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Security Briefing

United States: Department of State International Travel Information

Latest advice,

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution due to terrorism.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Italy. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Italy.

If you decide to travel to Italy:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Italy.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Advice

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not issue travel warnings for specific countries, but issues travel advice for every country. The information below is excerpted from its summary assessments of Italy

Current as of: 12 December 2022
Last Reviewed: 14 October 2022
Latest Advice: Exercise a high degree of caution in Italy due to the strained health care system.

Petty crime

Petty crime is common, particularly in the summer and autumn tourist seasons. It includes bag snatching, pick-pocketing, passport theft and theft from cars.

Thieves are most active:

  • in larger cities
  • in and around major tourist spots
  • on public transport
  • at major airports
  • at railway stations and bus terminals
  • at beaches (including cars parked near beaches)

To reduce the risk of theft:

  • take care of your belongings
  • remain alert in tourist spots
  • avoid walking in quiet and poorly lit streets, especially at night

Monitor local sources for advice about new safety or security risks.

Theft on trains

Theft is very common on trains. This includes to and from Fiumicino airport near Rome and on overnight journeys.

Thieves often work in groups to distract victims and rob them while they're not looking.

On trains, they do this by:

  • asking for directions while a train is stopped at a station
  • dropping attractive items on the floor of the train
  • blocking the view of overhead luggage racks
  • throwing rubbish or sauce at the victim

Often a member of the group will pretend to come to help the victim while others steal their valuables.

Check the Italian Public Security System site Polizia Di Stato for advice on how to avoid theft on trains.

Fraud and fake money

Credit card and ATM fraud happens, often involving 'skimming' machines. Monitor your bank statements.

To protect yourself from fraud:

  • use ATMs in secure places, such as banks, shops and shopping centres
  • keep your ATM and credit cards in sight

Police have warned that counterfeit European currency is in circulation. Check any notes you receive.

Spiking, robbery and assault

Tourists have been robbed and assaulted after consuming spiked food or drinks. This has happened in cities and towns, including Rome, Milan, Florence and Naples.

Some victims have been sexually assaulted or needed hospitalisation.

In Rome, many attacks have taken place:

  • around Termini station
  • in tourist areas, such as the Colosseum
  • in bars and cafes near Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona

In Milan, attacks happen in bars, nightclubs and other late-night venues.

In Florence and Naples, attacks happen mainly in the vicinity of train stations and in bars and cafes in the city centres.

To protect yourself from drink spiking:

  • never accept drinks from strangers
  • don't leave food or drinks unattended
  • stick with people you trust in bars and nightclubs

More information:

  • Partying safely

Theft from cars

Vehicle break-in and theft is common. Many Australians have had belongings, including passports and other valuables, stolen from their parked cars.

Thieves steal from cars at traffic lights, rest stops, service stations and on the roadside.

Lock your car doors and keep luggage and valuables out of sight.

There are reports of thieves slashing tyres or staging roadside emergencies. They aim to persuade drivers to pull over and get out of their cars. While the driver is distracted, the thieves steal personal belongings.

Popular targets for thieves are unattended campervans or mobile homes either:

  • parked at camping sites
  • in the streets near historic sites

To reduce your risk of theft from your vehicle:

  • don't leave valuables in your vehicle
  • when you leave your vehicle, lock all doors
  • try to use a secure parking facility, especially overnight
Civil unrest and political tension


Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.

Protests can spark violent unrest, demonstrations and riots.

To protect yourself from violence and unrest:

  • avoid crowds and protests if you can
  • monitor local media for possible unrest
  • follow the advice of local authorities

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest


Strikes are common.

They can cause building closures, particularly in tourist areas. They can also disrupt public transport. This includes air, shipping, train, bus, tram and taxi services.

Strikes may involve roadblocks and petrol station closures. This can cause transport delays and cancellations.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Italian) details upcoming strikes.

Trenitalia (Italian) gives details on train disruptions. Call 89 20 21 in Italy, or +39 0668745475 from outside Italy.

To avoid transport delays or missing flights:

  • confirm flights or travel with your travel provider
  • allow plenty of time for travel to airports and train stations

Political-based violence

Some violence occurs due to domestic social or political issues.

Bombings have occurred. Bombers have targeted:

  • Italian police
  • the offices of well-known politicians
  • government institutions
  • public and commercial buildings

While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Italy, they can still happen.

In recent years, terrorists have staged attacks in several European cities.

Targets have included public transport, transport hubs, and places frequented by foreigners.

European security services have also disrupted some planned attacks in recent years.

The Italian Government has reported that Italy is a potential target for international terrorist attacks.

Security measures are in place in and around major tourist attractions, including:

  • the Vatican
  • on public transport
  • on cruise ships
  • at airports, seaports and railway stations

To protect yourself from terrorism:

  • be alert to possible threats, especially in public places
  • take care around areas terrorists tend to target
  • monitor the media for new threats
  • take official warnings seriously
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Report suspicious activity or items to the police.

If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

More information:

  • Terrorism
Climate and natural disasters

Italy experiences natural disasters and severe weather.

In the event of a natural disaster:

  • take official warnings seriously
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • monitor the media
  • keep in touch with friends and family
  • check the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System for updates


Italy is in an active seismic region and has several earthquakes each year.

Large earthquakes can cause landslides and avalanches. This can result in injuries, death and damage to infrastructure, homes and property.

When travelling in Italy, find out your hotel's earthquake procedure.

If there's been seismic activity in the area you're in or going to, check with your airline or travel provider about disruptions.

More information:

  • Civil Protection authority
  • European Avalanche Warning Service


Italy has active volcanoes. These include:

  • Mount Etna in Sicily
  • Mount Stromboli and Mount Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands chain north of Sicily

Fatalities have occurred from volcanic eruptions.

Forest fires

Forest fires often occur during summer, usually from June to September. They tend to happen in heavily forested regions.

Forest fires can be unpredictable and dangerous. They can affect air quality in a way that harms your health.

Storms and flooding

Heavy winter rains often cause widespread flooding and mudslides.

The areas most often affected are:

  • the Veneto, Piedmont and Liguria regions in the north
  • the Calabria and Sicily regions in the south

Flooding and mudslides can result in loss of life, destruction of property and evacuation of inhabitants.

Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.

United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Foreign Travel Advice