Italy is generally a very safe country to travel in. Italian politics are conducted through a parliamentary republic, with a multi-party system.
It is recommended you exercise normal safety precautions while travelling in Italy, as you would anywhere else. Always use your common sense and be aware of any suspicious behaviour. Check the media for updates on any changes for local travelling conditions.
In recent years, the threat of terrorist attacks has increased in a number of European countries, Italy included. We recommend you exercise caution in large, crowded public spaces, on public transports, in major shopping centres and on public transport.
Pickpocketing, petty theft, bag grabbing, and vehicle break-ins become more common during Italy’s busier seasons i.e. June – October. Always be mindful of your personal belongings, especially on public transport and in crowded public areas.
As always, avoid protests and large political gatherings as they can sometimes turn violent. You should monitor the media for up-to-date information about new safety and security risks.
Italy is situated in an active seismic region and in the past has experienced large numbers of earthquakes. Almost yearly, earthquakes occur measuring from 4 – 6 on the Richter scale. Earthquakes and volcano eruptions can cause damage to infrastructure and properties, causing serious injury or death, and can obviously inhibit public transport and air traffic. If you’re in an area that has been affected by an earthquake or volcano, follow the advice of media reports and local authorities.
Road conditions and driving norms of Italy can sometimes be dangerous and frantic is compared to the driving conditions of Australia. One difference is that by law you are required to always use your headlights on main roads outside of urban areas, and on highways, including daytime.
Vehicle access to many of Italy’s city centres is restricted and reduced to help reduce traffic jams and overcrowding. Fines are given to people who find themselves in Traffic Restricted Zones (ZTL’s), during their hours of operation. You must have a ZTL pass if you are to drive in ZTL’s without incurring a fine, usually hire cars do not have ZTL passes. These fines are usually payable on-the-spot. If you aren’t an Italian resident you can drive if you have a valid Australian driver’s license, and an IDP (International Driver’s Permit).
*Please use information as a guide and always check Smart Traveller
for the most up to date information.
Note: Remember to register with Smart Traveller before travelling overseas.