Safety and Security in Italy, TRAVELLING IN ITALY

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TRAVELLING IN ITALY >> Safety and Security in Italy

Safety and Security in Italy

Emergency Numbers - Free Calls
113 General Emergency Services ( Soccorso Publico di Emergenza)(To be called in cases of only real emergency)
112 Police (Carabinieri)
115 Fire Brigade ( Vigili del Fuoco).
118 Emergency Health Services ( Emergenza Sanitaria)
803 116 Automobile Club d'Italia ACI Emergency Breakdown Service

Civil Unrest/Political Tension
Large scale demonstrations occur frequently in Italy, particularly in major cities. Demonstrations can result in disruptions to public transport services and building closures, particularly in tourist areas. There is the potential for violence at such large public gatherings in Italy. You should avoid any such events and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.

Italy has a low rate of violent crime, little of which is directed at tourists. Petty crime including bag snatching, pick-pocketing, passport theft and theft from cars is common, especially in larger cities and in and around major tourist attractions, on public transport and at major airports and railway stations. The most common menace is street children, who operate in groups or in pairs to distract the victim and rob them while their attention is diverted. Do not wear flashy jewelry and never leave one?s luggage. Keep handbags tucked under one?s arm while on trains and buses and make sure it has a secure sealable opening.

Local Travel
There are frequent strikes in Italy that can result in delays and cancellations to regular public transport services. It is wise to not depend on trains and buses to arrive on time or for that matter to even arrive, so it is best to make sure you arrive in the city the day before, to ensure you catch a scheduled flight.
Driving in Italy can be dangerous due to aggressive driving practices and excessive speed. Italy has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle accidents in the European Union. On the spot fines are payable for a range of minor traffic offences. It is mandatory to use headlights on main roads and highways, including during daylight hours.

Natural Disasters
Italy is in an active seismic zone and is subject to earthquakes. Mt Etna on the island of Sicily, Mt Stromboli and Mt Vulcano in the Eolian Islands chain north of Sicily are all active volcanoes. Mt Vesuvius near Naples is currently inactive, but is monitored. If an explosion or eruption occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Money and Valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways of accessing your money overseas, such as credit cards, and cash. Check with your bank whether your ATM card will work overseas.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While traveling, do not carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewelry and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage with a strong unbreakable lock. Do not leave luggage in a car in full view, as this encourages thieves.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact your nearest Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You may be required to pay a fee to have their passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.

For Parents
If you are planning on placing your children in schools or child care facilities in Italy we encourage you to research the standards of security, care and staff training within those establishments. You should exercise precaution before placing children into schools or child care facilities. Some schools in Italy will not accept temporary placements so this needs to be checked with the School directors.

Local Laws
When you are in Italy be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, your Government will do what it can to help you but it can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Hefty fines are imposed on Tourists purchasing counterfeit goods while visiting Italy
As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the safety and security of travellers, the Italian Government Tourist Board strongly recommends that tourists do not, under any circumstances, attempt to purchase any counterfeit items, as this may end up costing them well more than an authentic product.

As of May 2005 a new legislation was implemented (which carries fines of up to 10,000 Euros for people caught purchasing counterfeit products, and criminal charges for anyone caught selling counterfeit goods.) It aims at a national wide crackdown on the sellers and buyers of counterfeit items, i.e. purses, sunglasses, watches, belts, etc bearing luxury labels such as Pravda, Gucci, Fendi only to name a few.

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