Post # 31
It’s definitely warm, so loose, light clothing will be best. I would also bring some light layers to wear, but I tend to get chilly in the evenings or when it rains.
Pickpockets are a problem, especially in Rome. In the subways, particularly at train stations or near really big tourist hotspots, the crowds can get pretty big, so you have people pushing and trying to squeeze into the subway car with you. Pickpockets use this situation to their advantage – pushing and jostling you to distract you while someone else opens your purse or picks your pocket. It happened to my father when we were there together – someone unzipped his cargo pants pocket and snatched his wallet – and the same day my mom also noticed someone trying to get into her purse (she yelled at them and they went away) when in the same situation, really crowded subway car. I think if you have a cross-body purse that zips and has some kind of interior pockets where you can keep your valuables you’ll be ok (just the zipper or a flap is too easy to get into). For guys, I don’t think you necessarily need to have anything special, but just be extra vigilant (take off backpacks in crowded subways to hold in front of you, keep hands in your pocket if your wallet is there). In my experience with my dad, it only takes a second and then they’re off at the next stop and there’s nothing you can do. Plus reporting it to the police and calling all your credit card companies sucks up a lot of precious site-seeing time.
Post # 32
barbie86 : Don’t worry, I don’t ever wear heels, so that’s not a concern. Good advice about the shoulders and knees thing. Is it an issue for men at all? I’m sure my husband will want to wear shorts on the hot days.
thirdwoman : Our hotel is actually near the Borghese, so good to know about the restaurants. We have already bought tickets for the big stuff: Colosseum, Vatican, Borghese. I’ll try my best to look out for skimmers, I just don’t really know what I’m looking for I guess.
cmsgirl : Don’t bring my wedding ring to Europe at all? 🙁
Post # 33
llevinso : no definitely not if your engagement and wedding ring is huge or very blingy. They wear plain gold bands or have very tiny diamonds. It will be noticed there. Not saying it will be stolen or you will be robbed but it is best not to draw extra attention to yourself. I’d avoid CZ stand ins as well for the exact same reason. It also doesn’t help you to bargain down something at the local markets when they see massive rings or excessive gold! 😉
I wore my ring when I went to my dads home town but I always left it hidden in my parents apartment when I went to bigger cities that I knew where more likely to have pick pocket crime etc. My dads home town is very small and very safe. I also speak the language fluently, know the customs and dress like the locals so I dont stand out as much like a tourist would. Tourists with big blingy rings stand out to those people looking for easy targets….
My cousin who lives in rome told me that it is very common to use metal detectors when robbing your apartments to locate any hidden gold/ jewelry. It happened to her. They found her hubbys hidden designer watch and her engagement ring. They literally cut into her wall to get it out. Never heard of theives at home being that smart…
Unfortunately Rome and Barcelona are cities that have a lot of tourist crime and pickpockets. I’d leave things with sentimental value at home. I normally do when I’m staying in hotel accommodation. Just easier in the long run.
Post # 34
cmsgirl : Well my ring is certainly not big by any means (.41 carats) but it is super sparkly and I love it so so so much. I guess it’ll give me more peace of mind to leave it at home. My hand will just feel so lonely 🙁
Post # 35
llevinso : I think leaving rings at home is a bit extreme; if you would wear them at home, you will be fine. Most issues with theft are pickpocketing/bag snatching; you are highly unlikely to be mugged for your jewellery. I wore lots of jewellery (as do the local women) with no issues. If you would wear it at home, wear it there.
Purchase a cross-body bag and wear it like that at all times. Make sure it has internal compartments zipped for cash/phones etc and use them. Also make sure it has a secure fastening eg zip. Be vigilant when using public transport and in busy/crowded places; I always have a hand firmly over my bag at all times. Do not put valuables in pockets, either.
With regards to men being covered, it depends on the place. They are extremely strict at St Peter’s Basilica, and we saw men in shorts being turned away, so do make sure he covers his knees there. Otherwise it seemed that they would allow it provider they looked smart/respectable on the whole (OH wore long-ish shorts with deck shoes and polo shirts/short sleeved button throughs most days and had no issues).
Post # 36
llevinso : Please don’t feel you should leave your ring at home. It’s your honeymoon and you said it would make you sad! My ring is similar in size to yours and I wear it all over Europe. Italian women do wear jewellery!
I’ve been to Barcelona a few times and also Rome, and at very busy times of year and it would not occur to me to bring special bags/purses/moneybelts! I’m English so almost everyone I know has been to these two places, often repeatedly and I’ve only ever heard of two incidents involving pickpockets and both were fairly easily preventable. Wearing your handbag cross-body is good as you can keep a hand on it in a crowd. I’d do that in any city anyway, plus they are a lot more comfortable if you’re walking a lot.
I hate to say it, but some of this advice is too alarmist. Actually, a backpack and trainers (sneakers) tends to scream tourist, whereas a large-ish fashion bag and wedge heels would actually make you look a less likely target, as you’d look more local! Personally I’d put my bortle of water and guide book in the same bag I’d carry to work at home, and not drag around too much stuff all day…you’re not going hiking! 😉 Wear what suits you, though.
barbie86 : Good post. Sensible but not alarmist.
As for weather, Rome is quite warm but Barcelona can be mixed as it’s on the sea and it’s not that far south. I’d take a pair of jeans even if you just wear them in the evenings. Just read up on the forecast before you go. Have fun. x
Post # 37
- Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK
Only been to both places in May and June so not sure about September weather.
I always just carry a shoulder bag and hold it to my side so I’d feel if someone was unzipping it. A backpack is a big no-no for me and makes you stand out as a tourist.
In Rome the people selling stuff are incredibly pushy and will try and put a braided bracelet round your wrist or give you a rose saying “for free” then try and make you pay. I just ignore them and they usually give up.
Have a great time.
Post # 38
When we visited Greece my dad said he would just carry his wallet in his front pocket. After he visited an atm, he instinctively put it in his back pocket. 10 minutes later when he realized it and went to move it, it was gone. My family was also with a group in Italy and one of the ladies in their group was talking with one of the locals and she looked down and his hand was in the bottom of her purse. He had slashed it while talking to her! Now, this was 10 years ago, but I’m sure those tactics remain.
Long story short, get a money belt! They were great for our trip to Italy.
Post # 39
leonatigra : +1 on not hauling loads of stuff around. Typically we bring suncream (one bottle between us), hand sanitizer, tissues, guidebook, phones, and enough cash for what we are doing that day (ie we don’t bring hundreds out with us) plus a bottle of water each. Fits in a small-medium shoulder bag (we each bring one) and isn’t too heavy or cumbersome.
We also have insurance so if worst came to the worst we can claim anyway. Worst case scenario would be having our phones and a small amount of cash stolen that we can get back later. Irritating, yes, but really not the end of the world.
Post # 40
llevinso : Your rings will be fine with you unless you plan on going to some super sketchy places. I’m guessing you’ll be in popular areas and toruist areas most the time so it’s not going to be a problem… I’ve seen tourist rocking pretty big rocks in Italy. I wear my ring every where in Europe.. they’ve been with me to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech, Hungary, Turkey, Ireland, France, UK, Greece….. We’ve haven’t been pickpocketed and my rings (1.3ct center, 2ct total) are still safe with me….
Post # 41
I love Barcelona but yes, pickpockets are rife and expert.
I always wear a zipped-up cross-body bag/purse, in crowded places and in the metro I also place one hand over the zip. I’ve felt people have a go!
Avoid eye-contact and ignore anyone who approaches you on the street, if someone points out a stain on your clothes, get well away from them before examining the damage.
We haven’t been robbed yet on our visits but we are very vigilant. Don’t be afraid to be rude, sometimes two or three normal looking people in their 20″‘s will crowd round being very friendly “American? English? Where are you from? I LOVE America/ England etc. They are intending to distract you while one of their number picksyour bag or pocket.
Try not to dress in a way that screams tourist. Barcelonese out of their teens don’t tend to wear sportswear in the street, decent trousers, jeans or (not short) skirt and shirt with leather sandals or shoes is pretty typical. They are unlikely to wear shorts in September. It’s probably not too dissimilar to NYC working adult style. Try to familiarise yourself with your routes before leaving so you don’t spend time on the street staring at a map together, – an opportunity for people to approach you to “help”.
Don’t be put off, you are very unlikely to be a victim of violent crime, but the pickpockets are a nuisance. Your OH shouldn’t keep more money than he can cope with losing in any pocket.
Post # 42
Will the recent earthquake affect where you are going?
Post # 43
barbie86 : Good to know about St. Peter’s. My husband will be bringing jeans too, so I’ll make sure that day he wears those instead of shorts.
leonatigra : My parents have been to Italy several times and they said not to wear sneakers because you’ll stick out like a clear tourist. Problem is that those are really the only shoes that would keep me comfortable trekking around the city all day. Same with my husband :/ I think no matter what, we’re going to be seen as tourists and I’d rather at least have my feet not killing me every day. I’m going to bring some flats too but they don’t offer as much support as I’ll need most days. My work bag is also huge and a pain to carry around and doesn’t really close all the way. So that’s definitely staying at home. I bought a cross-body anti-theft purse on Amazon and it’s actually really nice. It’s small though but that’ll probably help me not lug around so much crap! I’m definitely an over-packer.
EllyAnne : When my friends and I went to the Dominican Republic 2 years ago it was like that. Even walking around our resort people were always trying to sell you stuff or trick you into giving them money. My friends were all so nice and would stop to talk to each person trying to sell them something. I kept telling them to just ignore them but they thought that would be rude. Oh well! I looked like the bitch I guess because any time someone would approach me I’d just yell “no thanks!” and keep walking.
mrscali13 : My husband keeps his wallet in his front pocket already, so I think he’ll be okay there. I think the big thing is to just pay attention.
Post # 44
barbie86 : That’s our plan. We don’t want to bring around much.
Drizzle : “Don’t be afraid to be rude” Don’t worry, I’m not! Must be the Chicago in me 😉 Also, as far as dress goes, I don’t really know what sportswear means…? I was planning on wearing capris and a tee most days. My husband probably shorts or jeans and a plain t-shirt as well. The only thing is that I know both of us will mostly be wearing sneakers.
headoverboots : I was reading about that yesterday. Isn’t it horrible! Looking at those pictures makes me so sad. But no, it is not near where we’ll be in Italy.
Post # 45
Well now I don’t know what to do about my ring! I do agree that some of these posts are probably rather alarmist, but I’d rather be over-prepared than under. My husband insists we’ll be fine. He was born in raised in the city (as opposed to me who grew up in the suburbs) and he’s dealt with his fair share of stuff. Though I know we’ll look like tourists but there’s only so much you can do about that. Last night I was talking to him about not taking my ring on our trip and how it made me sad so he went ahead and bought me a few cute silicone rings to wear instead. It’s good to have them anyway for when we’re camping and playing sports, so they’ll be useful. Haven’t made up my mind yet about taking my actual wedding band though…
As far as engaging with people trying to distract us, I’m not so worried about me. If you look at my posts above I usually have no problem being rude and ignoring strangers on the street. But I’ll have to talk to my husband about it. He vapes (it helped him quit smoking over a year and a half ago, yay!) and EVERYWHERE we go he gets into these conversations with people that are curious about it and since he loves to talk about it he’s always happy to engage. I’ll have to tell him that that’s a no-go over there.