Beware of pickpockets and luggage thieves.
Violent crime is rare in Venice, and you needn't worry about being mugged in a dark alley or robbed at gunpoint.
Most crime in Venice involves pickpockets and purse, camera, or luggage thieves. Here's how to avoid problems:
- Keep valuables (such as your passport, money, and jewelry) in hard-to-reach places, not in a backpack or shoulder bag.
- Don't set your purse or camera down. (If you're in a restaurant, for example, keep your purse in your lap.)
- Carry a small amount of cash and a credit card for daily use, and store the rest in a safe place (such as a hotel safe or hidden neck wallet).
- Pack a photocopy of your passport's information page and your ATM/credit cards (front and back) so you'll be able to get a replacement passport and report lost or stolen cards if necessary.
- Consider wearing pickpocket-resistant clothing, such as jackets and vests from Scottevest.
If you need to report a crime:
- Ask your hotel receptionist to contact the police for you, or...
- Call 112 and ask for the police. (Emergency operators speak several languages.)
A warning about street vendors:
It's illegal to buy counterfeit goods sold by unlicensed street vendors who set up shop on blankets and bridges around Venice.
Usually police look the other way, but every now and then a tourist is fined for purchasing a phony designer handbag.
For more information, see these two articles at Venice for Visitors: