Manarola, Italy
Venice Grand Canal, Italy
white motor scooter near building

Is Italy Safe?

Italy is generally safe for travelers, but petty crime like pickpocketing and bag snatching is common in crowded tourist areas. Remain vigilant in cities like Rome, Milan, and Naples. While terrorism is a risk across Europe, Italy has a low threat level. Travelers should avoid protests and monitor local news for any civil unrest. Driving can be chaotic, so consider public transportation in major cities.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Italy is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it's important to exercise caution and be aware of potential risks. Here's an overview:

  • Petty Crime: Pickpocketing and bag snatching are common in crowded areas, especially in major cities like Rome, Florence, and Naples. Be vigilant and keep valuables secure, particularly on public transportation and in tourist hotspots.

  • Scams: Beware of common scams targeting tourists, such as fake petitions, bracelet vendors, and overcharging for goods or services. Avoid engaging with overly friendly strangers or accepting unsolicited help.

  • Civil Unrest: While rare, protests and demonstrations can occur, particularly in larger cities. Monitor local news and avoid areas where protests are taking place.

  • Terrorism: Italy faces a general risk of terrorism, as do many European countries. However, the likelihood of being affected as a tourist is low. Remain vigilant in crowded areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

  • Disputes: Disputes or confrontations with locals are uncommon but can occur, especially in situations involving alcohol or misunderstandings. Remain polite and avoid escalating conflicts.

  • Violent Crime: Violent crime rates are relatively low compared to other European countries, but exercise caution, especially at night in isolated areas.

  • Robbery: While not a significant concern, be cautious with valuables and avoid displaying expensive items unnecessarily, particularly in less-frequented areas.

It's advisable to register with your embassy or consulate, obtain comprehensive travel insurance, and familiarize yourself with local laws and customs to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Italy.

Health & Medical

Italy is generally a safe travel destination from a health perspective, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Air pollution can be an issue in major cities like Rome and Milan, so travelers with respiratory conditions should take precautions. Tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease are also present in some rural and forested areas.

  • Vaccinations: Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and COVID-19. No additional vaccines are typically recommended for most travelers.

  • Insect Protection: Use insect repellent to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus, especially during warmer months and in rural areas.

  • Food and Water Safety: Follow food and water precautions to avoid traveler's diarrhea. Drink bottled water and avoid undercooked meat, unpasteurized dairy, and unwashed produce.

  • Medical Facilities: Italy has a high standard of medical care, with both public and private facilities available in major cities and tourist areas. However, costs can be expensive for those without travel health insurance.

Overall, with some basic precautions, most travelers can enjoy a safe and healthy trip to Italy. Consult a travel health professional for personalized advice based on your specific itinerary and health needs.

Natural Disasters

Italy is generally not prone to major natural disasters, but some risks exist that travelers should be aware of:

  • Earthquakes: Italy lies along seismic fault lines, making earthquakes a potential hazard, especially in central and southern regions. While serious quakes are infrequent, tremors can occur without warning. Familiarize yourself with safety procedures.

  • Volcanic Activity: The country has several active volcanoes, including Mount Etna in Sicily and Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Eruptions are monitored closely, but can disrupt travel plans and pose health risks from ash and gases.

  • Flooding: Heavy rainfall can lead to flash floods, particularly in low-lying areas and near rivers. Coastal regions may also experience storm surges and coastal flooding during severe weather events.

  • Wildfires: During hot, dry summers, wildfires can occur in forested areas, especially in southern regions. These may temporarily impact outdoor activities and cause air pollution.

  • Severe Weather: Italy experiences thunderstorms, hail, strong winds, and occasional snowstorms in winter months. These can disrupt transportation and outdoor plans.

While natural disasters are relatively uncommon, it's advisable to stay updated on weather forecasts, follow local guidance, and have contingency plans in place during your travels.


Italy boasts an extensive and efficient public transportation system, making it relatively easy and safe for travelers to navigate the country. However, it's essential to exercise caution, especially in crowded areas, to avoid petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching.

  • Public Transportation: Italy's rail network, including high-speed trains, is generally reliable and comfortable. Major cities like Rome, Milan, and Naples have well-developed metro systems, while buses and trams are widely available for shorter distances.

  • Road Safety: Driving in Italy can be challenging, especially in larger cities, due to narrow streets, aggressive driving habits, and limited parking. Renting a car is recommended for exploring rural areas, but exercise caution and familiarize yourself with local traffic laws.

  • Taxis and Ride-sharing: Licensed taxis are a safe option, but be wary of unlicensed operators or those attempting to overcharge. Ride-sharing services like Uber are available in major cities, providing a convenient alternative.

  • Pedestrian Safety: Exercise caution when crossing streets, as drivers may not always yield to pedestrians. Use designated crosswalks and be vigilant, especially in high-traffic areas.

  • Tourist Scams: Be cautious of individuals offering unsolicited services or attempting to distract you, as these could be ploys for theft or scams. Keep valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings.

Cultural Norms

Italy is a country steeped in rich cultural traditions and customs. As a traveler, it's essential to respect and appreciate the local culture to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Religious Customs: Italy has a predominantly Catholic population. When visiting churches or religious sites, dress modestly by covering your shoulders and knees. Avoid loud noises, photography without permission, and disrespectful behavior.

  • Greetings and Gestures: Italians often greet with a handshake or a kiss on both cheeks (for those they know well). Maintain eye contact during conversations, and avoid gestures that may be considered rude, such as pointing with your index finger.

  • Dining Etiquette: Italians take their food and wine seriously. Respect local customs by not wearing hats or sunglasses indoors, keeping your elbows off the table, and avoiding loud or boisterous behavior during meals.

  • Public Behavior: Italians generally value a more reserved and formal demeanor in public. Avoid excessive public displays of affection, loud or rowdy behavior, and revealing clothing in certain areas.

  • Local Events and Festivals: Many Italian towns and cities celebrate local festivals and events throughout the year. Participate respectfully, follow local customs, and avoid disrupting or interfering with these cultural celebrations.

  • Language and Communication: While English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning a few basic Italian phrases can go a long way in showing respect for the local culture. Speak softly and avoid overly loud or aggressive tones.

By embracing and respecting the local customs and traditions, travelers can immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Italy while fostering positive interactions with the locals.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Italy are generally reliable and well-equipped, though the quality and availability may vary depending on the region and proximity to major cities. The country has a comprehensive emergency response system, including ambulance services, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies.

  • Ambulance Services: Italy has a nationwide emergency medical service (EMS) system, with ambulances equipped with advanced life-support equipment and staffed by trained medical personnel. Response times can be relatively quick in urban areas but may be slower in remote or rural regions.

  • Fire Departments: Italy's fire departments, known as Vigili del Fuoco, are well-organized and equipped to handle various emergencies, including fires, natural disasters, and technical rescues. They often work closely with other emergency services.

  • Law Enforcement: Italy has a national police force (Polizia di Stato) and local police forces (Carabinieri and Polizia Municipale) responsible for maintaining public order and responding to emergencies. Tourist police units are available in major cities to assist travelers.

  • Tourist Assistance Services: Many cities and popular tourist destinations have dedicated tourist assistance services or police units specifically trained to assist travelers. These services can provide information, guidance, and support in case of emergencies or other incidents.

It's important to note that language barriers can sometimes pose challenges when communicating with emergency services, especially in rural areas. Travelers are advised to learn a few basic Italian phrases or carry a translation app or phrasebook for emergency situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Italy safe for tourists?

Italy is generally safe for tourists. However, be cautious of petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation. Avoid carrying valuables and remain vigilant in tourist hotspots. Follow common-sense safety precautions, and you should have a trouble-free visit.

Is Italy safe for solo female travelers?

Italy is relatively safe for solo female travelers, but it's advisable to exercise caution, especially at night and in isolated areas. Dress modestly, avoid walking alone in deserted areas, and be aware of your surroundings. Catcalling and harassment can occur, so trust your instincts and remove yourself from uncomfortable situations.

Is Italy safe for families?

Italy is a family-friendly destination with a welcoming attitude towards children. Many restaurants and attractions cater to families, and Italians generally adore children. However, be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas and ensure your children's safety. Child-friendly accommodations and activities are widely available.

Is Italy LGBTQ+ friendly?

Italy is generally LGBTQ+-friendly, with same-sex activity legal nationwide. However, public displays of affection may attract unwanted attention in some areas. Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized, but civil unions are. Major cities like Rome and Milan have vibrant LGBTQ+ communities and events.

Do you need a visa to go to Italy?

Citizens of the European Union, United States, Canada, and many other countries do not require a visa for tourist stays up to 90 days. However, a valid passport is mandatory. Visitors from certain countries may need a Schengen visa. Check entry requirements with the Italian embassy or consulate before traveling.

Can you drink tap water in Italy?

Tap water in Italy is generally safe to drink, although the taste may vary by region. In some areas, locals prefer to drink bottled water due to the mineral content or hardness of the tap water. When in doubt, opt for bottled water, especially for young children.

What is the currency in Italy?

The official currency in Italy is the Euro (€). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases, tips, and emergencies. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, airports, and authorized money exchange offices.

Related Content

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play