Safety and Crime: 2005 update
I live in Turin, and I make some laugh reading the old warning in this section.
So I guess that an update maybe useful.
The city is quite safe. Just adopt the normal rules you are used when travelling abroad.
From late 90's till today the city has changed its face.
There has been a steep reduce of crime rate. And now, in occasion of the Olympics Events, the city is more clean and with more surveillance.
In the map you can see the center of the city, where I have sprayed in red dots the "Less Safe Area" (LSA): the area near the central railway station (Porta Nuova) and near Piazza Repubblica (better known as Porta Palazzo). The LSA are permeate by extracomunitarian immigrants (the most are from Arabic and African Country, and the other from Balcanic country). But can be also area with restaurants and pubs very nice and low cost. So just pay more care in the LSA.
In night time, consider to cross the LSA never alone.
Another hint in the map are the blu lines with which I have delimitate not the safer area but simply the interesting area by a turist point of view.
And now, a review of the older issues:
Gipsy kids: scarce episode
Violent supporters: yet nowadays, but the police is always on their side
Mosquitos: no progress (maybe very different from zone to zone, it's hard trouble in summer near the river banks)
Murazzi: a very nice place in summer, a lot of pubs and people (in winter time too cold, then almost desert)
Porta Palazzo: half area is a LSA, but is very nice and interesting like Murazzi
Weird people: this is related with our wine culture :-)
Torino - Driving habits
My comments can be taken as general guidelines applicable to most Italian large cities.
In almost any society, symptoms of stress occur when cramming people together as a result of lack of vital room. Like most industrial cities in the north of italy, Torino grew up rapidly and doubled its population in about two decades, the 60s and 70s. The pace had overwhelmed the city authorities and inadequate police control had possibly made the rest. Traffic rules and regulations are something that all of us should be aware of and respect. In my personal experience, it seems that a good portion of drivers in Torino do not apply rules and common sense. The use of cell phones while driving is only allowed through loudspeaker systems but, obviously, such an occurrence belong to a rare specie of drivers and in most cases the omnipresent apparatus can't stay away from the ear. I'm still waiting for sociologists to tell me why some people are driven by a mix of arrogance, stupidity and irrationality. Maybe because the national health care system ranks second in the world? There are much worse places in Italy but if you drive in Torino you can be amazed at seeing cars double or triple parked, and astonished at seeing pilots skipping red lights and yield signs at ease. When approaching a green light, better never take for granted your right of way. More vulnerable vehicles such as motorcycles and bicycles should pay extra attention, not to mention pedestrians.
Bottomline is WATCH OUT!
- Road Trip
Turin Purse Snatchers
I was sitting at a very nice cafe in Piazza San Carlo, surrounded by people at other tables. I had just taken a photograph and was putting my camera away in my bag, when a young man came up behind me and put a piece of paper down on top of my arm, which was on top of my handbag. I don't speak Italian so couldn't read what it said on the paper but I told him to go away. He didn't go so I shouted at him to leave me alone. He walked off and I immediately realised my purse was gone. Somehow he'd managed to get his other hand underneath the piece of paper and remove my purse from the bag without me feeling it. I chased after him but lost him at the corner of the square. The cafe owner and police were extremely helpful and told me that robbers from Morocco and Eastern European countries were an increasing problem in Turin so beware! I come from a country where we are all well used to taking care of our personal belongings and I had my bag in my arms at the time but this robber was extremely skillful.
Avoid Porta Palazzo when it's dark
You'd better avoid Porta Palazzo when it gets dark, since you may find some disreputable people. That area is known for housing a large community of immigrants who, in many cases, don't integrate in the Italian society.
I went there one day with my mother at 17, so not very late, and we saw a lot of those people, so we didn't stay there for a long time.
Don't Rely on English
Unlike in other large Italian cities, do not rely on local people to speak English. From my experience, the majority don't in Turin and it can therefore be quite difficult for a visitor to get information. I found the people to be generally kind and friendly but without a common language, things can get tricky.
My advice would be to get very organised before you go. Find as much information as you can on the Internet. A good guide book is essential too, particularly one that contains a 'food section' because restaurant menus are often all in Italian.
The ladies in the Tourist Information Offices speak very good English and are extremely helpful if you need assistance.
Petty thief lingering near Porta Nuovo
Watch the luggage that you wheel behind you.
My daughter and I were on our way from Hotel Nizza to the bus stop to catch the bus to the airport, just on the other side of Porta Nuovo Rail Station. I was in front of my daughter and thought I heard the distinctive sound of a zipper. I turned around and saw a young Italian man walking very close to my daughters luggage and noticed that the zipper on the top part of the luggage was wide open. Not knowing what was going on exactly, I asked her if she had zipped up the luggage. The young guy casually distanced himself away.
All of our valuables were in the backpack on my back. I joked about the guy I should have knocked out for trying to steal my deodorant in her luggage. Beware.
No wardrobe at the Museo Egizio
If you visit the Museo Egizio in winter with warm clothes, beware that the museum doesn't provide a wardrobe, so you will have to hold your coats during the whole visit, since it is very hot inside the museum.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Warning for violent supporters
Being the most hated (and loved, not to forget) team in Italy it's not strange that it's quite common with incidents around Juventus-games. When they meet Milan, Inter, Roma, Fiorentina or Torino you can be sure that there will be fights around the game.
So if you come to one of these games, be sure to wear neutral clothes, if you don't want to wear a Juventus-scarve (who could blame you...? ;) ) so that you aren't mistaken for an away-supporter.
Also Juventus-supporters on away-games are known to be quite violent. So even if 65-70 per cent of all Juventus-games are very peaceful, you should watch out a bit extra so you don't get involved in something when you're going to a Juventus-game.
Torino-supporters aren't known as violent as the Juventus-dito, but they are no way friendly all the way around.
2002/03 they made a big riot inside the stadium when their team played against Milan, and the match was abbandoned. Torino was later penalised with playing five games at a neutral stadium.
Please be very careful when...
Please be very careful when you arrive at Porta Nuova railway station (our main railway station): there are lots of bad people...
be very careful also when you are near Porta Palazzo, the greatest marketplace in Turin. it's a very cheap market, thus it's full of people... who are not always good friends!
Pickpockets on buses
I visited Torino recently for a congress at the Lingotto centre. On the return trip to the town one evening on the bus, I had my pocket picked and wallet stolen. I cancelled all cards very quickly, but within minutes the toe-rags were trying to access accounts.
At the same congress , 4 other men and 1 woman had wallets and purses stolen. One other woman was chased through the streets and into a cab by a moped driver. That's too high a percentage to be 'normal'.
Please, take care (and/or take a cab!)! It's a horrible thing to have happen and I would not wish it on anyone.
- Business Travel
Torino - Downtown traffic limitations
As of May 31st 2010, the City of Torino extends the ZTL area which boundaries become those of the former ZTL Ambientale. As far as I understand, no-entry hours from 7:30AM through 10:30AM except for special permission holders in the green (and brown) area of the map in the photo.
In recent years, the city administrators adopted and enforced a plan to reduce motor vehicles pollutants. Kind of questionable though on how effective it can be.
Two areas in downtown Torino were designated for such plan, these are named ZTL ("Zona a Traffico Limitato" or Limited Traffic Area) and ZTL Ambientale (Environmental). The latter has a greater extent and even locals have interpretation difficulties for rules, days and hours for motor traffic bans. It's something that also has to do with the vehicle category. Not just type, but also the emissions classification it falls into accordingly with the year of production.
Should you drive or ride in town, unless it's a zero-emission vehicle or certain eco-friendly types, be aware that you might not be allowed to enter the greater environmental ZTL - green color in the map - while the core ZTL is only allowed to public vehicles or special permit holders at all time. A camera system is in place at every point of entry of such area and offenders are fined.
In any case, be also aware that downtown parking availability is extremely scarce and expensive.
Decent map clarity, hours and updated general information should be available through the links herebelow.
- Road Trip
San Salvario and Porta Palazzo
Attention when you walk in the streets of San Salvario near the railstation Porta Nuova (example:Via Nizza) or in Porta Palazzo, you can meet bad people like pushers, drug addict and prostitutes, especially in the night.
Turin is a fairly safe city...
Turin is a fairly safe city although I would be careful going to a few areas in the evening or at night. Such areas would be any of the public parks where there are a lot of drug addicts and strange people. Two other specific areas are Murazzi along the Po river and Porta Palazzo where the roman ruins are located. Although much effort has been made to clean up these areas I would not necessarily avoid them but suggest you not go alone (especially if female) and that you pay particular attention to what is going on around you.
many drivers in italy seem to have no common sense whatsoever.i visited in june and the 2 hour drive i took from turin to imperia was the scariest experience of my life.undertaking,cutting in and excessive speeding seem to be the norm in this part of italy,there was even one driver on the motorway doing ten mph and riding on the rim of one wheel,with sparks flying all over the road.i have not visied the rest of the country but will assume its the same everywhere.be careful when driving on mountain passes,oncoming drivers seem to be completely fearless,even at the edge of a cliff or ravine...
Be aware of mosquitos (zanzare...
Be aware of mosquitos (zanzare in italian). The last time on Murazzi they drive me crazy. On this picture you can see that I am not the only one who is afraid about that...