Pickpockets, Florence

44 Reviews

Know about this?

hide
  • Pickpockets
    by brendareed
  • Pickpockets
    by brendareed
  • carabinieers
    carabinieers
    by eksvist
  • Lhenne1's Profile Photo

    Beggers and Pickpockets

    by Lhenne1 Written Jul 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Beggars (gypsys) in Florence (and all of Italy) are widespread and will come right up to you. Treat it as you choose, but just be ready for it.

    Pickpockets in the center of Florence are a pretty well-known danger. Be careful! Keep money either directly on your body (like a little change purse around your neck and down your shirt) or if you carry a purse hold it directly in front on you. I've known people to carry purses but keep important things (like cash, credit cards and passports) in a sparate change purse just to be safe. Too many stories already, so don't make yourself one of them.

    Travel in groups as much as possible when in the center. Things are much safer, though, when you move to the outskirts a bit.

    Was this review helpful?

  • rcsparty's Profile Photo

    Purse snatching

    by rcsparty Written May 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As with most cities, you are warned to be aware of your surroundings and of potential pick pockets. Travelling all over Europe and being from Detroit, I would consider me and my family experienced at being aware of what is happening around us. Nevertheless, Florence is the only city where we have had something snatched. They got it from under our table at an outdoor cafe near Pitti Palace. The cafe was actually about 5 meters back from the road and had a little fence, which still didn't stop them. I cancelled the cards within 5-10 minutes and still had 3 different charges of $1000 a piece. Be careful!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • florahu's Profile Photo

    Being careful is enough

    by florahu Written Apr 17, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Before i went there i was warned too much about the thiefs there. However, throughout the whole trip i didn't see any thief around. And the time i went there was Easter and there were a lot of tourists! But of course anyway you need to be careful enough still. I noticed that the tourists there mostly paid enough attention on their pockets, which maybe was the reason that it seems there are less thiefs now!
    There are also some places with very few people. Be careful in these places as well. If a stranger suddenly begin to talk to you, just pretend not to know any Italian or English in order to get into trouble!
    I feel that it is quite different between the tourists places and the poor living places. When you find yourself in a poor living places, be careful!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Women's Travel
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • ophiro's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets near the bridge

    by ophiro Written Aug 31, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    on the old bridge

    Near the bridge , ponte vecchio you should be extra careful because there are a lot of pickpockets there , most of them are gypsies.

    be careful and watch your bag because there are a lot of people there.

    Was this review helpful?

  • gial1's Profile Photo

    Gipsies

    by gial1 Written Aug 26, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are a lot of gipsies in the street. Be very careful especially when you see young girls and boys who come close to you grabing newspapers which hide their hands. Usually the walk in couples. They go close to tourists and one of them starts to touch the tourist in order to bother him, and the other gipsy quickly steels the wallet with his hands hidden from the newspaper. So BE VERY CAREFUL!!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • amyday's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets need baptism too.

    by amyday Updated Jul 22, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Section of the Battistero ceiling

    You are often warned about pickpockets outside of major attractions and on public transportation. I was warned - I was prepared. However outside the Battistero in Firenze there are some VERY agressive little kids who picked my pockets (nothing but ticket stubs) and then had the AUDACITY to yell at me when they came up empty handed. It sounds mean but you literally have to scream at them and push them away very hard until they leave you alone.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ibizahippie's Profile Photo

    No problemo..

    by Ibizahippie Written Jul 9, 2005

    I heard that there's alot of pickpockets here..so just be alert and keep your belongings close to you. But I guess we'll have to do the same everywhere especially in a tourist crowded area ;)

    There were also alot of stories about gypsies. So I was mentally prepared when I went to Florence..But how surprised I was..I don't even see like what I've read stories about them.

    I remember seeing a gypsy sitting down at a spot near the Del Duomo. Two policemen approached her and told her not to hang around there. So I thinks the problem with gypsies is very much in control now because the police must have helped alot.

    Related to:
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ibizahippie's Profile Photo

    Beware..

    by Ibizahippie Written Jul 9, 2005

    I heard that there's alot of pickpockets here..so just be alert and keep your belongings close to you. But I guess we'll have to do the same everywhere especially in a tourist crowded area ;)

    There were also alot of stories about gypsies. So I was mentally prepared when I went to Florence..But how surprised I was..I don't even see like what I've read stories about them.

    I remember seeing a gypsy sitting down at a spot near the Del Duomo. Two policemen approached her and told her not to hang around there. So I thinks the problem with gypsies is very much in control now because the police must have helped alot.

    Was this review helpful?

  • meaganelizabeth's Profile Photo

    pickpockets!

    by meaganelizabeth Written May 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Florence

    When you are near the train station, or near santa Maria Novella- Be Careful! Watch for little girls, they grab anything and pass it along. As soon as you grab one the other gets away with your belongings. You watch them get arrested one day, and back the next. Also be careful of ATMs. A friend tried to take out money, he never recieved it, but it was taken out. We still dont really know what happened.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Women's Travel
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Friend and a thief in disguise

    by vipdude Updated May 7, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As you walk down the streets in Florence be it close to the station like the Santa Maria Novella from my experience I saw a young man acting as if he was drunk and friendly trys to chat with you in local Italian language, putting his arms around you. Eventually I noticed that his fingers crawled up my neck and grasped for the chain. I was cautious and responded to it quickly. As I was taking quick steps I noticed a closeby hotel & ran inside a hotel. The thief tried to grab my chain but I held on to it, it broke in two pieces from the impact but atleast I got it back.

    The point is this guy takes on Men only and does not harm Women. So guys beware of these type of crooks.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Crime

    by keeweechic Updated Apr 10, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best way to protect yourself against purse snatchers and pickpockets is to wear a money belt. If you carry a bag or camera, make sure it has straps that you can sling across your body bandolier-style.

    Beware of pickpockets in buses and when making your way through the corridors of crowded trains.

    Was this review helpful?

  • zuriga's Profile Photo

    WATCH OUT FOR GYPSIES!

    by zuriga Updated Apr 9, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Please watch out for gypsies and their children who might try to snatch your belongings. Luckily, we fended them off, but they are a real danger - especially when climbing up to the Piazza Michaelangelo.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • School Holidays

    Was this review helpful?

  • kenadams's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets everywhere!

    by kenadams Updated Dec 15, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gipsies, often old ladies or young girls work the buses and you should always, always stay away from them.
    One street that's particularly subject to pickpockets is via dei Cerretani (from the train station to the Duomo). In this area, little children, usually gypsies, are what you need to look out for. During the summer, one way to avoid their incredibly quick hands is to walk on the sunny side of the street. Pickpockets usually use the shady side because they have to "work" all day.
    The police is usually powerless. Normal clothes cops patrol the streets, they spot the pickpockets and sometimes manage to stop them as they commit the crime. But the legal system in Italy doesn't work very well, and these kids are out again in no more than 48 hours.
    Other top sites for pickpockets are Internet Cafes and Laundry rooms. In this second case, you might be approached by south American (Peru or Chile) women in their thirties: one of the two asks for help with a machine, you're kind enough to explain and naive enough to leave your purse sitting on the chair behind you! On July 17, 2002 I actually busted these two women robbing a young American college girl. The police officer that arrested them explained that they were part of a large band that pulls this kind of trick.
    Another case: two northafrican looking men approach you on the street in the evening pretending they are drunk. One puts a hand on your shoulder and asks you how you'd react to this (he gently steps on one of your feet without hurting you): the act is made to distract you. Your attention goes to the first guy and your foot, so you don't notice or feel the second guy taking your wallet or cellular phone.
    Another street case (NOT very common): a group of young gipsies surrounds you holding newspapers they claim they want to sell you. Eight quick hands will be searching your pockets in no time. Don't be defensive, be assertive: phisically push them away, they won't engage in phisical confrontation. No need to hurt anybody, just be resolute.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Hold on Tight!

    by sue_stone Written Nov 25, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Crowded market

    I know it has been said a million times before about all cities....

    But please be careful with your belongings, especially when you are in a crowded place, like the San Lorenzo Markets for example.

    Don't keep your wallet in your back pocket, zip up your bags and hold them close to you when it is crowded - it is all common sense really.

    Also, be wary of the gypsies that hang around the main tourist areas begging for money.

    Sometimes a group of them carrying cardboard/newspaper will approach an unsuspecting tourist....they will surround the poor sod and use the cardboard/paper to cover the fact that they are trying to pickpocket/steal from bags etc

    Also, if you feel sorry for one of the gypsies and give them some money, be warned - my sister gave one lady a small amount of money....but the gypsy then followed my sister yelling at her that she wanted more and that she knew my sister had more!!!

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jlee008's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets

    by jlee008 Written Nov 19, 2004

    No matter where you go, you should always go with a level of alertness for your surroundings. This is no different for Florence. As cultured and artistic as it seems, there are still the dangers of pickpockets. Be even more viligant in areas where there are a lot of tourists (i.e. where you probably will be). There are plenty that hang around the Ponte Vecchio just for the fact that there are so many goldsmiths and people.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Florence

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

102 travelers online now

Comments

View all Florence hotels