The PSA I wish I didn’t have to make

11 thoughts on “The PSA I wish I didn’t have to make”

  1. Hi,

    I am visiting in the beginning of August and a solo traveller. I really want to swim but I am afraid of leaving my bag on the beach. I have bought a water proof pouch for my money and phone so I can take it with me in the water. Will my bag with clothes still be okay on the beach? Any tips for a solo traveller in Cinque Terre?



    1. Ciao Liz!

      Good for you for traveling solo! I did it myself and LOVED it. 🙂

      It’s a good idea not to bring valuables with you to the beach. I leave my wallet at home and just take bare necessities with me (which usually means some cash, my cell phone and a towel). Actually, the chances of being pick pocketed are much higher on the trains versus the beach (but of course, better safe than sorry). I always feel like my belongings are more secure when we go to a “private” portion of the beach (versus public), too. You’ll recognize these places by the colorful umbrellas and entry fees. The lifeguards in these stabilimenti balneare not only watch swimmers but also keep an eye on the comings and goings of people on their portion of the beach.

      With all that said, I wouldn’t worry about your clothes on the beach (I’m sure thieves wouldn’t be particularly interested in them). 😉

      Buon viaggio!



  2. I was in Cinque Terre in July 2016. I got on a train in Monterosso. The journey took only 5 minutes to our stop so we decided to stand near the exit, which turned out to be a terrible mistake. I want to write my experience here so travelers can be warned: we were approached by a group of girls aged between 13-15, they came to the end of the train wagon and showed everyone that it was too hot to be inside and they wanted some fresh air. One of them was wearing a grey shoulder bag on the chest and her hand was hiding underneath her bag. She came very close to me. The group of girls started yelling and created chaos: trying to open the door and making lots of noises. When we were looking at the door, the girl with shoulder bag started to open my bag. I felt movement in my bag and I stepped back. I couldn’t see her hand but her bag was touching mine. Luckily my bag has a zipper inside, nothing was stolen. Before we left Cinque Terre, again I was approached by the same group of girls. This time we were getting on the train and two rushed in, and standing in the middle of hallway. I saw the same shoulder bag and this time, both my hands were carrying luggages. The girl walked towards me and this time I yelled very loud. She and her gang left the train immediately. During our 5-day stay in Cinque Terre, we have seen tourists screaming ‘thieves’ and running after departed trains a few times. It seems that this region has been occupied by thieves, especially in the train station. My friend also saw a pregnant woman, who looked normal but she was also a pickpocket.


    1. Ciao Phyllis!

      You are absolutely right, during peak hours our trains (and stations, to a lesser degree) have been invaded by these thieves. It’s absolutely maddening for locals and visitors alike. Last year I was on the train and I saw a group of pickpockets come through and zone in on a couple with luggage standing near the door. I got up with my young son in tow and charged to the door and starting yelling to anyone within earshot that the group of young girls were thieves. Most of the tourists on the train looked at me like I was out of my head, but the girls immediately got off the train and loaded onto the next car. The problem, from a legal standpoint, is that the thieves are usually minors or pregnant women from nomad camps located elsewhere in Italy. Because of loopholes in Italian law and their status they can’t be prosecuted. I’m thankful that your vigilance protected you from a potential theft.

      Take care,


  3. Hi Amy –

    I’m heading there in late June, and I’m wondering about how to deal with using a money belt or neck belt when I will be wearing sundresses or very light clothing where either would be obvious. Any clever suggestions?


    1. Ciao Maureen!

      That makes it tough. I obviously don’t wear a money belt because I live here. I do, however, put my valuables physically in my hands (like my wallet and phone) while on crowded trains because while pickpockets will sneak valuables out of your purse, bag, or pockets I’ve never heard of them snatching and running here (they try to keep a very low profile). Being aware of your surroundings and the people around you is always the first step in theft prevention!

      Happy travels!


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