Spotlight City: Rome, Italy
Rome is the capital and most populous city of Italy, with a metropolitan population of 4,350,000. Rome is one of Europe’s most ancient cities. It’s long and rich history spans more than two and a half thousand years. Today, it represents one of the birthplaces of Western civilization and is a major hub for international finance, culture and education. It has the status of a global city, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city is visited by countless people each year for tourism and business. Rome is generally considered to be a safe city, although petty crime may present some issues to travelers.
Safety in Rome is comparable to that of any other European capital. It is a safe city by international standards. While violent crime is rare, petty crime may present occasional issues for visitors to the city. Pickpocketing is perhaps the most prevalent form of petty crime in Rome, due to the high level of tourism.
Pickpockets are most common on public transit and at tourist destinations. Be mindful of anyone roughly bumping into you or otherwise finding excuses to enter your personal space. On buses and trains, it’s safer to stand away from the doors as thieves may attempt to snatch a purse or bag and make an immediate getaway. Bus lines 64 and 40, two heavily crowded lines, are especially frequented by pickpockets. Pickpockets are more common along tourism stops on the subway, such as Piramide, Termini, Vittorio Emanuele, and Ottaviano.
You may encounter many beggars and gypsies in Rome. Do your best to ignore them, as they often attempt to scam foreigners through posing as activists demanding donations or signatures.
Best Practices for Personal Security in Rome
Be aware of your surroundings in Rome and always be conscious of your belongings in public. Keep valuables and bags within view. Be aware of locations and situations that could make you vulnerable to crime, such as lane ways, isolated parks and buildings, back streets and poorly lit parking lots. Try your best to avoid looking like a foreigner, since that makes you a prime target for local thieves.
Pay attention around the Colosseum and Forum area, as many thieves operate here. Prati, Trionfale, Via Emo, and Piazza Cavour are also considered areas of higher risk.
A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio are the two rival football clubs of Rome. Do not wear anything that indicates support for either club, especially during the Derby, when the two clubs play one another. There has been history of violent confrontations between fans of these opposing clubs, including physical assaults and stabbings.
What to Do in an Emergency
In the event of an emergency, dial 113 to access emergency fire, medical and police services. Contact the embassy of your country in Italy as they may be able to provide further assistance. Most will have representation in Rome itself.
As one of Europe’s oldest remaining cities, Rome and its two and a half thousand years of history makes it a truly unique destination of the continent. The city’s rich history combined with its modernization means there is something for every traveler to discover here. Whether it’s for the Colosseum, the Pantheon or perhaps the Sistine Chapel, Rome is definitely worthy of every traveler’s bucket list.