Monday, May 04, 2009
Safety in Venice
I don't think the swine flu has made its way to Venice, but there are a few things you should do to stay safe.
1. Venice is a very safe city. There isn't a lot of crime and you can wander around at all times of day and night without feeling threatened.
2. Pickpockets are a big problem, as you might guess. If you're in crowded San Marco or an unbelievably crowded vaporetto, keep you hands on your wallet/pocketbooks. If you're a backpacker, don't keep your pack on your back on the vaporetto. First, it's rude (you're taking up too much space). Second, a pickpocket will have a lot of fun dipping into your belongings.
3. If someone "spills" mustard or something on you, don't worry about that. Worry about your wallet.
4. Ignore the fake bag sellers on the main walkways. If you buy a fake, you're liable for a big fine. The sellers and buyers are both guilty in Venice. Don't even acknowledge the sellers--they will hound you if you do.
5. Buy the vaporetto pass. They don't often check tickets, but if they do--and you get caught--it's a fine, payable on the spot.
6. Make copies of your passport and keep them with you. When you check into the hotel and apartment, the info will be recorded for the police to check. If you go to an internet cafe, you'll have to show it, too. It's better to have a few copies than leave the real thing with a clerk.
If you don't follow my advice, you may pay for it--or get strung up where the old-timers met their fate!