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See Italy like a local. Work with a local to plan your trip.

Is Italy Safe for Travelers in 2020?

ViaHero
Updated June 24, 2020

Generally, Italy is a safe place for travelers. And one of our favorite places to visit!

Here's what you need to know about safety in Italy, including updates about the coronavirus:

"Linelly helped us beyond anything we could've planned ourselves. Everything she suggested for us was spot-on, and I feel we got the best experience by following a local's guidance."
Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

UPDATE: Italy and the coronavirus

Like most places around the world, Italy experienced cases of coronavirus. So, when will it be safe to travel to Italy

Here's the latest: 

June 16th: Italy has lifted its travel restrictions for select countries. Citizens from the EU, the UK, or from one of the 26 countries of the Schengen Zone can travel to Italy. They do not have to quarantine. 

However, Italy still has travel restrictions for citizens of countries outside of Europe. 

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for all international travel. This strongly recommends that Americans avoid international travel.

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Here's our full update about travel and coronavirus. Or, feel free to send a message to one of our Italian locals.

Safety statistics in Italy

Palermo, Italy | Who’s Denilo ?/Unsplash

Don’t take our word for it—check out the data! Italy’s crime rate has been in a consistent freefall since 2010.

Plus, you’re never far from a police officer: Italy has 550 officers per 100,000 people, which means it’s 9th in the world in terms of police presence. For context, the US is ranked 45th.

That means you can explore Italy's incredible places to visit without having to worry much about safety.

What kind of traveler are you?
Let’s face it. People want different things when they travel. Rather than spending hours sifting through blogs and top 10 lists written by people who may have totally different interests than you, why not start by sharing a little about what’s important to you when exploring a new destination?
Enter your travel preferences below and we’ll connect you with a likeminded local in Italy to help you plan your trip based on your specific interests.

Solo travel in Italy

Woman in Tuscany | quinntheislander/Pixabay

You'll find plenty of fantastic things to do in Italy for solo travelers—from sipping an Aperol spritz outside a cafe, to enjoying Italy's world-class museums, to simply wandering through the historic streets of Rome.

And locals tell us that, on the whole, Italy is a safe place for anyone traveling by themselves. They provided these tips for solo female travelers:  

  • Unfortunately, catcalling is a reality in Italy. But it’s no worse than any other country in Europe.
  • There are female-only hostels in some cities.
  • The Vatican has a dress code for men and women. Keep your knees and shoulders covered. Otherwise, you might be barred from entering certain buildings. 
  • Use the same precautions you would anywhere else—don't accept drinks from strangers and know how you're getting home at night.

Solo travelers can benefit greatly from local advice. Our trip planners are Italian locals (many of which are Italian women) who are happy to share how they navigate their country safely. They can let you know about the best places to visit in Italy as a solo traveler, and which you may want to avoid.

Work with a local to plan your trip.
See a side most people miss.

Common scams to know

There are plenty of wonderful things to do in Italy, so don't let a scammer ruin your trip. 

Stay safe with local insights—locals tell us to keep an eye out for these common scams:

  • People asking you to sign a charity petition: Usually, someone will approach you asking for a signature for a petition of a fake charity. As soon as you agree to sign it, the scammers will aggressively demand a donation or take the opportunity to pickpocket you.
  • Taxis charging a flat rate and not using the meter: Taxis in the city are required to use the meter to calculate charges unless they’re going to/from the airport. Any taxi charging you a flat-rate is not an official taxi. 
  • Someone presenting a box of pizza (or another large item): The scammer aims to block your view from the waist down while an accomplice tries to pick your pocket. 
  • Having your way intentionally blocked in the subway: One member will engage, block, or distract you in some way, while another quickly picks a valuable off of you.
  • Roma (Gypsy) babies: Roma women have been known to beg with passed-out babies that they’ve intentionally drugged in order to increase sympathy/leverage the situation to get money from you. 
  • “Free” rosemary: Another favorite tactic of scammers is to offer you a “free” sprig of rosemary (or another charm) for good luck. Once you’ve accepted it they’ll demand payment.

Locals add to beware of people stopping you for surveys, asking for donations, or even “accidentally” spilling something on or tripping into you. If any of the above situations or something similar happens to you in Italy, be extra cautious, keep moving, and don’t engage.

In general, locals also say to keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas or public transit.

Local Tip:

If you're in Rome, store your suitcase in one of LuggageHero's Rome locations. They have fifty spots all over the city, and this can reduce the risk of bag-snatching.

Vaccinations and drinking water in Italy

If you’re traveling from the US and are up to date on your regular vaccines, you’re all set in terms of medical preparations. No special vaccines or medicines required!

And although you’ll be mostly drinking Aperol spritz, Chianti, or other classic Italian drinks, be reassured that you can totally drink the water. Italy’s tap water is safe. In fact, it’s just as good or even better than what you’d drink in the US. 

Still have questions about travel to Italy?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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