Historic Centre: not always a safe place!, Genoa
Large group of tourists invariably attracting all sorts of thieves. Those who can afford to travel usually carry cash money, even if small, and its exactly with which thieves count. The crowd is ideal for pickpocketing, especially if the victim is penned in the mass and stationary. Distracting the attention of the victim and making him/her careless is the speciality of the Gypsies. Carefree and happy person is a victim of the lightest.
Make sure your money and valuable belongings are perfectly safe, before you stop and enjoy the street performance.
Street musicians are usually cheerful and they like to be photographed, this guy aint cheerful and doesn't look happy at all.
I lived in Genoa for 6 months on a yacht that was being refitted in Amico yard. There were 8 yachts where the crews were friendly - a total of about 50 crew members all from Aus, NZ, SA, Brits and all very smart travellers (we do it for a living!) and after 4 months, 17 of the group had been either mugged (consciously or not), beaten up (one guy lost his sight in one eye), followed, threatened (just for passing through an alley) or raped (2 girls). I can honestly say that nobody incited anything......it is just that at night time, the old town esp. Porto Antico, tourists are not welcome and certain locals of a certain origin seem to take offence to you breathing!!! During the day is absolutely fine though.
The combination of culture and geography makes Genova a beautiful city, but also a potentially dangerous one. The city is home to more than its fair share of people living below the poverty line, especially people from the immigrant community (don’t get too offended by that last comment: I myself am an immigrant in Italy, albeit one lucky enough to hail from a Western country). From my experience immigrants are often more likely to speak English than their Italian counterparts, so please curb your rude and/or racist comments (for your own sake)! Keep a close eye on your bags at the train station, and hold them tight as you get on and off the metro and busses. If you think you might be tempted to buy something from a street vendor, carry a small amount of money in your pocket so that you don’t have to pull out your wallet on the street. Streets in the medieval center of the city are poorly lit and too narrow for police cars to drive down, consequently crime in the center is high and tourists should not walk alone in these areas at night. If you have to walk in the center at night, stick to the widest, brightest streets possible, put your map in your pocket and walk with your head high. Now is not the time to wear your stars-and-stripes hat. One of the reasons I would recommend Hotel Cristofo Colombo is its location on a wide, bright street. We were shocked to see the number of prostitutes working before noon on Sunday morning, particularly in the narrow streets around via della Maddalena, so exercise caution in this area as well. We were plagued by a general feeling of unease in Genova, but a smart tourist will combine caution with calm to make the most of their time in the city.
I would avoid the narrow seedy side-streets especially in the close vicinity to the old port (Porto Antico).
I found them very safe during the day due to many locals and tourists being around, but as evening comes, the 'underworld' seems to surface.
for you might get dizzy because of all the cars, scooters and other motor driven vehicles on the main road into Genoa.
My husband drove in such a way, even Chiara was surprised, haha, and we all sat shaking in the back of the car.
Along the road are that many great buildings, I tried to photograph them and Chiare kept ensuring me we would see many more.
But not these! I thought.
We have to be honest: Genova's Historic Centre had become much safer in these last years, but there's still a lot of work to do! There are some zones which are quite dangerous to be visited, not only at night, but also during daytime! Expecially the small alleys close to the Principe railway station.
If you travel alone it's better not to go around the Historic Centre by night by yourself.
The narrow Genovese streets can be a maze at nightime especially without a map. I was surprised by the large asian communities here.