That said, about the only crime you can and should expect is petty, that of the pickpocketing and scam varieties. In fact, you have a far greater chance of losing your valuables than your life. Homicide rates in Rome are usually less than 1 per 100,000 residents, which is far lower than most American cities of comparable size. Muggings, scams and pickpocketing, however, remain a very real threat. This is especially true in crowded areas like the Stazione Termini, the Trevi Fountain, the metro or on the 64 Vatican bus line.
To reduce your chances of becoming a victim of petty theft, follow a few of these common-sense tips:
- Invest in a slash-proof bag.
- Never keep your valuables in unsecured pockets.
- Avoid traveling alone.
- Make photocopies of important documents (e.g. passport, driver’s license).
- Don’t dress like an obvious tourist.
- Be wary of strangers or groups of teens who approach you at popular tourist sites.
If you’re unfortunate enough to encounter a pickpocket, then scream out these three words: “Aiuto, al ladro,” which translates to, “Help, a thief!”
Is Rome Safe After Sundown?
Like anywhere else on earth, crime in Rome is more prevalent at night than during the day. Try your best to avoid dimly lit areas such as Termini Station and Piazza Vittorio after the sun goes down. Although Rome is generally safe for solo tourists, it’s always a better idea to walk with at least one companion.
Safety Services for Tourists in Rome
Traveling to Rome soon? Take a moment right now to put this number into your mobile phone: 113. Dialing 112 will put you in touch with the Roman Police Department and could be used for all major emergencies. It’s like our 911. If you specifically need an ambulance, however, then you should call 118 instead.
To file a theft report while in Italy, you’ll have to visit a nearby police station within 24 hours of the crime. While the police most likely won’t apprehend the thief or retrieve your belongings, this document is very important for insurance and reimbursement purposes.
By the way, the Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital in Rome’s trendy Trastevere district offers a very helpful 24-hour Tourist Clinic. Even if you’re not sick or injured during your stay, it’s worthwhile visiting this ancient monastery to see a free, non-crowded Roman attraction!
A Quick Note on Soccer Safety
Romans are really, really passionate about their soccer. Unfortunately, sometimes this passion turns into violent clashes between diehard fans of opposing teams. Since Rome has two major soccer teams (A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio), you might avoid professing allegiances until you’re familiar with Rome’s soccer rivalry and Serie A (Italy’s top-tier professional league).