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LauraMarie79 Jul 9th, 2010 12:39 PM

Help! Urgent advice needed - passport stolen - France/Italy Travel!

I'm on my honeymoon and my purse was stolen in Nice.... unfortunately, my passport was in it

We are supposed to travel to Italy tomorrow, and for those of you with lots of international travel, I've got a question - how often are passports checked on trains between EU countries? Most specifically, France and Italy....

We need to leave for Italy tomorrow but, the US wants us to go to Paris to replace the passport and we're in Nice right now... and they won't do anything until Monday.

So our thought is - take the risk, go by train to Italy, and then in italy visit the American consulate in Florence and get a new passport there.... if we have to travel to Paris it will mess up our entire Italy trip as well as our return flight to the states....

Any thoughts or advice?


LauraMarie79 Jul 9th, 2010 12:54 PM

PS. your help has guided us so well so far! We planned most of our trip on advice from these forums and have had a wonderful time traveling and dining through provence... our trips through Gordes and Seillans were inspired from reviews here... we hope your advice will come through once again for us. Thanks in advance! (and send us more than a little good luck!)


zeppole Jul 9th, 2010 01:03 PM

The question is whether you are prepared to deal with the consequences if you are stopped and asked for your passport. Do you know what the consequences are? I don't. Did the embassy tell you?

Also, have you spoken to the US consul in Florence to make sure he or she is reachable tomorrow? Without your passport, can you get a hotel room in Italy?

Byrd Jul 9th, 2010 01:06 PM


I have no idea what the legal ramifications may be, but to answer your question, we have crossed many EU borders on trains, and we can't remember a single time when our passports were checked.

However, when you go to your hotel in Italy, you surely will be asked for your passports, and if you don't have one some problems may arise.

I'm so sorry this has happened to yo uand I hope someone with more knowledge of such things can help you.

Good luck!



scatcat Jul 9th, 2010 01:16 PM

My passport has not been checked on trains for years. When customs comes through the train, they mumble Americans and keep going.

scatcat Jul 9th, 2010 01:17 PM

Oops, also how was your purse stolen? That will help us to watch for that scam. I am in Nice very often, so I would like to know about this.

Byrd Jul 9th, 2010 01:26 PM


Do you have a copy of your passport? That might be of some help.


nochblad Jul 9th, 2010 01:37 PM

Border controls between Italy and France have essentially been eliminated as both are part of what is known as the Schengen area. It is now unlikely that you will be checked either on a train or by car crossing from France to Italy or vice versa. But there is no guarantee of this. The question of the hotel is potentially more problematic but do you still have any other identifying document with a photo? Driving licence, library card or other? What you are normally expected to do in France and Italy - quite apart from informing your consulate - is to report the loss to the French police or Italian Carabinieri. They have these reports on their computer and generally are bilingual documents. If you already have a booking with the Italian hotel and produce a French Police declaration showing you have reported a lost or stolen passport I do not believe you will have any problems.

spaarne Jul 9th, 2010 02:28 PM

There is a USA consulate in Marseilles. It doesn't make any sense to go all the way to Paris. See

The chance of being asked for a passport crossing into Italy is slim to none. The hotel may be a problem. You need ID to register and the only recognized ID in Europe is a passport. If you have some wedding photos you may be able to talk your way past the front desk.

I would think that there is a night/weekend duty officer at the Marseilles consulate who could help. Stuff gets done when the demand is there.

HappyTrvlr Jul 9th, 2010 02:31 PM

Sorry I don't know about France to Italy trains;our passports were checked and stamped on a train from Hungary to Austria at the Austrian border.
Regardless, as soon as you can get to a computer, download and print out the required forms( I believe it was two),and fill them out. Your hotel should be willing to do this for you.Bring a copy of the police report along too. Also note, where the particular embassy/consulate tells you to go for your US passport photo to be taken, a list of photographers should be onthe website. It will speed things up if you have a copy of your passport or at least the number of it.Take the completed forms and photos and go to the embassy/consulate. You should get a new passport by the end of the day; I think you will pay $100.00 for it and it's an emergency passport good for one year. When you renew it after a year, you will not pay another fee. I guess you can tell that this also happened to me, although in Chile. Good luck. the staff at the Embassy were very kind to us.

LoveItaly Jul 9th, 2010 02:32 PM

Hello Laura, I have never had my passport stolen or lost. But I don't think that the consultate in Florence will be open over the weekend either although not sure about that of course. Italian hotels do under Italian law need your US passport information. Do you have a photocopy of your US passport, if so hopefully the hotel in Italy will except that. As nochblad posted, have you reported your stolen passport to the French authorities? You might also want to contact your hotel in Italy to see what they have to say . That is what I would do. I am so sorry

J62 Jul 9th, 2010 02:58 PM

If it were I in this situation I'd travel to Italy and get a new passport in Florence.

I'd find a way to get my passport # to the hotel so they could fill out the registration info. If you explain to them you're getting your passport on Monday I'd take the risk they'd actually let you still pay them to stay at the hotel and not toss you onto the street.

janisj Jul 9th, 2010 03:07 PM

Did they tell you why they advised on Paris? They maybe/probably want you to go to the Embassy (in Paris) -- which is why they didn't suggest the consulate in Marseilles. Same may happen in Italy - that you'd have to go to the Embassy in Rome.

But in any case- you'll likely by fine on the trains - however you really can't check into a hotel in Italy w/o a passport

J62 Jul 9th, 2010 03:14 PM

None of us know definitively that you can't check into your hotel in Italy without a passport, so anybody who makes an absolute statement to that effect is merely guessing. They may be right, but it's still just a guess. You aren't the first person to have their passport stolen, and the hotel may not be able to send in the registration until Monday anyway.

Yes, I know what the regulations say.

Personally, I'd take that chance, but some people are more risk averse than others.

Since your husband still has his passport perhaps he could register solo, and with a wink from the hotel clerk sneak you in - it would be like you were single all over again...

Fashionista Jul 9th, 2010 03:34 PM

Erm what if she got into Italy and her passport was 'stolen' outside the railway station? Could happen...

sandra3120 Jul 9th, 2010 04:53 PM

Hi, Laura - what a pain for you! I hope you made a photocopy of the front pages of your passport and kept it in a separate travel folder or that you at least know your passport number. In any case, though I think you will be able to cross in to Italy on the train with no problems, you may find that the consulate in Florence can't handle the replacement and be required to go to the larger one in Milano, as happened to my friend when her purse was stolen on the train on her way to Italy from France. She was required to go to Milano though they were headed to Florence, but that was some 5 years ago. Your problem will be that it is already the weekend and you will find few staff in place in local consulates, such as Florence, if any. You will have a far greater chance of getting help from a larger group, such as the embassy in Roma or Milano.

Lots of luck to you - as another poster said, maybe it's not such a bad thing to get to Italy first, though it's inadvisable to state that your passport was stolen anywhere other than where it was stolen. I'd also check the US government, state department, site to see the requirements for reporting and obtaining a new passport since you clearly have computer access. Good luck to you.


janisj Jul 9th, 2010 05:30 PM

Just checked the State Department website and they don't make a distinction between a consulate and embassy for passport replacement. You most likely won't be able to check in to your hotel, but your husband can and then you can go about getting your new passport from the Consular officer

nytraveler Jul 9th, 2010 05:33 PM

I think you are better off taking the advise of the US embassy (who has to get you a new passport) rather than ignoring it and asking for advice here. If you have already reported it stolen in one place - how can you then go and report it as being stolen in a different place. Do you have a police report?

I doubt that any offices will be staffed on the weekend except for emergencies (and although this is a PIA it is NOT and emergency). You might try calling the Marseille consulate and see what they advise. Also try calling those in Florence and Milan to see if you get answers and what they are. (In Italy they may say you have to go to Rome to get a new passport.)

It's perfectly true that the rules of crossing from one country to another have been completely changed - but the hotel in Italy will ask you for a passport and if you don;t have one - you may need to see the police. I certainly hope you at least have a xerox of the passport as well as some other forms of picture iD - license etc.

I think you are being kind of cavalier about what is a legal requirement of a foreign country - not a random rule of the US government.

rialtogrl Jul 9th, 2010 07:11 PM

Call the hotel in Florence, explain the situation, and ask them if you can check in under the circumstances. I've stayed in a lot of places that only ask for one passport.

If they are cool with it, then go and get the replacement in Florence. If they say go to Milan, that is a heck of a lot closer than changing everything and going to Paris then back down. And if they tell you to go to Milan, ask them why they cannot do it there. Because they may then just do it.

If you have a police report, you should be fine. It's not like you committed a crime - something bad happened and you are taking steps to correct it.

Good luck and hopefully you will be sipping wine soon with no more worrisome issues.

Alternatively, of course, you could just jettison Florence and go to Paris instead. There are worse fates.

djkbooks Jul 9th, 2010 07:18 PM

There's a wealth of Official information here

and, here

Note that not all embassies and consular offices provide all services.

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