Wearing Backpacks In Italy – Are Your Belongings Safe?

Backpacks come in handy when traveling. If you are traveling in Italy, there are many things you can carry along in your bag. For instance, you can bring camera equipment, a laptop, books, or money for your trip.

When you mention backpacks and safety in Italy in one sentence, they may not go along. Tourists are often targets of pickpocketers who always lurk for innocent visitors to steal valuables from them.

Here’s if your belongings are safe wearing a backpack in Italy

Beware! Your items are not safe in a backpack if you are touring some of Italy’s frequently visited cities. There are a lot of cases where people have reported their bags or valuables missing in their bags in the cities of Milan, Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice.


Pickpocketing statistics in Italy

According to a report by Statista, the number of petty crime cases reported in Italy has gradually reduced.

Even though pickpocketing has declined, the reported claims are still above the 100,000 mark.

A drop in the reported instances means that things are going in the right direction, but more work still needs to be done.

The table shows the number of cases of pickpocketing reported by police to the relevant authorities in Italy between 2013 and 2019.

It shows that in 2019 the issues drastically fell by approximately 40,000 cases since the peak reported incidences in 2014.

YearNumber of Pickpocketing Cases

See related: Why is pickpocketing so prevalent in Europe

How They Steal From You in Italy

Pickpocketers will steal from you in the streets of Italy. A place where you are likely to have items stolen from you is in public transport buses and trains.

The trick these violators use is to engage you in a conversation and wait for a moment when you are not keen.

They will steal what they can and alight at the next station. That is when you will realize that you are a victim of pickpocketing.

Another tactic they use that assists them in stealing from you is opening the side pockets where you are likely to put frequently used items such as credit or debit cards, passports, or change from things you buy.

They will also steal belongings like wallets, mobile phones, portable gaming consoles, cameras, and other electronic devices.

If you look lost, you are an easy target. Feeling lost is normal when you are traveling in new neighborhoods.

The frustrations you will show will ‘sell’ you to the pickpocketers and thus cause a likelihood of being a victim.

How to protect yourself from theft in Italy

If you are traveling in Italy, you must remember that people want to steal from you. Therefore, you should exercise caution while on Italian streets. Here’s how to prevent yourself from theft.

Don’t Bring Something You Do Not Need Along With You

When preparing for a journey, we all find ourselves packing many things.

Being ready for a trip is good but avoid overpreparation. For instance, if you want to capture the beautiful views of Italy, you may want to pack more than one camera or mobile phone.

More things you can pack for the trip are credit cards and stacks of currency. Pack what is enough for you.

If you have brought a lot of items with you to a hotel, leave extra items in your room and lock them up carefully.

You want to ensure you minimize the luggage you will carry for your day.

Do Not Use The Back Pockets Of Your Backpack

Backpacks feature multiple pockets to assist you in asserting what you will be carrying on your journey.

The back pockets on the bag are for convenience purposes. Avoid storing stuff there.

There is a high chance that they may end up in the hands of thieves.

If you must use the back pockets, ensure they are not highly important.

Carry Backpacks in Infront

Typically, backpacks are designed to be carried on your back. It is advised to take your bag in front as you can secure your belongings quickly.

You can see if zips are open or faulty with ease. It is hard to see what is happening in your back if your bag hangs towards that side.

Beware of Who is Around You

Italy is home to many people with great cultures and traditions. However, not everyone you will meet that smiles at your back is a good person.

You should be aware that pickpocketers are getting smarter every day and do not have any suspicious looks.

Thus, don’t trust every Tom, Dick, and Harry you will get. They could be your potential predators.

Wear Clothes with Inner Pockets

On your trip, you will transact a lot, withdraw currency from ATMs and banks, make payments here and there, and buy things using physical cash along the streets.

Keep phones, wallets, credit cards, and personal identification documents separately and not in your bag.

Use the inner pockets of coats or shirts to keep such stuff as they are inaccessible to other people.

What to wear in Italy to not look like a tourist

If you want to keep off tourist traps in Italy, here’s how you can dress to not look like a tourist.

See related: Does Venice Smell Bad?

Dress Like the Locals

Tourists are easily distinguishable from locals using the dress code.

The type of clothing you wear can be a loophole pickpocketers use to approach and try to steal from you. Therefore, find out what clothes people wear in Italy at different seasons.

Camouflaging with the locals makes you immune from being an easy target.

Avoid Wearing Brands not Familiar in Italy

There are many clothing brands in Italy, and pickpocketers can notice unfamiliar ones.

Avoid wearing American brands, as they can make you prey on unsuspecting thieves.

If possible, wear clothing that does not expose brand labels loudly.

Wear Subtle Colors

Bright colors will make you easily noticeable from afar. Go for clothes that are not shouting.

Colors for dresses that pop are not worth going for include yellow, orange, or luminous green. Wear black, blue, green, beige, or red for safety.

Avoid Fancy Packs

Expensive purses and backpacks are pickpocket magnets.

Keep away from bags that carry classy brand names and colors. Carrying simple bags will help you look ordinary and not look susceptible to pickpocketers.


Italy attracts over 26,000,000 visitors, and pickpocketers hunt for valuables from tourists. You have to be on the lookout when visiting any city in Italy. You do not want to lose the valuables you have acquired with your hard-earned money. To dodge any of their traps, you need to protect your backpack anytime you are vulnerable.