Guideline on how to stay safe in Italy

Jan 27th, 2005, 11:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 83
Guideline on how to stay safe in Italy

Iím planning a worry-free and first trip to Italy on my own. If I do the following things, chances are lower that Iíd get mugged, slugged, or killed, right?

ē Use common sense, like donít walk alone in deserted areas at night
ē Dress conservatively, try to be invisible
ē Use money belt and neck pouch
ē Put guidebooks, umbrella, tissue paper Ė aka the worthless stuff Ė in a see-through day pack so that robbers will skip me over
ē Use baggage straps (pin code required), and put my arm around the holder all the time

(I know I canít fit in mainly becuz I have Japanese ethnicity, and Iím 5.2 ft tall and weigh approx 90 pounds. Meaning if bad people choose to rob or attack me, I donít think I can get away easily.)

Need confirmation and suggestions from you guys : )
JanePost is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 11:44 PM
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I do think your chances of physical injury are really low. There are a fair number of resident Asians in the tourist cities of Italy, so you won't necessarily be thought of as a tourist.

I've read a neck pouch can have the straps cut, so if you wear one, don't do so in such a way that the straps are obvious.

I know others might disagree, but I think I'd try to avoid a daypack. I was very happy with my small travel bag slung across my chest crosswise. Having a transparent daypack would make you stand out as a tourist, that's for sure.

The moneybelt, if you choose to use one, should be for your surplus cash and passport, and not for the cash and stuff you need to access during the day. You might consider leaving the moneybelt in your hotel safe, if this is available, but I know opinions differ about this.

I'm not sure what the baggage straps with a PIN code are.

The one time I felt nervous in Rome was when I was walking along a rather dark narrow street and came across a homeless man. Of course nothing happened, but it's a good idea to stick to the main streets at that time of night, I'm sure.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 12:03 AM
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Jane, you need confirmataion about what?
That you will not be mugged, slugged or killed in Italy.

Do you need confirmation that the plane you will fly to Italy in will not crash?

Do you need confirmation that the trasporation that you take to the airport that you are leaving from or the transporation that you will take after you arrive to your hotel will not be involved in an accident and you will not be injured or killed.

A worry free trip is all in the mind of the traveler. If you prepare properly and use good commmon sense you should be fine.

Being mugged, slugged or killed in Italy is most highly unlikely. Unless you are part of a crime organization of course.

You listed ways that you plan on doing to feel and to be safe. So you have a plan, that is good.

By the way, I am confused. Is this your first visit to Italy? It sounds as though it is. But on July 21, 2004 you posted here on Fodors to someone about what to do after visiting the Vatican. Have you been to Italy before?
I got the impression from all your other post you have been to Italy before.

But maybe you mean that this is your first trip to Italy alone.

Anyway, whatever gave you the idea that physical harm is a problem in Italy for tourist is incorrect.

Go and enjoy, using the safety procedures you have listed. Except about the see through day pack I don't understand. Well I guess I understand but I would think that would make you stand out even more then normal. And I have no idea what you are talking about regarding the comment about baggage straps with pin codes.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 01:22 AM
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Hi Janepost,
I would not use a neck pouch. I always use in the larger cities eg Rome a pouch that attaches to the inside of my jeans/skirt. You need to wear a belt.
In smaller villages, CT etc I never used them.
I have a nice leather satchel by Country Road (Australian) that I carry across my body. Does not look gross...quite chic! In this bag, I have attached my wallet to the inside with a chain (not too big or thick). I've used this method 4 times now in Europe with no problems.
I never used a day pack,the essentials fitted in my satchel and was not heavy.
The only problem I encountered is catching the bus, if your lucky enough to get a seat, people stand very close to you and I just had my hands on my bag the whole time.
I also never carried a large guide book. Often only took a copy of info that I'd printed off at home.
I'm always cautious for the first few days and then I carry on as I do at home in Sydney. I think body language has a lot to do with who mugs who...
Have a lovely trip, hope you won't need that umbrella
kimerley is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 01:37 AM
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Whilst I strongly suspect that this is a troll, I shall reply as though it's not.


<Dress conservatively, try to be invisible> - why? Do you normally dress in a Playboy Bunny outfit?

Quite frankly if I were Italian I'd be somewhat insulted at your assumption that you're going to be '..mugged, slugged or killed..'
Tallulah is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 01:47 AM
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LoveItaly, your troll radar is working brilliantly. This one is more literate than the others (except for the "becuz") but otherwise shows all the hallmarks.

Would other visitors to the zoo please take note of the sign: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Jane dear -

You are so right to be concerned. You are obviously in great danger. Anyone so petite and asian as you are is in great danger everywhere in the world - especialy Italy - that hotbed of muder and crime generally.

Strongly suggest you rethink this trip. Perhaps you could find a country inhabited only by little people - where you could be the mugger!
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 06:33 AM
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Hi LoveItaly! See what I mean??!!
lexie is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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Sorry to intrude but what do you mean, lexie?
Tallulah is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Hi Talluah! You're not intruding-- sorry for being so cryptic. I had mentioned to LoveItaly on another thread that I too had endured rude comments about the mafia because of my Italian heritage. We had been dicussing how upsetting it is to have to hear such generalizations about a specific culture .Now, along comes Jane Post thinking she may be conked on the head or worse in Italy so I was alluding to that issue! Have a good one.
lexie is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 05:51 PM
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Oh my, the weekend trolls. LOL.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 06:07 PM
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I thought this just HAD to be a troll post. But after reviewing some of her earlier posts it doesn't look like it after all.

Jane - by ANY chance were you just trying to be funny? Irony and sarcasm don't translate sometimes and it just looks like a troll . . . . . .
janis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 04:34 PM
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What??? I didnít try to annoy you guys in any sense! Why would someone try to do that? Iím SORRY if what I wrote sounds disturbing or so. Better call me paranoid than Ďa trollí ; (

Willtravel, thank you so much for your understanding and the wonderful tips, especially about the neck pouch and day pack. (Youíve helped answer my other questions before). I do appreciate your kindness. Seriously.

Kimerly too! Iím so grateful for your friendly reply. Thank you!

Janis, you understood me, I guess. And I appreciate that too.

LoveItaly, yep, Iíve been there with my friends but this time Iíll be on my own. Iím scared, but at the same time very excited about it. Thatís why I needed to ask (silly) questions around. Whether you know it or not, you did give me an encouragement: ďA worry free trip is all in the mind of the travelerĒ. Thank you. I mean it.

Yíall have a nice day.
JanePost is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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Actually, JanePost, your biggest danger will be getting hit on by the Italian men. They love women and tend to target women who are traveling alone. But they are quite charming and can be creative in the ways they hit on you.
nibblette is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 05:04 PM
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Jane-ditto to LoveItaly/nytrav's post. You're really taking the "scared little girl" act too far here.

Spygirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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Nibblette, I don't think that fairy tale charm will happen to me. But I always love to hear lovely, romantic stories from my friends and you guys.

Spygirl, I'm relieved learning that I was way overreacting. Meaning Italy isn't that scary to me : )
JanePost is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 12:43 AM
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lexie: My parents are Irish which apparently makes me either really stupid or a terrorist. Or maybe both?! So I know what you mean!

JanePost: Might I point out that unless you develop a thicker skin and stop assuming that being somewhere on your own is in some way 'dangerous', yes you will run into problems. Probably from small children who can smell (and therefore relentlessly taunt) a nervous, paranoid adult a mile off.
Tallulah is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 12:04 PM
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For solo travel I worry more about keeping your stuff organized and safe, not that anyone will harm you. Have a good system to deal with money, passport, tickets, etc. Always have a Plan B and backup method for funds.

I don't care for neck pouches, since you can see the strap and the bulge they make on your chest. I think a money belt or hidden pockets are better.

No need for a see-thru day pack just use a normal tote of some sort for your non-valuable daily things.
suze is offline  
Jan 31st, 2005, 04:11 PM
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Dear Suze, thanks for the tips. I just checked out hidden wallets at the mall. Kimerly (posted above) has also suggested the one that attaches to my outfit. And I think they're more practical than neck pouches indeed.
JanePost is offline  

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