It is definitely safe to travel in Sicily and get around the island. However, like many places on Earth, to assure safety in Sicily, one needs to be always cautious. Not only of your things but also your behaviour when dealing with different kinds of situations. Making sure you respect other cultures and treating people the same way you want to be treated.
Tourist Information in Sicily
Sicily and our history
Sicily is a vast region. It is, in fact, the largest in Italy with residents from various origins and backgrounds from all over the world. Aside from the island’s remarkable natural wonders and historical sites, it is, unfortunately, also known for the infamous Mafia. Mafia is a syndicate criminal group that survived for decades and emerged from the villages of Sicily. It is just as how it was depicted in films and series such as the Godfather the Sopranos except they turned from blood-related clans into a large scale of secret criminal societies. Hardly felt but totally exist. We have been living in Sicily for years but have never really encountered any. However, many news outlets report offences and irregularities connected to them.
Top Safety Tips in Sicily
Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, scams, and snatching are some of the major risks when travelling. These old crimes are everywhere, on city buses, train stations and historic centres. Large cities such as Palermo, Catania and Syracuse have been targets of these small-time robbers for years now. Many towns in Sicily especially small villages are still very much free from these petty crimes. The villagers know one another and are always available to help in case of any problems.
SicilyShortStay understands that it is already nerve-racking to be in a strange city, what more to worry about unexpected things. Hence, we have indicated below some of the safety tips in Sicily to prevent unfortunate events. We also added suggestions on making your trip less worrying and more enjoyable.
1. Do not give up the photo ops
In this modern age, we all want to document our travel, either by posting our photos online or keeping them as memorable treasures. Do not let these delinquents ruin your holiday. Take photos as much as you can and enjoy the city you are visiting. If you are bringing a camera, we suggest carrying a more compact one or best just use your phone so it is easier to put them in and out of your bag. Opt for a more plain-looking so the roaming thieves will not covet your precious items.
2. Walk more
Pickpocketing usually happens on cramped public city transports such as buses and trains. These criminals do not work solo, and they generally work as groups. They are waiting for the right opportunity to surround you and rob your things. To avoid them, we suggest walking more. It also means you can explore more. Significant sites on major cities are just near to each other so getting around is easier.
3. Carry less
We talked about the camera in number 1, we also recommend carrying less cash and less valuable things. Make sure you are only bringing the important items on your bag; camera or just phone, passport, less cash and an ATM card.
4. Befriend the locals but avoid the suspicious ones
It is really hard to identify the good apples from the bad ones. Either one conversation can turn into a life time of friendship or deceptive stories into scams. We guess, just trust your intuition and see the good in others. If in case, you feel like it is too much talk for a first meeting, just avoid it. However, if you are comfortable and do not feel any sign of danger, go along, make friends, with locals or the same tourists who want to achieve amazing experience in Sicily.
5. Read about Sicilian unique culture
You might be just staying for a few days, but it does not mean, you cannot adapt to another place’s culture and traditions. We recommend reading about the unique practices of the Sicilian to understand the island more.
6. Emergency Numbers in Sicily
Please make sure to call the police as soon as possible in cases of emergencies or unfortunate events.
Enjoy Sicily and safe travels!