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How To Stay Safe In Rome When Traveling On Vacation

Learning how to stay safe in Rome using this guide is easy and should allow you to feel comfortable and confident during your vacation in this amazing city.

How to stay safe in Rome - Security In The City

Security Around The City

Rome is an amazing and vibrant city with a rich history and culture, and it is a popular tourist destination. But, as with any large European city, there are some smart behaviors that travelers should be aware of. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common safety recommendations for a visit to Rome and provide other tips on how to stay safe during your visit.

Watch Out For Petty Theft

Petty theft is the most common crime in Rome specifically and Italy in general. Pickpockets (borseggiatore, borsaiolo) are often “working” in crowded areas, such as the popular tourist attractions, public transportation, and street markets. To avoid becoming a victim of pickpocketing, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables in a closed bag over your shoulder and preferably in front of you. Men should carry wallets and cell phones in their front pockets.

How to stay safe in Rome - City Police

City Police Keeping Watch

Avoid These Common Scams In Rome

Avoid The Bracelet Scam

The way the bracelet scam works is oddly consistent. Typically a man approaches you with a cheap bracelet, typically made of yarn or a thick thread. They will hand a bracelet to a child, or someone else in your group, acting like it is a free gift. There are no free gifts in Rome. After trying to engage with you in conversation, they will now expect money for the bracelet. They won’t take them back from you and continue to ask for money. My advice is to not accept the bracelets, and if they won’t take them back, just leave them on a table, sidewalk to any other surface and walk away. This scam has occasionally turned a bit more aggressive and violent with the scammer following you to a less populated area and demanding money in a more threatening manner.

Also Avoid The New “Tie” Scam

Recently posted in Il Tempo, the new “Tie” scam has arrived in Rome. A man pretends to be a struggling textile manufacturer and he tries to sell you fake ties by passing them off as designer brand products. To convince the victim, the scammer pretends to be in economic difficulty and once the victim is convinced and pays the man more than €400, the victim is handed him an envelope. Only later would the victim realize that in reality there were only three ties without a label and also of poor quality.

How to stay safe in Rome - Secured Sites

All Sites Have Security

Take Steps To Reduce The Risk Of Violence

As mentioned, violent crime is relatively rare in Rome, but it happens. You need to be aware of your surroundings and take your intuition seriously. If you are feeling uncomfortable and you are walking alone at night, you should stick to well-lit and crowded areas.

Preparing For The Possibility Of Natural Disasters

Rome does get earthquakes, but pretty rarely. Typically, the areas with more frequent and stronger earthquakes are outside the city. Keep in mind that the city has strict building codes in place, and earthquakes are not a major concern for most travelers. Another way to be safe would be to know how to reach the US State Department and enrolling in their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. In this program, you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in Italy, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. It will also help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. It will also help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

Plan For The Right Weather

The weather in Rome can be hot and humid in the summer, and cold and wet in the winter. It is important to dress appropriately for the weather and to be aware of the potential for heat stroke or hypothermia. You can find more information about the Rome climate in this post.

How to stay safe in Rome - Stop War

Stop War / Have A Smoke

Avoid These Spaces At Night

As with any big city, even the most safe, there are Rome locations that you might want to avoid while you are getting around Rome at night and be more alert during the day. In Rome, the three places that come to mind are:

  • EUR – This area is far removed from the center of Rome and if you would like to learn more about it, check out my previous blog post about EUR Rome. There is no designated area for sex-workers in Rome. However, there are areas with illegal prostitution in Rome and most people cite EUR as the city’s center of illegal sex-workers. There was a discussion back in 2015 about creating an Amsterdam-like district in EUR, but it went nowhere.

  • Tiber – Walking along the Tiber is something that shouldn’t be missed. At night, however beautiful may be, isn’t the right time for sightseeing. There are areas with floating bars that attract more of the drinking crowd, that also attract the type of person that is looking to take advantage of them. Also, if you walk along the walls far enough you will probably come across a homeless encampment under or around a bridge unexpectedly. 

  • Termini – This is probably obvious, but unless you are leaving Rome on a train in the middle of the night, Termini Station should probably be avoided. There are a lot of people looking to take advantage of the weary travelers that pass through those doors, so avoiding it would be prudent.

How to stay safe in Rome - Military Support

Even The Military Keeps Things Safe

Travel To Rome Safely And Confidently

This article about how to stay safe in Rome should not be used as a reason to justify not coming to Rome. In fact, the simple suggestions for staying safe are pretty simple best practices for traveling anywhere in the world, including the US. If you want to learn more about the culture of Italy, check out some of these posts:

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