We were warned that pick pockets operate in the Ponte Vecchio, Galleria degli Uffizi, Duomo and San Lorenzo areas.
In a way you kind of expect it!
I didn't see anything dodgy at all during my time in Florence, however I was vigulent all the same.
Generally Florence is a city which is safe to be in, so enjoy your time here!
The crowds are bad in the tourist areas, and that's where they get you. We were careful, though - fastening bag kept across the body and facing forwards.
The gypsies weren;t as prevalent as we'd been led to believe, but I'd still keep an eye out.
Florence should be the ideal place for pickpockets. A big city, many tourists with money, crowds to dissappear in.
Yet i never felt unsafe, because at every corner, in every street you encounter police.
It is something politics is only talking about in our country, but in Florence it seems to work.
As with any big city, Florence has a higher incidence of pickpockets. By aware of gypsies who frequent almost all areas of Florence. They will send their children into pubs and restaurants, and while you're admiring the rose they're trying to sell you, your wallet will disappear. Sounds harsh, but don't be fooled by doe-eyed children. Their favorite trick is to surround you in a group and start pointing and talking wildly to distract you. Keep purses zipped closed and close to your body. Men, do not keep wallets in back pockets.
I did NOT find this a problem. I did actually see one pick pocket at work, but just avoid keeping valuables in you back pockets. Carry a bag that closes securely and you will be fine...
Men-let the lady's carry the important stuff! ...which should be a given anyway ;)
Beware the Pickpocketers!!!! They are good and they are abbundant. I had my wallet stolen out of my purse that was sitting right next to me the first two weeks I was here. All of Italy has the same problem. Florence is a very safe city otherwise. Being a single woman, I am not afraid to walk in the evenings.
Watch out for the pickpockets, even in the churches. They will definately get you if you are not careful. The last time I was there, they were trying to curb the crime, but I don't know if that has happened.
Florence is a small city, but like any city caution is the key. Use common sense and try to avoid any area which is dark or isolated. Be aware of your sorroundings and always have your money in a safe place (money belt, bra?). Pickpocketers are found every where, so being alert is your best bet. Leave expensive jewelry at home and never carry more money then you need. Leave your passport and extra cash and travelers checks at the hotel safe. If you are staying at a hostel, I would recommend that you carry your important belongings in a seperate small bag, pack or shoulder bag. Make sure you have copies of your passport and numbers of travelers checks (if you carry these) in a seperate location for just in case they are lost or stolen. The number to your local consulate is a good idea as well as is the phone number to the local authorities.
Keep you money in a neck type money belt. There is so much chaos in this city that it would be easy for someone to rob you blind and not notice. If possible, get a good feel for the layout of the city your first day out. It will prevent you from looking like a huge target.
Watch out for pickpockets (especially at the trainstation) and when you take a carridge be ware: a price of 45 dollars is asked for a 20 minute ride!
Ponte Vecchio is a meeting point for pickpockets. The tourist's attention is drawn by the jewellery shops or by a street attraction. It is easy to steal in the bags and in the pockets.
Watch for pickpockets, especially on the Ponte Vecchio where it tends to be very crowded. It is a pickpocket's paradise.
One must be aware of pickpockets all over the world--but in Florence, on the Ponte Vecchio bridge where it tends to be very crowded--do watch your valuables!
Beware of pickpockets especially around large shopping malls, the streets of Florence and here, in Signoria Square. They usually work in a group and prey on unsuspecting tourists/ foreigners.