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Security Briefing

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Travel Essentials

Security Briefing: Security Assessment

Normal Travel Precautions

Elevated Risk

High Risk

Normal travel precautions apply when traveling in Italy. Although Italy has a moderate rate of crime, travelers should still exercise caution, especially at night, at train stations, airports, nightclubs, bars, outdoor caf├ęs, and anywhere large numbers of people tend to congregate. Petty crime is a serious problem, especially in major cities. Pickpockets sometimes dress like businesspeople, so travelers should not be lulled into a false sense of security by well-dressed individuals.

Demonstrations and strikes are relatively common in Italy. They can cause building closures, especially in tourist areas, and disruption to public transportation services. Authorities and foreign diplomat facilities have found bombs outside public buildings, received bomb threats, and received letter bombs in the past. Organized crime and anarchist movements sometimes use firebombs or Molotov cocktails against buildings or offices. Generally these attacks occur at night, but travelers should remain vigilant at all times, and should report any suspicious activity to local authorities.

Several major earthquake fault lines cross the country. Principal cities, with the exception of Naples, typically do not lie near these fault lines; however, smaller tourist towns such as Assisi do and have experienced earthquakes. Italy also has several active volcanoes. Mt. Etna has been erupting intermittently since 2000, but Mt. Vesuvius is currently capped and inactive. Two of Italy's smaller islands, Stromboli and Vulcano, have active volcanoes with lava flow. Travelers should have a general awareness of disaster preparedness and a security plan in the event a natural disaster occurs.

Primary Sources: The US Department of State's "International Travel" website (travel.state.gov/travel/), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's "Smartraveller" website (www.smartraveller.gov.au), and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's "Foreign Travel Advice" website (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/)