Travel to Italy and theft issues.

Started Jan 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Regular MemberPosts: 497
Re: Travel to Italy and theft issues.
In reply to bikinchris, Apr 27, 2012

Really, the best place for your stash is ... where you keep your other most precious possessions. A small drawstring bag inside your pants requires some VERY close contact to steal. Even if they manage to get it, you can at least say you ... got something in return

Seriously though, one of the biggest factors regarding getting hassled (by street hawkers, pickpockets, whatever) is how you dress and act. You don't have to be like a native, but just don't be the most obvious tourist ever . In Europe there are tourists from a lot of countries, not just Americans.

However, the Americans do tend to stand out more because their socially-acceptable dress code is much more casual than in almost any other country. Contrary to many American opinions of Europeans as "snobs", dressing well is not about showing off -- it is about respect for others around you. It's the same reason why you cover your mouth when you yawn and keep it closed while you've got food in it -- dressing well is just simple politeness to avoid offending other people's eyeballs.

No t-shirts, sandals, and shorts (unless you're at the beach!). No loud shirts, sports logos, baseball caps, Hawaiian prints (unless your at a game or in Hawaii!). For men in Italy, this is a well-fitting, white, collared dress shirt, usually with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. Almost never any necktie (top button unbuttoned), and often worn without an undershirt or with a white tank-top undershirt. Brown or black slacks, and a set of matching brown or black leather belt and leather shoes. Minimal (if any) jewelry. It's a good look, it's respectful and respectable, and most of all, it says "I know what I'm doing, go prey on someone else." If you don't own any good leather shoes ($300+ a pair, but sooo worth it), make sure to break them in before you go overseas. Shoes are one of the easiest ways to tell a "tourist" on sight - white runners... ugh. If you must wear runners, at least get solid black ones. Newbalance makes some nice all-black sneakers.

Also, I have to agree with the "travel light" mentality. If I were going abroad today it would probably be a Nikon D3100 or smaller. Something with an APS-C sensor so I could shoot raw and get decent files, and a single zoom lens. Probably the Nikon 16-85 or 18-200 (gasp!). Maybe a 35mm f/1.8 in the pocket. Sony NEX-7 looks tempting too. Or Canon Powershot S95 since you can shoot raw and manually focus. Keep it simple, travel light and you'll have much, much more fun.

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