“Wow! I love your thick white tube socks!” Said no one, ever. And you know what goes hand in hand with tube socks? A lovely pair of tan lines. Now, maybe in some places of the world no one really notices. However, Italy is not one of them.
In Italy, the way you dress means everything. People judge you if you’re dressed a certain way, or not. Of course, you could be the type of person who doesn’t really care what people think. However, the way you dress and act in Italy, or Europe for that matter, can attract scammers and thieves. Here are some tips to help keep you safe if you’re planning on traveling to abroad to Italy:
- Leave your tube socks at home
Tube socks, any kind of hats (especially baseball caps since there is no baseball in Italy), sneakers, graphic t-shirts, and sweatpants/gym clothes make you an easy target. They scream, “ROB ME! OVER HERE!” Those are hints that you’re a tourist and an easy target.
2. People begging for money are NOT ITALIAN.
If you see anyone begging for money remember they are not Italian. They may look it but they are from Eastern Europe or Africa. Don’t pay attention to them. It may be hard and your conscience may tell you to do otherwise, but remember that they work for an organized enterprise and they bet on the tourists to give them money because anyone from Italy knows it’s all a scam.
If you don’t believe me, sit and watch them until their “shift” is over, that little old lady with the hurt leg will stand up easily and get picked up by a car, or walk to the train station and go home. I’ve seen it myself.
Not only are these people not Italian, but are technically paid to be there. The majority of immigrants that stay in Italy receive 30 euro a day, a free place to live, three free meals a day and a free cellphone. So, in the end they live better than the citizens who work and pay for all these necessities.
3. Buy a purse with a zipper
One thing about Italy is that it’s a small country compared to The U.S. It starts to feel really small especially when you’re at the weekly market or on a bus. Make sure to buy a purse with a zipper, so that it lowers your chances on getting pick-pocketed. In addition, there are instances where they slash the bottom of your purse, let everything fall out, grab and run. You can buy an anti-theft bag here. Or you can put any valuables in your bra! ahaha
4. Stay away from anyone trying to help you with anything. THEY ARE NOT ITALIAN.
Parking a car or getting off a train are the key places where scammers hang around. There will be people trying to help you with your luggage or your parking meter. Again, they are not Italians. I have had multiple people trying to convince me to let them carry my luggage. Say no. They will either expect a tip, tip themselves with your wallet or won’t even give you your luggage back until you give them money.
5. Travel with a friend
If you’re a girl planning a solo trip to Italy, I recommend inviting a friend. Of course you can travel by yourself and have a good time, but it’s always important to have your wing-woman with you. You know, just to be safe.
6. Never leave expensive Items in your car
In Italy, there’s these roadside restaurants called Autogrill’s. There you can park your car and enjoy a good quality meal. If you’re on a road trip and decide to get a bite to eat at one of these Autogrill’s, don’t forget your valuables. Autogrills are notorious for having your car get robbed.
The thieves stalk your car when you get there and when they know you’re eating, take anything of value. Bring your passports, money, and jewelry inside with you and park next to a window, so you can keep an eye on your car.
We once had friends visit us in Italy. The day they left we told them not to leave any valuables in the car if they stop at an Autogrill. What did they do? Left all their valuables in the car and can you guess what happened? Everything got stolen. Their passports, airplane tickets and a diamond bracelet. One time, they stole my fathers computer. Gone because of something that could have been prevented.
7. Buy RFID blocking sleeves
RFID blocking sleeves are little holders you can put your credit cards in, so that your information does not get stolen. There is a special scanner that scammers have that is able to read your credit cards if close enough and take your information. Protect your cards and passport by buying some of these protectors. Or you can buy a whole wallet that can protect your cards from RFID thieves. They are cheap are good to have even when you’re not traveling.
8. Have fun!
Italy is the most beautiful country in the world so enjoy it! Yes, there are some downsides but there are downsides to traveling anywhere in the world. If you know what to look out for you’ll be perfectly fine. Experiment with food, dress up, take lots of photos, flirt with some Italian guys and have fun! It’ll be an experience of a lifetime, so make it a safe one 🙂
Thanks for reading Lady’s. Any comments or questions are welcome and don’t forget to subscribe to receive email notifications on my posts!