Snakes!!! A strange question about Italy

Feb 7th, 2007, 08:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 69
Snakes!!! A strange question about Italy

Okay, here goes probably one of the strangest questions ever posted on this board... We're going to the Italian Riviera in May. Found what looked like the perfect villa for us, until I read a review that said: As the owners are aware of the snakes in the property I think it should be mentioned but how to do it without causing unnecessary panic for those being really afraid of snakes. (Sorry to those of you who had to read this twice!)

I just so happen to be absolutely petrified of snakes (even the non-poisonous, non-life-threatening kind)! Are they really that common in that area?!?! Told you it was a strange question.
BarbMH is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 696
There are snakes in Italy- all over Europe in fact. Just as there are snakes all over the U.S. The fact that one person encountered a snake should not put you off this property.
Don't sunbathe in the grass- sit in a chair. If you love the villa rent the place.
highledge is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 58
Snakes are not really so common in Italy. Where are you staying exactly? Iím Italian and in my 42 years of life Iíve never seen a snake nor at the seaside nor in the mountains. Iím not saying that they donít exist but they stay clear of urbanized areas. Enjoy your vacation
zorba_01 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 12:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
try Ireland!
annhig is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 112
In three years living in Piedmont we have seen one snake - it was in our garden for a couple of days - non poisonous, but clearly disconcerting if you dislike snakes. We have dogs and they thought it great fun to chase it away!
My experience of snakes is that they will actively avoid humans.
Piedmont_Phil is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 02:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,263
Hi B,

Would you rather be somewhere where you know that there is a very small possibility of seeing a snake and can take precautions, or in one where they haven't told you about the very small possibility of seeing a snake?

ira is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi Barb, I have spent a lot of time in Italy since the 1970's in cities, small towns, very small villages, in the various countrysides etc., and I have never seen a snake. And believe me, I hate snakes, lol. The only time I have seen snakes was as a little girl in the entry of our house in the SF/Bay Area and about 12 years ago in our house in a small city in the Bay Area.

I suppose that seeing a snake in Italy is a possibility due to highledge's post but as he said the posibility is true in the US also.

As much as I hate snakes I certainly wouldn't let one comment about them keep me from renting the villa I was interested in. And btw, family members rented a villa in Tuscany for three weeks this last summer which was out in the countryside and they never saw a snake. Go and enjoy!!!

LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,909
Down in Puglia in the villages and countryside I have met snakes (terrified of them) but never in cities or in the mountains. No matter my fear I always calm down as they are always more scared of me than I am of them.

Please ignore this advise in Africa....
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:16 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 360
I honestly wouldn't worry about it. I think they just want to cover themselves and warn everyone ahead of time. I remember seeing a few snakes during the couple of years I lived in Italy - but lizards were much more common. They used to come in the house through the windows and climb the walls.

As people were saying, like most wildlife they will be less common in urbanized areas. If you are renting a place that is more rural, there is always more possibility of encountering a "visitor" of some variety.
nnolen is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 305
I didn't know about the snakes in Riviera region. I lived outside of Genoa for 2 years and never saw a snake.

I have heard about vipers in the hills in Tuscany. In the fall, my husband and I go into the forest in the hills here in Tuscany for chestnut hunting. My hubby always tells me to be careful and watch out for the vipers. I haven't seen one yet, but my hubby and his family have.
amy_zena is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,654
I have a house in Puglia and have been told to expect the odd snake. Have been told they look like the black hoses we have all over the garden. Haven't seen one yet but let's just say I am very careful when collecting wood from the wood pile outside! Apparently they try to avoid humans like the plague and will slither off sharpish if you get near.
Kate is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 04:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,480
Oh great!! Just what I needed to hear. I have a deathly fear of even seeing a PICTURE of a snake, and here I am going to Puglia in May!! Oh dear me......
Flame123 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I have never seen a snake in Italy outside of a zoo. Snakes are VERY seldom in Europe - they are MUCH MORE common in North America.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 05:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 69
Thanks to everyone for all your advice -- and for a couple of good laughs. I know how nutty I sound -- giving up a vacation to the Riviera b/c of some irrational fear -- but they're that scary for me (for reasons unknown. I'm a city girl -- Philly. Snakes would get trampled mercilessly here!)

Hearing lots of "I've never seen a snake" responses from all of you has helped to calm my fears a bit, so thank you. I'm hoping if I just stay OUT OF THE GARDEN I won't have any unwelcome encounters. Does anyone know -- do they often make it INTO houses????? If so, how?

(Flame123, I'm the same -- can't even look at pictures. Sorry to give you something to worry about!)
BarbMH is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,263
Hey B,

>do they often make it INTO houses????? <

Calm down.

You can walk in the garden.

Snakes very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very,rarely go into houses.

ira is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7
You should then come to Malta, no snakes here, St. Paul got rid of them a few centuries ago. Strange but true.
chris_artisans is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 130
My brother in law lives outside Rome in the hilly areas .Property is loaded with snakes his land is surronded by trees,and light forest.I believe that is why there are so many cats all over Europe,but rule of thumb .Check out the area find out if these snakes are poisenous if they are not don't worry they will run away from you ,another caution is if your horseback riding horses could get spooked by snakes.
miaspapa is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
ref Ira's comments, I promise that if you should ever visit us, i won't tell you about our pet snake that escaped from its cage into the house and has never been seen again. [no, i am not kidding!]

Have a great snake free holiday,


annhig is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 08:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 69
Okay, I'm starting to feel a little better. And Ira, I'm holding you to that (the "very, very..." rarely in the house thing). I hope you're right... I only have until tomorrow to decide. Then I loose my option on this villa.
BarbMH is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 08:44 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,878

Sorry if I digress, but this reminds me of an article I saw in a now-defunct magazine, "Spokane Magazine." It referred to the difference between eastern and western Washington, which have very different climates, flora, and fauna. The article was called "Snakes vs Slugs." I live in eastern Washington, where it's possible to see the occasional snake, though very rare in the city. I much prefer the snakes to the slugs.

Pegontheroad is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:55 PM.