What me worry? in Rome?

May 5th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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What me worry? in Rome?

I need some help. My wife and I are going to Italy in few weeks - Rome & Florence and countryside. She is hearing stories from her friends about the high theft rate; kids stealing pocketbooks and cameras, etc, especially in Rome She is picturing us being set upon by scammers, pickpockets, thieves, etc. at every turn. I believe it happens, but to a much smaller degree.
Can someone send me words of comfort to allay some of her fears?

Thank you,

cesca1 is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 09:56 AM
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Cesca -- here's a link to another thread on this site that recently discussed this topic:

Maire is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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thanks Maire for the posting. It was very informative. I think I will buy a neck pouch to keep ATM, CC, driver's license and small cash under my shirt. Leave everything else at the apartment.

I know we'll be fine.

Thanks again
cesca1 is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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You're welcome, Cesca. This is all new to me, too. Good idea to take precautions, then relax and have fun. Hope you have a wonderful trip.
Maire is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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cesca, I too was worried going to Italy for the first time. I read lots of threads and took more safety precautions than in any of our other trips to Europe.

On one of our trips to Paris my husband thwarted a pickpocket attempt so I knew he is a visible target. For our trip to Italy I put velco inside the opening of his front pants pockets where he insists he keeps his wallet. It worked quite well, who knows how many pickpockets would have gone for that wallet

We still laugh about my precautions because somehow I'd forgotten to take out the velcro from one pair. We discovered this at a very quiet church service when I heard the rrripppp sound of velcro Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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My LW replaced the zippers on my pants with velco years ago. Trust but verify is her cold logic.
degas is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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You must scare the patrons of the mens rooms with the ripping noises!
SeaUrchin is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Degas, that story scares the pants off me!

bookchick is online now  
May 5th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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degas, EVERY zipper??? Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Until two years ago I depended on dumb luck and never had a problem. Then I decided to take some precautions.

Essentially, I decided that they are the pros and do this for a living. I'm a tourist who would rather spend my time sight-seeing.

With that in mind, I decided that I probably couldn't stop them and would make their efforts as unrewarding as possible.

I always used a money belt for plane tickets, passports and some cash.

Now deicded that my pockets would hold nothing more than 20-30 Euros and my street map.

I bought a very small, flat, zippered, pouch. In it I put 50 Euros and my credit card. It has a belt loop. I put my belt through it and slid it down the inside front-side of my pants. I pulled it out to get/use my credit card and put it back when finished. Unless held up a gun-point, there's no way anybody could get to it.

Sure enough, it happened at the Madrid flea market. I heard some coins fall on the street and I knew to jump back and away. Somebody bent down in front of me and leaned on my leg.

About 20 seconds later an older man came over to me and gave me back my street map and empty sunglasses case that were in my back pocket. He said "somebody" took them. I said "yes, somebody". They didn't even get the 20 Euros deep in my front pocket.

My story.
Myer is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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My only experience with pick pockets, or what ever was in Rome by the Coliseum. It was my first trip and we were with a tour group. A whole pack of "little urchins" came running at us with the cardboard thingy. They ran right by me and went for our guide. They were actually pulling on her bag and she was screeming like mad in several languages to get the h--- away from her. She fought them off. Since it wasn't me they were after, I found the incident king of interesting. I did keep by arms around my bag.
crefloors is online now  
May 5th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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Just returned from Rome, and had no problem whatsoever, did not use a neck pouch, a money belt or anything of that kind. Carried my usual travel purse--an Ameribag. Of course, I was careful, as I would be in any city that is not my hometown. Saw very few beggars--less than in my hometown of SF. This may have been due to the time of year and the fact that the vast majority of tourists were Italians, and it may be different in the summer when there is an increase in American tourists. There were lots of street sellers, who have to curtly be told no, around the Colosseum and the Trevi.
SAB is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 12:25 PM
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The cardboard thing was thriving in the metro station in Milan a few weeks ago. The police scattered them quickly and there was a bit of screaming which was slightly unnerving to witness. How does the cardboard thing work? There were young teen girls in Rome in the Forum area preying on unsuspecting older women--they appear with a map and pretend to offer advice.
nini is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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Hi cesca1, I was worried too by stories about theft in Rome, so for the first time of travelling anywhere,[and I've lived in London, and travelled quite a lot in Europe and elsewhere] I bought a money belt and used it all the time, apart from the taxi to and from the airport. It worked really well, and had the advantage that I didn't get a sore shoulder from carrying all my family's stuff too. For that, we used a rucksac which was fine, and they carried it, not me. Try to get one with different compartments that you can access without turning it upside down, so you can keep a credit card separte from money and small change. In fact, the biggest hazard we experienced was being elbowed by angry matrons trying to get off the very crowded buses, and "official" guides trying to get us to go into the colloseum with them, when we'd just come out! So don't worry and have fun.
annhig is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 04:41 PM
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You asked for some words of comfort to allay your wive's fears. We recently returned from a week in Florence, Siena and Rome. We traveled by train, bus and subway, and frequented all the typical tourist spots. We did not experience or witness any pickpocketing anywhere. While I believe the reports that it does happen, it does not happen to everyone, everywhere, all the time, and that you will be in constant jeopardy! I know many people (about 15 couples) who have traveled to Italy in the past 3 years, and they had no problems either. Enjoy your trip!
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