant plaques
janisj is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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One_searcher sorry about your experience. Like bilbo burglar above, I would find it useful to know where these incidents happened. The only place we have had any problem was in Palermo, where a man tried to pickpocket my husband on the bus. He did not succeed, though.

Dies anyone wonder if the pestilence invents posts to bait Fodorites to comment? I have suspected this a few times myself.
sundriedpachino is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Oops sorry bilbo my iPad ID'ed you as the burglar.
sundriedpachino is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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I think people do a lot of careless things in their regular lives, and don't know how to behave in more urban environments. I never drive around, even at home, with my car doors unlocked, that is as much common sense to me as having my seat belt on. I've always lived in big cities my adult life, it's just pretty normal, I thought. I suspect that's what the OP meant about prying open the door, that it wasn't locked.

I don't think it's useful to pretend there aren't places with more crime than others, though, because there are, and that's just a fact. It is sticking your head in the sand to not recognize that and just say "oh, it can happen anywhere." That isn't useful because there are some places you really do have to be more cautious.
Christina is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 11:06 AM
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I travel to Naples practically every year. The only thing I have had stolen is my heart!
Waldo is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 12:27 PM
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not yet mentioned here is the europe wide emergency no, 112, on which one should be able to obtain help in one's own language - here's the link:

fortunately i've never had cause to use it yet in many visits to the "continent" but carry it just in case.
annhig is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Appreciate the post as I've only just fallen victim to a steal in Naples, Italy. I'll post more upon my return in a trip report but I do think it's helpful for other travellers to read about without needing to specifically search about the topic. I might have avoided this incident if I had read more about it beforehand.

I am surprised about the low level of English knowledge in Italy. No your local country community might not have much knowledge of Italian, but it does for English. Travel to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong - none of which locally speak English - and they all have a significantly better grasp of English than in Italy.
hiki08 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 05:14 PM
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One searcher -

No - the plaques are in English because that is the language most likely to be spoken by the foreign tourists - not by the locals.

And police typically speak English only in countries where that is the native language - being law officers - not linguists or tour guides.

And I don't see how anyone could "pry" your car door open if it was locked. And if it wasn't locked - then you're not taking basic precautions. And if they pried open a locked door - you certainly had time to move the car.

I don;t want to seem critical - but you really should not lambaste an entire country due to one poor experience.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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I think your experience in Italy is severely limited - maybe one or two trips? I've been to Italy many, many times, and while I speak Italian very well enough to get around without resorting to English, I have found plenty of Italians, even in small towns and villages, who speak at least rudimentary English.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 29th, 2012, 06:09 PM
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Wow, I really didn't realize how cliquey this fodars board is, you all seem to know each other and posters alternate names ( this is the second thread today where someone has said some one is actually someone else, so confusing).
Frankly Golden whatevers post was a bit snarky but she did make some valid points

And Searcher, purse would have been safe if it had not been hanging over shoulder but worn cross body, its seems as a group your group was not prepared for Europeon travel, assume you are all new to travel and thought a group would be safe.

And to not like a country because of one bad experience is laughable, and I mean that most sincerely. My best friend was MURDERED in your country, but I don't dislike it, so please grow up.

And finally, why on gods name do you think Italian police officers should speak english, thats ridiculus, you were a guest in their country , why didn't YOU learn Italian.
justineparis is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 06:26 PM
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We had two pickpocket attempts against us in Italy. You people can talk and talk and talk about it all you want. The next time I am in Italy I am robbing one of them.
colduphere is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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cold...fair warning...Italian jails make Canadian jails look like Ivy League college dorms.
tower is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 06:40 PM
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visiting a country not your own, makes sence to learn the basics , hello, good bye, where is the toilet etc. If you as a foreighner who didn't speak English, you'd have worse time here where few try to learn the basics of a tourists language.
cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 29th, 2012, 06:49 PM
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cigalechanta is offline  

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