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When in Italy, avoid pickpocketing

Pickpocketing is the most common plague affecting travellers’ life worldwide.

Despite CCTV, police and warnings, authorities struggle to tackle this issue as a steady increase is being experienced in many areas of Italy.

Roma is not exception, however with a piece of advice you would be able to reduce the risk of being a pray for pickpockets while in Rome and anywhere else in the world.

The pickpocketing technique:

  • 90% of the times, it takes place when you are at the entrance of the carriage –while entering or exiting
  • The always work in pair and in Rome most of them are very young girls from rom ethnicity, unsuspected and smartly dressed.

Upon entering the carriage, they tend to get close to you and hide their arm under a coat.

The swiftly put their arm in your bag while searching for wallets, cash and any valued item. Since they are incredibly fast, they might get off at the next stop leaving you completely unaware.

Advices to avoid pickpocketing

Despite the effort of italian authorities, this tends to happen still too frequently. I hope to provide some bits of advice for make you trip safer than expected:

  1. Better you carry credit cards other than cash on you. Rome is full of cashpoints and cards are accepted everywhere.
  2. While approaching the metro line, do not enter the carriage closest in front of you – which usually is the busiest – wait for the train at one of the further ends of the platform: carriages will be less crowded and you have a clear perception of what is surrounding you
  3. Italians are not Brits, so pushing and bouncing someone is pretty common;if you feel threated do not hesitate to bounce them back – never feeling intimidated is the rule number one.
  4. While entering the platform, as soon as you see someone suspicious approaching you upon entering the train, step back and let them get on the train.
  5. Try to wear a soft pouch or something in close contct to your body. Italian grandmas globally exported the practise to place cash, tissues and anything you could think of in their bras. I know it’s tricky but it has been always useful!
  6. Split always your cash and avoid bring everything you have with you. Rome is a shopping paradise but if on a shopping spree, your card will be a safer option!
  7. Always have the bag or pouch under your immediate sight If eating at the dehors, never place your bag outward, as sometimes people on motorbikes have snatched valuable bags hanging on chairs.

This is what we suggest in many years of work as tourist guides!

Good people and bad people are everywhere, but being alert and cautious will surely minimize the risk of becoming pray for those few who unfortunately stain the reputation of a place.

Rome is safe but you be alert, all the time! In case something bad might happens, remember to be in touch with the local authorities such as the police or call the 112

Colosseum, Palatine Hill & Roman Forum

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