Police Advice for Safe Roman Holiday Dampens Spirits

Roman police have issued a safety sheet that, while strong on common sense, makes a vacation in the Eternal City sound devoid of the merrymaking that makes Italy such a draw for tourists.

The how-to on keeping safe and enjoying Rome (surprisingly in decent English) downloadable from their website starts off by reminding tourists (and by tourists, we mean women) why they came: “Rome is a safe city and its people are welcoming,” but some of the advice they hope tourists will keep in mind is a bit of a downer.

First the useful info:
— in an emergency, call either 112 (local police) or 113 (carabinieri). (They left out the medical emergency number, 118.)
— women get a 10% taxi discount at night as yet another “pink” initiative.
— numbers for 24-hour women’s anti violence centers: (06) 5810926 or (06) 23269049.

Alas, though most of the advice is common sense, it rules out what draws many women visitors to Italy: don’t wear any flashy jewelry, drink in moderation, do not accept drinks from strangers, do not accept invitations from strangers and stick with the people you came with.

Ok, so Rossano Brazzi was never going to roofie Katherine Hepburn’s bellini (though he is shown in the “Summertime” poster staring intently at her with a large drink in hand) but has Italy become so dangerous that visitors are well advised to glare at the locals suspiciously while clutching half glasses of wine singing “O sole mio” wistfully to their American counterparts? And given the hundreds of stories, romantic and bittersweet, about foreign women in Italy, are they really expected to?

Image courtesy @ polizia di stato