Travel Questions - Italy

We will be visiting Milan and Venice in May and since my IP does not have local access numbers in Italy I am wondering about the availability of internet cafes or other places where one can check e-mail. And if these places exist, do I need to bring my laptop or are there already computers there?

My second question is about crime; so many people are warning us of rampant pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, car-rifling etc. in Italy. I wonder, is it really so much worse than in the US? I live in the LA area; is it worse than that in Milan? Do I have to hide all my valuables in my undies for the entire 2 weeks?

Any advice on these issues or other useful travel tips you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Soliciting opinions about your travel plans? You’ll probably get better responses in IMHO than in the fact-based GQ forum.

Have a swell trip.

Anecdotally, yes.

I know quite a few people who have been pickpocketed or snatch-and-grabbed in Europe especially Italy. I don’t know anyone that’s happened to here.

I had money belt with passport, etc. in it, and kept some about 30 bucks worth of money in my pockets for admissions, gelatos, and other stuff.

I wonder if in the US, they more often become robberies, with a weapon and intimidation involved.

Venice is absolutely beautift. You should definitely spring for some gondola rides.

Internet cafe availability seems to me like a factual question.

My husband had some woman - who he said appeared to be more Germanic than Italian - try to pickpocket him in the big Sunday flea market in Rome (Porta Portese, I believe). I teased him that she was just feeling his ass, since he didn’t have a wallet in his back pocket and she tried repeatedly. :wink: His father told us tales of ‘gypsy’ beggar kids who will approach you in groups and try to pickpocket you while another begs, tries to sell you baubles, or otherwise distracts you. I didn’t see that in my two trips there, other than one kid who was wearing better shoes than I could afford; we brushed him off and left.

Follow Abe Babe’s advice, though some hotels recommend leaving your passport in their safe.

Sorry that I don’t know anything about Internet cafes (I didn’t notice any in my two trips in the mid-to-late 90s), or Venice or Milan.

I’ll put it back if you want.

But you will be teased mercilessly by the GQ regulars, and then one of the GQ mods will come and throw it right back over here or into MPSIMS – probably with a scathing comment, as they don’t tend to be as jolly and avuncular as I.

Your call.

Forget the whole thing.

Yes, there are internet cafes in Italy and computers are available. That answers the factual part of the question. Now the rest of it can be responded to here in IMHO. Hope that helps.
General Questions

I was in Italy in November, although you’re hitting two cities that I missed.

If Milan and Venice are anything like Rome, Florence, or anywhere else I went, you’ll find internet cafes out the wazoo. I think the most I paid was about 10,000L/hr (about five bucks) in the Cinque Terre; in Rome, there were places for 3000L/hr (about $1.50).

As for crime, I heard the same stories, but I didn’t have any trouble. Just remember to keep any large cash, passports, plane tickets, and the like in a money belt inside your clothes (or, better yet, back in the room or the hostel safe). Be smart, and let the pickpockets prey on the stupid.

If you’re interested, you can read about my adventure at my web site:

Dr. J

Gee, I managed to annoy not one but two mods.
Not bad for my first thread.
Thanks, Dr. J.; I’m reading your adventures now.

I’m glad you asked all this as I have to go briefly to Turin (!) to do a bit of research this summer (no, not about the damn shroud) and know nothing about northern Italy myself. I’m sure there are net cafes in those towns-- it’s a surefire way to seperate American college kids from their money with low overhead.

Whatever you do, do not stay in the youth hostel in Milan. It is from the eighth circle of hell.