Tuscany is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. In fact, nearly 50 million visitors visit the region each year, including day trippers and overnight visitors. But is it safe? Read on to find out.
Is Tuscany Safe to Visit in 2024?
Yes, Tuscany is very safe to visit, otherwise millions of people wouldn’t visit each year!
You should prepare for common crimes that happen in all popular tourist destinations around the world, such as pickpocketing and scams, but besides that, there are few other dangers.
Before assessing the safety of Tuscany, it’s important to look at the safety of the country as a whole. Luckily, Italy is a safe country to visit. Most countries, such as Canada, only issue Level One travel advisories for the country.
Tourists to all parts of Italy just have to use the same common-sense safety precautions they might use at home to stay safe. Some countries are a bit more cautious with their safety assessments for Italy as a whole.
For example, the United States advises its citizens to exercise increased caution in Italy. The main justification it states for issuing a Level Two travel advisory is terrorism.
It is true that terrorism is a threat throughout Europe, but the actual threat against Italy is low. The threat against Tuscany is even lower.
Although Tuscany is a region that is beautiful and is significant for Italy’s tourist economy, it doesn’t have a lot of political significance the way the capital Rome, or the banking capital Milan, both more likely targets, have.
The most recent terrorist attack in Tuscany happened all the way back in 1993 when the Italian Mafia set off a bomb in front of the Uffizi Gallery.
There hasn’t been a whiff of an attack since, showing how safe Tuscany is to visit now. The sheer number of visitors is another point of evidence in favor of Tuscany’s safety.
Millions of people, including elderly travelers and families, wouldn’t visit a place that is unsafe. However, those same tourist crowds actually fuel the minor dangers that may affect your trip.
Tuscany suffers from the same problems that many other heavily touristed destinations experience, such as:
- Bag snatching
- Verbal harassment
These crimes are all minor, but they can still ruin your vacation if they happen to you. That’s why it is good to stay informed and take precautions to protect yourself from these problems.
In terms of natural disasters, Tuscany is also one of the safest destinations in Italy. It doesn’t have active volcanoes the way Sicily does. Although summers in Tuscany can also get hot, they are not as extreme as the temperatures can get further south.
However, Tuscany is prone to heavy rains and flooding, especially in fall and winter. However, strong storms can happen at any time.
In August 2022, violent thunderstorms swept through the region, causing widespread destruction and even some deaths. You don’t have to worry about these problems, just prepare for them if they happen. Make sure that you look at the weather forecast before and during your vacation.
If the government issues an alert for heavy storms and flooding, follow evacuation or shelter-in-place orders and stay away from areas prone to flash floods.
Crime in Tuscany
Crime is a moderate concern for visitors to Tuscany. Common crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching can happen, but more dangerous incidents are fairly rare.
According to breakdowns of crime in Italy by province, the province of Florence, which includes much of Tuscany, has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Florence has the 5th highest crime rate, with a total of 4,277.3 criminal incidents per 100,000 people.
It has a higher crime rate than parts of Italy that have a more dangerous reputation, such as Naples. However, when looking at crime statistical breakdowns by type of crime, a different picture of crime in Tuscany emerges.
The reason why the province of Florence has such a high overall crime rate is due to the high rate of theft. The violent crime rate in Florence is actually very low.
Besides theft, other crimes for which Florence is above the national average include money laundering, sexual violence, and drug-related crimes. Incidents of sexual violence tend to happen between people who know each other, while the other two crimes won’t affect tourists unless they get involved in shady business intentionally.
Florence’s crime rate may be slightly elevated, but that doesn’t make the city a danger zone. Most of the crimes committed are petty in nature, or don’t affect tourists that don’t seek out trouble.
Keep in mind that Florence is not just a popular tourist destination, but also a major city and regional administrative center, which means it will have similar problems to other major cities.
Plus, another important fact to remember is that Tuscany is not just Florence. Tuscany is broken into several other provinces, such as Arezzo, Grosseto, Pisa, and Livorno. These other provinces have much lower crime rates than Florence.
Any crime that does happen in Tuscany’s smaller towns tends to be pickpocketing or other forms of petty theft during the tourist high season.
You should definitely keep an eye on your valuables while there. However, you don’t have to be more on your guard than that because the risk of something bad happening to you is fairly low in this region of Italy.
The most common crime in Tuscany is pickpocketing. The region is a hub for tourism, and tourist crowds around the world tend to attract pickpockets.
Thieves know that the crowds will provide them with opportunities to blend in, and that tourists tend to be less cautious and carry around more valuables than locals do. Pickpocketing is most common in Florence, Tuscany’s biggest city and most popular tourist destination.
In Florence, you should be careful:
- On public buses, especially lines popular with tourists such as the #7 bus
- Around the train station
- Waiting in line for the Uffizi or Accademia
- In the Piazza del Duomo
There is a risk of pickpocketing in other parts of Florence, especially those areas that are also popular with tourists. Be careful when wandering the narrow streets of Siena, or when posing for photos in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Basic precautions are usually enough to protect you from pickpockets. These criminals are criminals of opportunity — they will move on to someone who presents an easier opportunity if you make their job a little hard for them.
Try to limit how much of your valuables you carry around with you when moving around Florence. The less you have with you, the less devastating a theft might be.
Take only what you need for the day and leave extra cash, back-up cards, and your passport in your hotel safe. If you are not flashing wads of cash, you will also be less attractive a target to pickpockets.
Make sure that you keep a firm grasp on your valuables as you move around Tuscany’s cities and towns. You don’t need a money belt (that actually singles you out more as a likely target), but a secure bag such as a cross-body purse or fanny pack that is back in style is a good choice.
Never, ever leave your valuables unattended, such as leaving your purse in a restaurant while you go to the bathroom.
Stay alert when people are trying to distract you, such as if someone makes a scene on public transportation or insistently comes up to you asking for a petition signature. Thieves often work in groups.
Violent crime in Tuscany is rare, and violent crime targeting tourists is even rarer. However, robberies sometimes happen in Florence. The Australian government warns its citizens about the risk of robbery in certain Italian cities, including Florence.
It warns tourists that Australian citizens have been robbed and attacked in Florence before around the train station and in nightlife areas. Most robberies happen at night, so limiting your movements after dark can help keep you safe.
Avoid areas of Tuscany that feel unsafe, such as the area around Florence’s train station. Many robberies are connected to nightlife areas because criminals wait for tourists to get intoxicated, and then rob them. Although Florence’s nightlife is fun, take care not to overindulge.
Watch your drinks and don’t accept drinks from strangers as there have been cases of drink spiking in Florence before. Outside of Florence, robberies in Tuscany are rare.
Avoiding Bad Areas
Tuscany doesn’t have many areas that are so dangerous you should avoid them. The only exceptions are a few neighborhoods in Florence.
In Florence, avoid Santa Maria Novella, the area around the train station, at night. Although the neighborhood is cleaning up its act, there is still an above-average amount of crime.
Things to Consider
Here are a few additional safety tips for visiting Tuscany:
- Respect local regulations. Many local towns, such as Florence, have adopted rules around tourist behavior to prevent damage to local monuments. Think twice before bathing in public fountains, scratching your name on the Duomo wall, or unwrapping a sandwich on church steps.
- Pack church-appropriate clothing. The spectacular churches of Tuscany are some of the most beautiful in the world, but you want to be able to visit them! Roman Catholic churches have strict dress codes for both men and women that forbid showing the shoulders, knees, and chest. Pack a shawl or jacket during the summer so you can enter the churches.
- Women should be prepared for some harassment. Italy has a problem with sexist catcalling, and unfortunately Tuscany is no different. If you are a female traveler, especially if you are traveling solo, prepare yourself for unwanted attention. Ignoring the catcallers like local women do is usually the best course of action.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few more common questions that might come up when you plan your trip to Tuscany:
Is Tuscany safe to travel alone?
Yes, Tuscany is safe for solo travelers. You should take some common-sense precautions, such as avoiding rowdy clubs if you are alone, but other than that, there are few dangers waiting for you.
Is Tuscany safe for solo female travelers?
Yes, Tuscany is safe for solo female travelers. In fact, it is a very popular destination among solo female travelers thanks to its safety and the popularity of narratives such as Under the Tuscan Sun.
Is Florence in Tuscany safe?
Florence, Tuscany’s biggest city, is very safe to visit. It has an elevated crime rate due to the high rates of pickpocketing, but the violent crime rate is very low.
Is it safe to walk at night in Florence?
Most of Florence is safe even at night. However, some areas such as the area around Santa Maria Navona train station are more dangerous after dark, so avoid those parts and any dark alleyways.
Is Tuscany expensive?
Tuscany is one of Italy’s more expensive regions to visit. However, you can still travel here on a budget if you stay in hostels or humble inns instead of villas and plan your trip carefully.
Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!
Tuscany is a very safe place to visit. It does suffer from above-average rates of theft and pickpocketing, so you should keep a firm grip in your wallet when in town, but besides that, there are few other dangers that target tourists.
So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that this gorgeous destination has to offer. Happy travels!