We have had more residents of crime-filled New York, Philadelphia, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta ask us about an apartment near the Spanish Steps, “Is the neighborhood safe?” You’ve got to be kidding! All of Italy is safer than all of the US. You can walk down the darkest alleyway in Naples at 2am, and even if you don’t feel safe, you are safe.
What about all the crime we hear about in Italy? Our answer: What crime are you talking about?
Now, we’re not Pollyanna about issues of crime. In 20 years of business, we’ve had clients robbed, pickpocketed, pursesnatched, and scammed in various and sundry ways. Yes, in Naples, but also in Venice, in Milan, in Florence (we ourselves pickpocketed), and in Rome. We had someone have their villa robbed in broad daylight in the deepest Umbrian countryside while they were innocently swimming in their pool. We know people in a posh Roman suburb who had their Mercedes stolen from their garage directly under their bedroom while they slept.
Two points: The first is that even though we have stories to tell, I don’t think we’ve had 20 such things happen over the same number of years. Second, unlike in the US, your life is never in danger. No one is going to kill you for $3. No one is gratuitously, just for the fun of it, going to cause you grievous physical harm because he wants your gold necklace. That is the major difference between crime in Italy and crime in the US.
What about gypsies? We hate to say it, but gypsies are omnipresent in large Italian cities. Little children and their mothers/cousins/etc. will sometimes panhandle and be more insistent than you might like. Screaming works.