People are always asking me if it is safe to visit Italy? People ask things about the crime rate in Italy, the murder rate etc.
I reply that Italy is one of the safest countries on earth.
If you look at the homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants (based on the official statistics on Wikipedia) you will see how safe Italy is:
Violent crime of any sort is extremely rare anywhere in Italy including places like Sicily and Calabria. Of course, in big cities like Milan, Rome and Naples there are a few neighborhoods you'll want to avoid... as there are in most of the big cities of the world. In smaller towns you will struggle to find anywhere on earth that feels safer.
Petty crime, mostly pickpocketing, can be an issue and it is the one crime you need to be aware of as a tourist. The main areas of risk are crowded stations, buses and trains in the cities as well as crowded tourist spots.
I often advise our supporters of specific areas to be careful of in the areas they are visiting. If you are a supporter, then you are welcome to check in with us before you travel. We'll tell you of any hotspots in the area you are visiting and provide you with a few simple steps to take to help keep you from being pickpocketed.
In Italy there is a terrifyingly efficient security apparatus. Forget Big Brother... this is far more effective.
Nothing in the neighborhood goes unseen, nothing goes unreported. Your secrets are known, your movements are being watched.
It is called the NSA (Nonna Surveillance Agency). It operates in cities, towns, villages... everywhere! Step out of line and you will be caught and dealt with.
The good news is that thanks to this system you can travel to Italy with peace of mind. It is because of the Nonna Surveillance Agency that Italy is one of the safest destinations in the world to travel to.
I get asked this so often. My advice is to not worry - the south of Italy has some of the lowest violent crime rates on earth and petty crime is low too except in big cities. For a detailed response to the southern Italy crime myth, and to some of the other false stereotypes about the south, click here.