Is Venice safe to visit as a tourist? Yes, it is. In the past, Venice, much like every other city, had areas with higher criminality, suburbs with bad reputations, and known perpetrators of violence. But that has changed in the last decades. As the lagoon city nowadays is more or less a tourist attraction, and an open-air museum, that kind of criminality has decreased significantly. In its place criminality connected to tourism, e.g. pickpocketing, has grown.
Another fact is that the local government is doing its best to keep the city safe for the millions of visitors from all around the world. Venice has a decent presence of law enforcement available.
How safe is Italy as a tourist destination?
The biggest problems concerning criminality Italy faces as a whole, regard economics with crimes like tax fraud, and evasion. Violent criminality is low. Actually, Italy is one of the safest countries in Europe. The rate of 0.5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, makes Italy even one of the safest countries worldwide regarding violent crimes. France, Germany, and apparently peaceful nations like Sweden and Denmark have much higher homicide rates… Not to mention the United States with a whopping 7.8 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants as of 2021.
Yes, Italy in general is a safe country. Old fables about the mafia and extremely high levels of tourist scams are not a real problem… Not today. Organized criminality is present, much like it’s present in every other country in the world. In Italy, the part of the criminality connected to criminal organizations has been increasing for a couple of years. But before that, there had been a generally decreasing trend for decades. And these problems rarely spill over to the tourist sector. Walking around in an Italian city is usually quite safe, even if you’re alone and even if it’s after nightfall, excluding certain known areas in the big urban centers, Naples, Milan, Rome, etc.
How safe is Venice compared to other Italian cities?
Venice is a safe city even in comparison with other Italian metropolies. To the right, you see a table of the crimes in the 15 biggest Italian cities yearly from 2020 to 2023. Venice does not distinguish herself in any particular way, other than maybe that it’s lower than many other cities. Not even scams are high. Venice is the least affected by that crime category. All in all, is Venice safe? Yes, statistically, it’s definitely so.
For violent crimes like the columns for Murder and Robbery, Venice is actually the least affected.
What types of crimes are most frequent in Venice?
As already stated, the most frequent types of crimes in Venice are theft and pickpocketing, no doubt about it. Rarely will you come face to face with a criminal, as in a robbery. And even if theft from your hotel room is a threat you should be aware of, the biggest problem for a tourist is pickpocketing while you’re out and around.
Pickpockets work in crowded areas. Strolling alone over an open campo shouldn’t be a problem (… even though the clever ones can steal from your closed bag even while you’re walking.). But you should be aware of them if you stand still close to other people: On the Vaporetto/Bus, in line waiting to enter a tourist attraction, or standing on one of the bridges to take a photo. That’s where you’re a target.
- Always know where you have your wallet, and close your bags and pockets.
- Be aware of what’s around you and stand against the wall or sit down if you’re on the Vaporetto.
- Very often they work in pairs. One is distracting you while the other one snatches your purse. It’s not the one you’re aware of that is doing the picking, it’s the guy standing behind you turned in the other direction.
- And if you should notice something, make a fuss. Venetians as well as your fellow tourists all know about the problem. Most of them will help you and some of them will do everything they can to assist you and help the police in arresting the thief.
Is Venice safe at night?
Yes, Venice is a safe city even at night. It can sometimes feel a bit creepy, walking in the dark through the deserted calli, especially in the off-season. But you shouldn’t worry too much, it’s safe. The emptiness of people is a distinct feature of Venice. The restaurants close early, for Italian standard, and most of the people working in the tourist sector, do not live in Venice. So by 10 pm, the city is kind of deserted.
You might find drunk people roaming the streets at night. Mostly tourists and mostly around the holidays, like the Carnevale, etc. As always, learn how to communicate or avoid them. On occasions, I have seen street fights, mostly between young male adults, preferably from some northern European country. They shouldn’t pose any threat if you do not provoke them and you’re a young male adult yourself.
Is Venice a safe place to travel alone?
Yes, Venice is safe to visit as a solo traveler. Again, you will have no problem moving around, and there are no areas you should avoid or anything like that. It is perfectly safe to do whatever you want. Just keep an eye on the pickpockets when you find yourself in crowded areas. When traveling alone you don’t have a second or third pair of eyes to perceive any odd behavior. And unfortunately, the professional bag-snatcher will notice that you’re alone and aim at you. You have to stay alert in those situations and follow my advice.
It is also a pleasant destination for someone who travels alone. Venice is an extremely touristic city, but it has a nice laid-back atmosphere. You won’t find people trying to sell souvenirs you don’t want or need in the streets (apart from occasional counterfeit branded bag traders around the Accademia bridge). And nobody will forcefully sell you everything from drinks, and dinners, to holiday apartments. Venice is perfect for a solo trip.
Phone numbers to keep at hand.
- European national emergency reference number for any type of distress: 112
- Carabinieri Emergency: 112
- Carabinieri, Campo San Zaccaria, 4693/A phone. +39 041 27411
- State police, Sestiere di Santa Croce, 500 phone. +39 041 2715511
- Traffic Wardens phone. +39 041 2747070
- Medical Emergency: 118
- First Aid: Hospital Ss Giovanni e Paolo: phone. +39 041 5294111
- First Aid: Health care service targeted at tourists. One in St Mark’s Square (beside Caffe Florian) and one at Piazzale Roma. 8 am until 8 pm every day including holidays. phone. +39 041 2385648
- ATM circuit Card Block Alarm Centre: 800 822 056