Travel Safety Tips for Italy Written by James Garner
We spent a month in Italy and never experienced any trouble. We never felt threatened and nothing was stolen. We did see a few people that had things stolen, who got pick-pocketed and were having a bad day because they didn’t follow rule #1.
RULE #1 IS ALWAYS STAYING ALERT OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.
Do not take out large amounts of cash or count money in public. I know…but some people still do it.
Carry a money belt with a zipper compartment and keep most of your money, your passports and extra credit cards in it tucked inside the front of your pants. Keep your passport safe at all times because losing it could cause lots of problems!
Carry a day bag or backpack with a secure flap that has buckles, zippers, Velcro and a secure way to latch it over or around your shoulder and neck. I use mine for my important papers, my iPad and my camera when I wasn’t using it.
I found the perfect bag for $4.00 at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. Here is the link: http://unclaimedbaggage.com/ It not only has a flap that buckles and has Velcro, it has a hidden compartment inside with a zipper and another compartment with a Velcro flap. I also found a perfect document wallet at the baggage center for $2.00 that has a hidden zipper compartment, a Velcro flap and several other compartments inside it that folds different ways, latches down with two buckles and has a lanyard with a clip ring on the end to latch it to something or yourself.
Always secure your camera. Do not sit it around and keep a strap around your shoulder or neck when using it around large crowds. Slash proof straps are good but I just used my regular one.
Wear shirts that have a secure front pocket with either a zipper, button or Velcro to keep your spending money and credit card that you are going to be using. Invest in an aluminum wallet to secure credit cards.
I have bought several shirts and for me the best ones are the Patagonia brand. They are very cool, quick drying, comfortable and have deep front pockets. One pocket has a hidden zipper and the other two have a button down flap. All the pockets are easily accessible for you but would be near impossible for a good thief. They are also large enough to carry your passports. Another safe shirt with a zipper pocket is Magellan. It has Velcro flaps but it is not as cool or quick drying; however I liked it while traveling through train stations and other high-risk areas. It too has pockets large enough to carry passports. The other one I wore is by ExOffico and although it only has two Velcro flap pockets it is quick drying, cool and looks great. View them here: http://www.exofficio.com/products/mens/shirts
Do not take expensive jewelry or fake jewelry that looks expensive. This could draw unwanted attention and make you a target for theft or robbery.
When on the train sit away from the exits and keep your luggage and bags close to you where you can watch them. If you’re napping, secure them with a “Pack Safe” device or some other wire bag cover and lock them to something or to yourself. Remember rule #1 when on trains, subways or buses.
Do not accept any help from anyone while purchasing train tickets unless they work for the station and are in uniform. The machines are easy to understand and will be in English. Just touch the British Flag and follow the instructions.
When using a ticket machine be aware of people standing around you. ALWAYS BE ALERT.
Always lock your room door and use the extra locks when available. Keep important stuff locked up the room safe if one is available. If not, keep them hidden and secure when you leave your room. We have a Pacsafe. Here’s a link: http://www.pacsafe.com/
Do not over indulge in alcohol or any other substances that can alter your judgment. You may wake up with more than a brand new tattoo.
Do not engage in any protest or choose sides and get involved in local politics or sporting events.
Do not stray off alone and always let someone else know where you are going and how long you will be.
Register your travel plans with the US Embassy before you leave and they will keep you informed of any alerts.
Be polite and smile. Learn a few Italian words and phrases.