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  Theft & Safety

In general, Europe is a safer place to be than most metropolitan centers of the US. Violent crime is negligible in Europe, especially directed against tourists. With the exception of the largest cities of Europe, the issues of theft and safety should not concern you. Granted, petty crime - pick pocketing, purse snatching, etc. - exists and therefore normal care needs to be observed when in densely crowded and touristed areas.

Tip: While touring, bring with you only enough cash and credit cards as is necessary. Leave the rest as well as your passport in your room safe or the hotel's safe. Carry your money and credit cards in your front pockets.

Tip: When at crowded tourist locations, always be aware of sudden commotions and do not assume they are what they appear to be. It's quite common for petty crooks to stage some little diversion and, while that's happening, pick a few pockets.

For whatever reason, petty crime is also geographical. It seems that the further south you go in Europe, the greater likelihood of the above acts taking place. Leave suitcases, laptop, etc., in full sight in your car parked on a side street in Naples, and your things could disappear. Leave the same car alone in Bad Durkheim, Germany, and everything all be there when you return. Don't misunderstand: I love Naples, I love Europe, but the Mediterranean areas seem to have more petty crime than in the north.

As in most places in the world, the better the location in Europe, the safer you are. Walk down the Champs Elysees at 1:00 AM and enjoy the lights. Walk down the back street of a red light area at the same time of night and you're asking for problems. The best advice is simply to use common sense, take reasonable precautions and enjoy your trip!