Subject: Pickpockets in Italy (a comment from an Italian)
Hi everybody

I chose to stay one step back from the flow of messages about the subject of pickpockets, because I didn't want my intervention be considered a unreasoned defense of Italy. I've seen many wise opininons and some more emotional but the point is no place in the world is really safe from thieves. I travelled many places in several continents, some really bad, but never had any trouble. I carry valuable photo equipment too, and I keep it in my camera bag. Well, I look like a bearded big bear and sometimes that can have scared away some street punk :-), but that's not the matter. You must be careful everywhere. I live in a mid-size town where street crime is almost non-existent, but when I go to Rome or Milan I'm very watchful and suspicious of anybody and anyplace. I saw the gipsy gangs in action in Rome and I concur with the advice of crossing the street or entering a shop; the pickpockets on trains and buses can be avaided if you're already conscious of what happens around you. If some of you believe strange arrangements like hidden pouches, safety pins or else work for it, do it but remember thieves are able to open the bank safes, so nothing is really sure unless you carefully watch it! Someone commented about the police not willing to stop the frequent thefts in Italy: I'm heading to Florida in a couple weeks and I'm a little scared about meeting someone with a gun there and I don't think even the most efficient police can get even rid of such people. Wishing to all Ziners (me included) a safe and trouble-free trip.

Paolo