Friday, May 25, 2007

Pick Pockets

Well, everyone reads in the guidebooks that Italy, and many countries in Europe are notorious for pick pockets! Unfortunately, while Mom and Kelly were visiting, we had to experience it first hand.

Mom and Kelly and I met after my school, near the Duomo, to take the bus up to Fiesole. Fiesole is a beautiful small village about a 20 minute bus ride from Florence. There was an incident on the street where we caught the bus that caused a traffic jam, so the people getting on the bus were backed up and it was very crowded. This bus is usually crowded anyway, but more so this day.

I pushed my way onto the bus to punch our tickets and Kelly and Mom followed. We had to stand because of the crowd. For some reason, (I think she must have felt something) Mom started to look for her wallet, which was not in her purse at this point. Of course she was upset and shocked and felt violated, and the people around her showed concern. Most likely it was one of the people around her that took the wallet, but we will never know.

Thankfully, Mom was a good traveler and followed my instructions about what to carry in her purse and wallet, and only had her driver’s license (she really didn’t need that, but) her bank card (you have to have a pin to use this) and one credit card (that when we tried to use it to purchase a train ticket the day before would not work, because the credit card company flagged it for out of the ordinary purchases).

If you travel to Italy, or anywhere really that you usually don’t, you should notify your credit card company because they always cut it off at the most inopportune times, except this one, which worked to Mom’s advantage. She had her Euros in another pocket in her purse, and they were safe.

Once we took stock of what was lost, and determined that aside from being angry about it occurring, we went on to enjoy our day. Fiesole is very beautiful, and it was cooler there than in Florence that day. I had been here before with Will, so Kelly enjoyed the archeological museum, after we had a nice lunch overlooking the view. Today it was more clear than when Will and I had visited, so I got some better photos of the view.

I am really sorry the incident happened. It’s the kind of thing that we as suburban Americans are not accustomed to, and guidebooks and tourists dwell on it. The crime rate, even for petty theft is minuscule in Italy and most of the rest of the world versus the USA.

Here are some statistics:

Total Crimes
USA 80/1000 This is the 8th worst in the world out of 64 countries

Italy 37/1000


USA .0004/1000 25th worst in the world

Italy .0001/1000


USA .001/1000

Italy .0006/1000

*Per capita (per 1000 people)

I got this information from Check it out.

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