Is Florence Safe for Tourists? Expert Advice for a Worry-Free Trip

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Bustling scene on the historic Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy, showcasing vibrant daily life and Italian charm.

The amazing city of Florence, Italy, is the eighth largest city in terms of population and is the capital city of Tuscany, the third most-visited region in the country. This stunning city is known for its incredible art galleries, gorgeous architecture, and incredible food and wine.

It is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance movement and is a cultural and artistic powerhouse in Italy. If you’re enamored by beautiful art and architecture, Florence is probably the best place to visit.

There are many things to see and do, like visit the Uffizi Galleries and the Accademia Gallery, admire the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, and take in the fantastic panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo – especially at golden hour!

An emergency response team with a red fire truck and extended ladder at the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, capturing a juxtaposition of modern intervention at a historic Italian landmark under a bright blue sky.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

I’ve visited Florence several times, as a teen and in my 20s, and I’ve never felt unsafe. I’ve experienced feeling unsafe in other cities within Italy but never in Florence.

I always made sure to be aware of my surroundings and never distracted by my phone or anything else. I spent most of my time in the more “touristy” areas.

The short answer to the question posed in the title is yes, Florence is a safe destination for travelers. If you want to visit Florence to experience new adventures, continue reading to discover our best tips and tricks to ensure you feel safe while traveling to this incredible city!

Fast Facts – Crime, Safety Stats, and Recommendations

Here is a summary comparison of the safety statistics of Italy compared to the United States:

MetricItalyUnited States
Total Crimes (per 1000 people)39.0441.29
Intentional Homicide Rate0.874.7
Murder Rate (per 1 mil. people)8.7542.01
Rapes (per 1 mil. people)76.57274.04
Global Peace Index Ranking34th131st
Sources: NationMaster, Vision of Humanity

Here are some recommendations for your visit to Florence:

CategoryRecommendation
Safest NeighborhoodsDuomo, Campo di Marte, Santo Spirito
Areas to AvoidSanta Maria Novella train station (at night), Santissima Annunziata
Where to StayFour Seasons Hotel Firenze
How to Get AroundOn foot, Uber
Emergency Numbers112 (general), 113 (police), 118 (medical)

Is Florence Safe to Visit Right Now?

Dynamic Street Scene with Fire Engine at Santa Maria Del Fiore, Florence, Italy - Vigili del Fuoco firetruck in action amid historic city life
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The U.S. Department of State rates Italy as a Level 2 Travel Advisory. This means that travelers should exercise increased caution when visiting Florence. Be aware of your surroundings and keep up-to-date with news and events.

I highly recommend enrolling in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This will allow you to receive alerts about events or emergencies before and during your travels.

To put this into perspective, the United States currently has a majority of countries on a Level 2 Travel Advisory, including France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Costa Rica.

You should remain aware and vigilant, but don’t let this deter you from visiting. Travel advisories are rated from Level 1 (exercise normal precautions) to Level 4 (do not travel). Considering its size and allure to visitors, Florence remains a safe city.

Most Common Crimes (and Scams) in Florence

Bustling San Lorenzo Market in Florence with diverse stalls and vibrant atmosphere
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Florence is a huge tourist destination, and unfortunately, tourists are the prime target for petty crime and scams. Criminals target tourists who appear distracted and unfamiliar with their surroundings. Petty theft, such as pickpocketing and peculiar scams (which we’ll get into later), are the most common things you’ll run into in Florence – nothing to fear for your life over.

Pickpockets

A vibrant street market scene at Mercato del Porcellino in Florence, Italy, featuring a variety of products including leather goods and silk scarves.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

While violent incidents are rare and Florence is generally safe, pickpocketing happens – especially around crowded areas. Experienced thieves will bump into you and steal your phone or wallet before you notice.

The best way to prevent being pickpocketed is to keep your belongings on you and out of plain sight. Don’t keep anything in your back pocket or any pocket that is easily accessible.

Instead, opt for a secure (preferably crossbody) bag or money belt with zipper pockets. Internal pockets of jackets are also handy.

Common Scams

High-resolution image of Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge in Florence, Italy, bustling with vibrant daily life and historic charm. (source: [iloveseo.com](https://iloveseo.com/seo/alt-text-what-why-seo/))
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Some criminals try to rip you off in ways that you wouldn’t immediately think of. One of the common scams in Florence is having tourists sign fake petitions where they’ll try to convince you to donate to causes or organizations that they are not part of.

Another common one is the “bracelet scam”, where they offer you a simple, handmade bracelet that seems free. However, once you agree to wear the bracelet, the scammer will harass you for payment.

This actually happened to my then-teenage brother-in-law while we were in Spain. Eventually, they realized he was just a kid and left him alone, but they may not let adults off so easily.

In these scenarios, the best thing to do is to ignore. I know it can feel like you’re being rude, but it is truly the best way to keep yourself out of an unwanted situation.

Taxi Scams

You should always look for a taxi sign or license information when entering a taxi. While Italy has cracked down on fake taxis in the past few years, ensuring you ride in a legitimate taxi is still a good idea. To avoid overpaying, make sure the driver uses the meter to charge you or you have a pre-determined price that you agree to before your trip starts.

To avoid misunderstanding, I almost always use Uber when available. It’s convenient, and you always know the price of your ride upfront. Plus, if there are any complaints, you can deal with it right in the app.

Safe Places to Visit in Florence

Horse Drawn Carriage at Piazza Signoria, Florence, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Florence is a safe city to visit, so as long as you use common sense, you’ll be fine anywhere. The city center is very safe, especially around the major landmarks and crowded piazzas. Some of the safest areas include the Duomo, Campo di Marte, and Santo Spirito.

A day trip to the stunning Tuscan countryside is also a safe choice. Organized trips through booking platforms such as Viator and GetYourGuide ensure that you’ll be protected both while on your trip and in case of cancellations or if you have issues with the local tour provider.

Where to Stay in Florence

Places to Avoid in Florence

Bustling market at Piazza Santa Croce, Florence with Basilica backdrop
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The short answer is that there isn’t anywhere in Florence that needs to be avoided at all costs. You should avoid walking on some streets after dark, especially alone, but other than that, exercise the same amount of caution and common sense that you would anywhere else. Below are some places to be somewhat more vigilant if passing through.

Santa Maria Novella Train Station

Inside Santa Maria Novella Train Station in Florence, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The streets surrounding the Santa Maria Novella train station can get sketchy after dark. If you have to go to the train station after the sun goes down, stay in well-lit areas or take a taxi or Uber directly to the station.

However, during the day, this area is completely fine. It’s also where you can find many budget-friendly accommodation options.

Santissima Annunziata

The Santissima Annunziata neighborhood is in northern Florence and slightly removed from the city center. While I wouldn’t categorize this area as dangerous by any means, it is known for its insistent panhandlers that can certainly put you in an uncomfortable position. Pickpocketing also occurs in this neighborhood, so stay aware of your surroundings when passing through.

Best Practices for Visitors – Top Tips for Florence

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Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Public Transport

Bird electric scooters lined up for rent at Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Using public transport within Florence is not necessary. The most convenient time to use public transportation is by taking the tram from the Amerigo Vespucci International Airport to the Florence city center. Otherwise, the city is easily walkable, and most top attractions are concentrated in one area.

Additionally, traveling from within Europe may find cheaper flights to the Pisa Airport than to the Amerigo Vespucci International Airport. In this case, I recommend taking an Uber to Pisa Centrale train station and hopping on a train to Florence.

Trains in and around Florence are safe and very reliable. If you would like to visit the Tuscan countryside, the train is definitely the way to go.

Solo Travelers

Fontana del Porcellino, Florence, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

While I have never traveled to Florence solo, I feel confident that solo travelers (specifically solo female travelers) will feel safe while visiting Florence. ViaTravelers editor Kyle Kroeger, who studied abroad in Florence and also recently visited Florence solo and also as a family, had this perspective:

Florence is a safe city to visit as a solo traveler, but like many larger cities, you should exercise caution and stay aware. Exercise extra caution if you if you plan to go out for drinks alone.

Exercise a normal level of caution, memorize the contact information for emergency services, and be aware of your surroundings.

If it’s your first time traveling solo, there are many day trips or group tours you can join to meet others and enjoy this great city in the company of others.

I highly recommend this day trip around Tuscany and this walking tour of Florence. If you love Italian food, try a cooking class!

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself from any unforeseen situations. Not only can it help if someone steals your belongings, there are even coverage plans that can cover medical expenses – even in the most serious of situations. Check out TravelInsurance.com to compare insurance plans and find one that fits your needs.

Maintenance work at Giotto's Bell Tower in Florence, Italy, showcasing historic conservation efforts with crane operation and intricate marble architecture.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Other Top Tips

  • Only keep a small amount of cash on you. Most places around Florence accept credit cards, so don’t feel the need to keep hundreds of euros with you. Busy areas have a high pickpocket risk, and they’re always looking out for individuals rummaging through their wallets full of cash.
  • Download a translator app. Google Translate has come a long way and is a great tool when visiting places where you don’t speak the language. It’s user-friendly and can even be used for spoken translation, which is super convenient.
  • Avoid “skip-the-line” tickets. Around many top attractions, you’ll see people with “official” looking badges trying to sell “skip-the-line” tickets. They often sell tickets for attractions for an astronomically inflated price. Do not buy tickets from these people. Instead, you can skip lines by buying tickets online from the attraction’s official website or on sites like Viator or GetYourGuide.

FAQs

Is Florence safe to walk around at night?

Florence is safe to walk around at night. Be aware in some areas –particularly around the train stations – but I’ve never felt unsafe walking around the city at night.

Are people in Florence friendly?

People in Florence are very friendly and helpful. Since this is a major tourist destination, many people working in shops and restaurants speak English and are generally willing to help or give advice when asked.

What is the best area for tourists to stay in Florence, Italy?

Anywhere surrounding the Piazza del Duomo and to the east of the old town is a great place to stay. Additionally, across the Arno River, near the Boboli Gardens, is a quiet place to stay while visiting Florence.

Related Resources

Brittney Liu
WRITTEN BY

Brittney Liu

Brittney is a lifelong traveler from Oahu, Hawaii. She has visited more than 35 countries and is continually researching new places to explore - even though she hates flying. Her favorite destinations have one thing in common: they're warm. With expertise in French Polynesia, Hawaii, and the Mediterranean, you can follow along as she checks out the cleanest beaches and clearest water on the planet. Brittney has also spent most of her 20s living in the South of France.

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