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CRIME

REVEALED: The cities in Italy with the highest crime rates

From robbery and vehicle theft to cyber fraud and blackmail, where are you most likely to be a victim of crime in Italy? Here are the country’s latest crime figures.

Police officers in Milan's Piazza Duomo
Milan is the Italian city with the highest crime rate overall, but the most common offences vary around the country. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

While Italy is among the safest countries in the world – it ranked 32nd out of 163 in the latest Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace – crime is still a concern, especially in big cities. 

Milan is by far the Italian city with the highest crime rate again this year, according to the most recent data from Italy’s Department of Public Security collated in a report by financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

Altogether, as many as 193,700 crimes were reported in the city in 2021 – that’s nearly 6,000 reported crimes for every 100,000 residents. 

But while Milan takes the unenviable title of Italy’s ‘crime capital’, things aren’t much better in other major cities as Turin (3rd overall), Bologna (4th), Rome (5th), Florence (7th) and Naples (10th) all figure in the top 10. 

Italy's crime map in 2021

Milan is Italy’s ‘crime capital’, followed by Rimini and Turin. Image: Il Sole 24 Ore

The top of the table is completed by smaller and, perhaps, slightly unassuming Italian cities, namely Rimini (2nd), Imperia (6th), Prato (8th) and Livorno (9th).

READ ALSO: What happens when a foreign national gets arrested in Italy?

That said, while the overall crime rate ranking shows us Italy’s crime hotspots, it doesn’t provide any insight into the types of offences committed, which is why it is worth looking into single-offence rankings. 

For instance, Milan, Rimini and Rome are the top Italian cities when it comes to theft-related offences, with all three locations registering well over 2,000 reported thefts per 100,000 residents in 2021. 

Crime card for Rome, Italy

Italy’s capital city, Rome, has the fifth-highest crime rate in the country. Image: Il Sole 24 Ore

But while these cities remain the country’s overall theft capitals, other Italian cities seem to have their own ‘theft specialisation’. 

For example, Ravenna ranks first for home burglaries, while Naples and Barletta are first for motorcycle and car thefts respectively. 

As for other types of offences, the northern city of Trieste is first for sexual violence (as many as 25 reported crimes per 100,000 residents) and attempted murder, whereas Gorizia is the worst Italian city when it comes to cyber fraud and online scams. 

Finally, Biella ranks first for blackmail and extortion, while La Spezia is Italy’s ‘drug-dealing capital’.

Trieste's crime card, Italy

Trieste is the worst Italian city in terms of sexual violence offences. Image: Il Sole 24 Ore

Il Sole 24 Ore’s report however shows that Italy registered far fewer crimes in 2021 than it did in 2019, especially in big cities.

Notably, in Florence and Venice the number of reported crimes was down by 24.6 and 17.8 percent respectively.

READ ALSO: Rome shooting: What was behind attack that killed friend of Italy’s PM?

It should be pointed out, however, how the presence of Covid-related social restrictions throughout the first half of 2021 likely contributed in some measure to the overall drop in reported crime. 

It’s also worth noting that, in spite of such measures, some smaller Italian provinces still experienced significantly negative trends, with Piacenza, Isernia and Rieti all registering higher crime rates compared to 2019.

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MOVING TO ITALY

INTERVIEW: ‘Americans live to work, Italians know how to balance’

After gathering a huge online following and writing a book about her life in Italy, TikTok star Kacie Rose Burns tells The Local how the country drew her in and what she’s learned along the way.

INTERVIEW: ‘Americans live to work, Italians know how to balance’

Moving to Italy from the States was a no-brainer for Florence-based social media star Kacie Rose Burns. In 2018, aged 24, she dared to book a solo trip to the peninsula and has not looked back since.

“I was a dancer in New York and it was so demanding,” says Kacie, who is now a viral TikTokker with a million followers.

“I lived in a tough city, with a tough career and I was hustling for everything. It was all too grey for me.

“Growing up I had a strong urge to travel to Italy. I don’t know why, I’m only two percent Italian, but I just did.”

Kacie’s initial 10-day solo trip started in Florence, where she met her partner, Dario Nencetti. The pair hit it off immediately and there was an instant attraction that outlasted her 10-day visit: the two were long-distance for a year afterwards. Dario then moved to New York for a year after their long-distance period. Then Covid-19 struck.

“Basically my whole industry shut down during that period and I came to the conclusion I was no longer happy doing dance anymore,” Kacie shares. “Plus Dario’s visa was up.

“And I thought, yeah, let’s give Italy a six-month trial period, and here we are three years later. It sucks you in like that and I know so many people who have had the same experience as me.”

Photo: Kacie Rose Burns

The first six months of Kacie’s time in Italy were not easy. She defines it as one of the hardest periods in her life, due to the many differences in the everyday. 

“The biggest shocks are always the first shocks,” she says. “One of them is that I went to a pharmacy to get Dario a birthday card. I asked the pharmacist where I could get a card and granola bar and she looked at me like I had three heads and said “this is a pharmacy”.

“I had no idea where to get a card from because in the States you get lots from the pharmacy. It is the little things from your country and culture that you wouldn’t think about twice, but it’s the little things that are the biggest culture shock.”

The language barrier was another struggle. Although Kacie practised her Italian, she was not prepared for the country’s many different dialects. She recalls a time when she and Dario were in their apartment and he asked her for a Coca-Cola from the fridge.

“In Tuscan dialect, the letter c is removed,” she continues, before chuckling: “I thought he was calling me a rude name.”

READ ALSO:

As the months went on, Kacie felt her mindset changing to fit in with a slower pace of life, which she initially said made it harder for her to settle more so than any pharmacy or language barrier could have done.

“Besides the food, I have to say the thing I hated the most at the start is now the thing I love the most about Italy,” she says. “Italians are more embracing of life, they take hold of it. It is not to be taken for granted.

Kacie exploring ruins in Italy. Photo: Kacie Rose Burns

“Americans live to work and I used to thrive off chaos. Italians do way less so. They know how to balance. Having a full life means incorporating rest and coming from a culture that demonises rest, it was hard to grasp at first but now it’s my favourite thing.”

She sums up the lust-for-life attitude she finds more apparent in Italy than in her home country through something her Neapolitan friend said to her. 

“One day they turned to me and said ‘Kacie, we live next to a volcano that destroyed a city. We have to live life always’ and it just stuck,” she adds.

Shortly after in 2022, Kacie set up her own tour company, which she says is “the most rewarding” thing she has ever done.

“I can see the beauty through their eyes and it is so special,” she says. “We live in a gorgeous country and we are a little spoiled. It’s not bad at all.”

Kacie Rose Burns on Instagram

She details her trials and tribulations and the differences between the two countries she calls home in her upcoming book, You Deserve Good Gelato. 

“It’s been a long time coming and I’m so excited,” she says. “More often than not we are more capable than we think we are and it’s a message I wish I had known when I was younger. 

“If one person reads this and feels empowered I would be so happy. There are embarrassing mistakes, sad moments, cringey failures and happy moments. Failing is how we learn how to do life. I’ve failed a lot and it’s ok and normal.”

This book has been a year in the making and a few chapters explore adjusting to new countries. When asked what advice she would give Americans looking to make the leap to Italy, she swiftly responds: “Prepare yourselves for Italian bureaucracy.”

READ ALSO: 15 must-have apps to make your life in Italy easier in 2024

“You need time and patience,” she adds. “The biggest piece of advice is it’s not always going to be easy but it will be worth it. My first six months were tough as I had to adjust so much and I was lucky to have a support network in place.

“I have so much respect for people who have no support network in place and moved here alone. That takes guts.

“I guess be prepared for the first six months but know it’ll get easier.”

You Deserve Good Gelato is available to preorder on Amazon and comes out worldwide on May 28th.

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