Italy – Top Pickpocket Locations in Rome

Rome, Italy – a city where many say civilization began – and a city that many report is the pickpocket capital of Italy.  Almost everyone going to Italy will visit Rome, justmake sure you keep track of your wallet and purse while visiting the great sites. Rome is a very large city packed full with ancient sites, museums, magnificent churches, and excellent food, making Rome a popular attraction for tourists and therefore pickpockets.  Pickpockets and scam artists lurk in all corners of Rome, no place is sacred, and it takes a savvy traveler to come out unscathed.  Areas where pickpockets are most active include: The Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna), the main train station (Roma Termini), the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona, Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum, the Vatican area, popular shopping areas such as Via Condotti, Via Nazionale and Via del Corso, Via dei Fori Imperiali, plus the 64 bus (a.k.a., “wallet express”), 8 tram and H bus that travels between Trastevere and Termini station. Perhaps the number one location for pick pockets and thieves in Rome is the main train station, Roma Termini. At this train station, the A and B metro lines cross. When using the metro, secure your belongings when among large crowds. Pickpockets will use this hectic environment to push as if they are part of the crowd, making it difficult for you to notice if your luggage is being lifted or pockets being picked. Even traveling with your wallet in a front pocket with a hand covering it may seem safe, but once a fellow “passenger” bumps into you and knocks you off balance, you will most likely move your hand even for a brief moment and leave your wallet open for the nabbing. Pickpockets love to tourists visiting the Spanish Steps – Browsing the wares being sold at the bottom of the Spanish Steps may be tempting – but browsers beware – if you are not planning on making a...

Italy – Tourist Scams in Florence

Florence, Italy is a must see city for most tourists, and therefore popular for pickpockets and scam artist too. Traveling through Florence, Italy can feel like wandering through an open-air, living museum. The most remarkable, most stunning collections of art are there to be discovered, but beware o the wittiest scam artists who will attempt to steal your personal treasures are there too. Favorite Pickpocket Scams in Florence  While a pickpocket could strike anywhere in Florence,  specific areas known for pickpockets include the Basilica of San Lorenzo and Market, Ponte Vecchio, the main station Santa Maria Novella, Pitti Palace, Battistero off San Giovanni, Piazza Michaelangelo, on the Via dei Cerretani from the train station to the Duomo, Galleria degli Uffizi (Museum), the Duomo and Piazza Signoria. Public transportation is also a magnet for pick pockets frequenting bus lines 12/13 to Piazza Michelangelo and 7 to Fiesole. Lastly, beware of crowded corridors of trains.  The following are just a few of the more “reported” incidents of pickpocket scams reported by travelers that occurred in and around Florence Italy: The vicinity of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge has always been a haunt for thieves. Teams of busy pickpockets specifically look for tourists unaware of their surroundings visiting this famous spot.  Many times the pickpockets are gypsy children who work in teams – one distracts the tourist, while the other removes something from their travel bag or purse.  Be very mindful of your possessions at this location.  Other scams popular at this location include gypsies who pass a tourist a baby, or a doll to catch them off guard. At the same time slightly older children pick their pockets.  Other pickpockets use the age old scam of the paper flower to distract.  This bridge is also an attractive area for children to steal from tourists who are busily window shopping or taking in the beautiful view of the city and Arno River. The Market in Piazza di San Lorenzo is a prime target for pick...

Italy – Short Change Scam Venice Water Taxis – Travelers Beware!...

Tourists visiting Venice, Italy will all have to use the city’s water bus as a way to get around, as it is the primary way to get from one place to another when visiting the great city. However, a recent TV show has uncovered a ‘short change’ scam which targets tourists who buy tickets from the city’s water bus ticket vendors.  It revealed some dishonest ticket employees have been short changing tourists buying tickets at vendor run water bus ticket booths for months. The  camera captured repeatedly that dishonest ticket vendors where short changing tourists after they paid for 6.50-Euros for water bus tickets when they handed over 20, 50 or 100 Euro notes.  In one scene a British visitor handed over a 100 Euro note for a 6.50 Euro ticket and was shortchanged by 50 Euros. When she returned to point out the error to the ticket seller  he immediately handed over the missing cash without any hesitation. Minutes later, another foreign tourist returned to the same vendor, carried out the same transaction and again was short changed. When he returned to point out the mistake, the missing money was instantly handed over too. The show filmed several ticket vendors working for Venice water bus company ACTV and although not all of them short changed tourists, several were filmed doing so and each time with large banknotes.  The TV cameras caught footage of people buying tickets – and being short changed – near St. Mark’s Square. Some of those tourists realized and went back to ask for their money When the TV crew returned to confront one repeat offender with the evidence they had gathered, he furiously stormed out of his booth and violently pushed the presenter to the ground. It is not the first time that Venice’s water bus ticket sellers have been exposed – last year seven people were arrested in a similar scam and when held by police more than 15,000 Euro was found in...

Italy – Stay Clear of Pickpockets Preying on Tourists in Vatican City...

 Thou Shalt Not Steal! Avoiding Pickpockets in Vatican City The top crime neighborhood in the world isn’t in Sao Paulo or Lagos. It’s not the Bronx in New York, or even Wedding in Berlin. It’s the small city ruled by Pope Francis, which apparently sees more criminal cases per capita than any other part of the world. It is easy to figure out why the Vatican is on top of the lists of falling victim to pickpockets – only 527 persons live in the Vatican, but some 18 million people visit the Vatican last year. When pickpockets strike victims at the Vatican, say on St. Peter’s Square, they just trot over an international border into Italy, making prosecution very difficult. The Vatican’s attorney general Nicola Picardi released the astounding statistic at the start of 2011:  The tiny nation’s justice department in 2010 had to contend with 1,300 misdemeanor crimes committed last year. In a population of 527, that measures out to 1.5 cases per person — twenty times the corresponding rate in Italy. Picardi did say that most criminal cases were matters of pickpocketing or purse-snatching. The rest amounted to other petty crimes like fraud and forgery — committed not by kleptomaniac nuns but by a handful of black sheep among the 18 million pilgrims and tourists who visit St. Peter’s Cathedral, St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Museums every year. About 90 percent of these crimes go unpunished, which is not a measure of Christian mercy but a sign of the perpetrators’ favorite method of escape. They can break for the border — a few meters away — to Italy. Even if it did prosecute every pickpocket, the Vatican wouldn’t have room in its jails for so many sinners, since it has no prison system. Criminals sentenced to prison in the Vatican have to serve time in Italy, with costs covered by the papal state.  The papal state’s news agency VIA reports that the Vatican prosecutor decided to pursue 171 cases of...

Italy – Capri Ferry and Hydrofoil Docks- Caution Pickpockets...

Capri Ferry and Hydrofoil – from Naples to Capri – Be Careful of Pickpockets Take this day trip from Naples to Capri for a memory filled day of wandering the beautiful port town.  Almost all travelers make this trek by taking one of the many ferries or hydrofoils that leave the Naples port. You need to be aware that pickpockets favor the activity at the Naples port. Take a moment to read the below so you don’t become a victim. What’s the Difference Between a Capri Ferry and Capri Hydrofoil? Well, a ferry is a larger boat that can take both passengers and cars and they leave from part of the Naples port called Calata Porta di Massa. Duration of a ride with a Capri ferry is about 80 minutes and the ride takes longer than the hydrofoils. The hydrofoil or jet foil is a fast boat taking passengers only (no cars) and leaves from the Mollo Beverello part of the Naples port with a ride duration of 50 minutes.  It can take about 200-250 passengers at a time. Most travelers give preference to Capri hydrofoil over the Capri ferry to save time and most pickpockets prefer the hydrofoil dock too since more tourists are there than at the ferry. Capri ferry and hydrofoil: Buying a hydrofoil ticket to the isle of Capri Italy is where most of the pickpocket problems occur When travelers plan to visit Capri town, most tend to take the early trips – but many tack on additional stops at Sorrento or even Pompeii to their itinerary. The early ship docks around 7, on a working day, and the earliest one leaves at 8:10.  For up to date departure times timetable check here (http://www.capri.net/en/ferry-schedule). When you’re reading the table pay attention to Port of departure. If it says Molo Beverello, that’s one of the hydrofoils. All the others are Capri ferry boats which are slower. The ticket booth lines can get very, very busy. Travelers need...

Italy – Pickpockets at Terravision Bus, Florence

Terravision bus is a very popular bus.  It offers the cheapest/most direct transportation between Florence’s A.M. Novella train station and the Pisa airport. The bus is often overbooked, which is where the pickpockets come into play They’re attracted to the crowds and the confusion.  When waiting to board the bus, the driver calls the names of those who have reservations to board first. Instead of lining everyone up at the side of the bus so every hopeful passenger will have some space, the bus driver usually stands guard at the narrow bus door, making everyone pack into a tight semicircle, hoping to be the first on the bus in order not to miss his flight (taxi to Pisa airport is Euro 140 one way). In situations like always pay attention to your travel bag, purse, or wallet.  As everyone is pressing on each other so they can hear the bus driver, the opportunity for a pickpocket to steal without getting caught is prime. A pickpocket can easily pass as an increasingly desperate passenger wanting to get a seat on the bus. You or anyone else won’t notice his hand in your bag. Pickpockets really like to work this location, it is high yield, and their victims are eagerly carted away by a bus!  Consider one of  travel bags with security zippers when in a location like this....