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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:27 PM
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Watch your belongings when using the train. A couple setting across from us had their knapsack stolen. The thief simply dropped a coin and grabbed the sack while everyone was watching the coin. He then was off the train before the owners knew the sack was missing. And if going to the Vatican be aware the St. Peter's square is the pickpocket capital of the world.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:01 AM
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I have clients who returned recently from a cruise starting in Civ. They wanted to make arrangements on their own to get from Rome to Civ, and it ended up costing them over $300 by taxi or private car.

Sandy
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Old 09-22-2007, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jill SC:
Watch your belongings when using the train. A couple setting across from us had their knapsack stolen. The thief simply dropped a coin and grabbed the sack while everyone was watching the coin. He then was off the train before the owners knew the sack was missing. And if going to the Vatican be aware the St. Peter's square is the pickpocket capital of the world.
Hear this: from the time you step on Italian soil...WATCH YOUR WALLET

Take with you only cash you will use for shopping each day and put this in a money belt or other location where you will feel someone's hands.

Leave all your travel documents in your hotel room.

I was a pickpocket victim in Rome back in 2005 and let me tell you it ruined our vacation. Fortunately I had 6 euros in my pocket and was able to use the internet to email family to wire me some western union cash.
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:54 AM
 
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We have developed some techniques that make it much more difficult for someone to "rip us off" while on trips. Much of it is common sense, but not everyone even takes simple precautions. For men, never, ever put money and/or your wallet in your back pocket. If carrying a wallet, put two thick rubber bands around the wallet (this makes it very difficult for someone to slip it out of your pocket) and carry it on a front pocket. If you travel with a companion, get in the habit of keeping your "money pocket" between you and your companion. Only take the credit cards/ATM cards that you really need for that day and put a little extra cash in your other front pocket (or a money belt). Always carry a photocopy of your main passport page (my wife and I both carry these copies) and make sure you have the information on the cruise line's Agent for the port (this will be in info given to you on the ship). For ladies, carry your purse cross-shoulder and use a large pin (diaper pin) to secure your purses zipper (my wife pins the zippers together) so that somebody cannot simply open your purse with one hand. And of course, always secure your valuables when in hotels. Decent room safes are generally OK, but its even safer to put valuables into a safe deposit box normally available at the front desk. And lastly (and most important) learn to always be aware of your surroundings and be very cautious of anything that is meant to distract your attention. Gypsies will try to distract you by using many techniques such as tossing you a baby (actually a doll) spilling something on your close, etc. Never, ever leave any luggage unattended (particularly in airports and train stations). If you are driving a rental car and have your luggage in your car, do not leave the car unattended at any highway restaurants or rest stops in Italy (particularly between Rome and Sorrento), Spain or France. In fact, in Italy we have now noticed that old men (they call they pensioners) will often work the rest stops and offer to watch your car for a few Euros.
Most important is to have a great time. We have traveled throughout the world for over 40 years and never had anything stolen (knock on wood), although we have foiled multiple attempts by gypsies in Italy, France and Spain. In Istanbul we also foiled an attempt by some children (tried to purse snatch) but their efforts were laughable.

Hank
P.S. I should add one extra warning. If you are taking the subway that connects Pireaus to Athens be very very careful. This line is infamous for being worked by gangs of pickpockets (gypsies) who are very good at their craft. They have been known to surround tourists, distract them, and take everything but their clothes. If you would happen to get into this situation (its unlikely but it can happen) do not hestiate to raise your voice (this attracts attention and they will usually move-on to an easier target).
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
For men, never, ever put money and/or your wallet in your back pocket.
I had put mine in my front pocket and was on the lookout, but I never dreamed little gypsie kids in the subway had hands small enough...

We Americans are chum bait in a sea of sharks in Rome. When I called the US embassy for some help cashing a check they told me there was about 50 people (on Monday) getting emergency passports...and that I was lucky my passport wasn't gone as well.

Hank, you nailed it...be PREPARED to be hit, because it will happen.

As for Rome, Veni, Vidi and unfortunately Ciao for me as I won't go there again...NO thank you.
 
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