Is Florence Safe?

Florence is overwhelmingly a safe city to visit. Some precautions should be taken, as in any city, however, you do not need to exert a significantly higher degree of caution. Here are our tips and tricks to ensure you can stay as safe as possible while you’re visiting Florence!

Pickpockets

The biggest thing you need to be prepared for in Florence is pickpockets. Europe is known for having many pickpockets in busy tourist areas, and there are a few things you can do to minimise your risk.

Firstly, don’t carry all your cash and identity documents around with you. It is best to have copies of your passport with you but leave the actual thing in the safe at your accommodation. Use bags that sit close to your body, and always be aware of people around you. It is also a good idea to not wear watches or jewellery that may be taken from your wrists. Keep your pockets empty too.

Some other good ideas are to place the leg of your chair through your bag strap if sitting it on the ground in a restaurant. Wear your camera across your body rather than having it loose. And, if you must carry all your valuables with you, split them across your bags so if one is snatched everything isn’t lost.

Street vendors

While walking through high tourist traffic areas, you’ll notice a lot of street vendors. They’re generally selling things like bottles of water, selfie sticks, and umbrellas if it is raining.

These vendors can be quite persuasive and may hassle you to buy their goods. You mustn’t buy from them though. A simple no should be enough, but if it is not, simply keep walking away from them. There are two reasons to avoid them. Firstly, you’ll likely be ripped off and charged far too much. Secondly, and most importantly, their stalls are illegal, and you can be charged by the local authorities if you buy from them.

Drinking and drugs

In some cities in Italy organised pub crawls, drinking on the street, and drinking in public places is banned. You must make sure you are not infringing on any local laws.

If pub crawls are allowed, you should still be careful to not drink too much. Drinking can inhibit your behaviours, and you need to be aware of your surroundings. While some countries are used to drunk people wandering the streets, Italy is quite strict on public drunkenness.

Drug penalties in Italy are severe and include long jail sentences. Though cannabis has been decriminalised, it is not legal, and if caught using it your passport may be suspended. While there are parts of Europe famous for its relaxed drug laws, Italy is not one of them. It’s best to refrain from all drug use while there.

One or the other rule

Florence, like the rest of Italy, is quite a conservative city. It is important to dress in an appropriate way as to not draw unwanted attention. Catcalling is also much more common in Italy than in other parts of the world. To protect yourself from this you should dress in a culturally acceptable way.

The best way to assess what you’re wearing is to follow the one or the other rule. The rule of thumb suggests that if you’re wearing a low cut or sleeveless dress that you compensate with longer bottoms. Alternatively, if you’re wearing a mini dress/skirt or short shorts, a more covered shirt should be worn. Additionally, if you’re planning on going to an event and want to wear revealing or ‘sexy’ clothing you should wear a shawl until you arrive.

While we’re on clothing, a sure-fire way to injure yourself is to wear inappropriate shoes! Most of Florence’s streets are cobblestone, so you should avoid wearing fashion heels and instead opt for comfortable flats.

Travel Insurance

As with every trip, you must have appropriate travel insurance. If anything is to happen while you are away travel insurance will ensure that you can receive appropriate care and in many cases compensation.

Overall, Florence is quite a safe city and by exercising due caution you will be fine during your stay.

Related article: The most famous Florentines

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