Italy as a Holiday Destination?

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by jeffwebb, May 15, 2009.

  1. jeffwebb

    jeffwebb Active Member

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    I know there are some watch enthusiasts on this forum so I'm hoping this may save someone some grief. SHMBO and I decided we would like to tour Italy. Naples, Rome, Bologna, Venice and then into France. We are both semi-retired and get about as much as we can which has perhaps led to us becoming complacent. Anyway, long story short, we were wandering along the sea front in Naples after a pleasant lunch when we suffered the classic moped attack and our watches were gone. We are not rich but both had Rolexes, mine was my fathers and the wife's was a 50th birthday present. It was all over in a flash, there was no interest in wallets or handbags, just the watches. I'm sure we were set up at the restaurant, but anyway, it's over and done. Please guys and girls, if you are venturing to Italy, be aware. There seems to be no law there, the driving is worse than atrocious, and some of the people are really unfriendly. It's really different from a few years ago. We feel really stupid and angry and our confidence has taken a knock and I would hate this to happen to anyone else. :mad:
    Regards, J.
     
  2. Spinal

    Spinal MB Enthusiast

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    Had a similar experience in central London - I wouldn't reccomend going there! Be aware!

    </sarcasm>

    I mean seriously - at the end of the day, it's all down to a small number of people that spoil it. Every country has criminals...

    M.
     
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  3. carnut

    carnut Active Member

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    Im so sorry to read this.

    I understand how you feel...its both a personal attack and also one against things you hold dearly. A Rolex may be a material object, but like yours, I have emotional attachments ( my 50th etc) which when someone violates, it becomes VERY personal and hence emotional to the extreme.

    Claim on your insurance, get new watches, have them engraved ( Less resale to the next robber heaven forbid), and rebless them with love!

    And put it down to experience

    PS If you are retired, like me,carry a walking stick...its great for putting into spokes of bikes!:devil:
     
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  4. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    How do these people manage to remove one's watch so quickly? I have trouble getting my own off easily, small wrists, big hands..
     
  5. neilrr

    neilrr MB Enthusiast

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    They do have good food though.
     
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  6. st13phil

    st13phil MB Enthusiast

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    Sorry to hear about the robbery, but as Michele says, every country has its criminals. Whenever I travel I try not to stand out too obviously (pretty difficult for me in some places, I know :rolleyes: ) and never to look as though I'm "ripe" as a victim. If nothing else, your experience serves as a timely reminder that you're at your most vulnerable to street robbery when you're relaxed, and that you're safest if you dress down and don't wear obviously valuable accessories.
     
  7. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    This has such a huge bearing on events.
     
  8. Spinal

    Spinal MB Enthusiast

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    Sorry - I let my personal emotions get in the way.

    I'm sorry to hear of your experience. I didn't mean to be insensitive... It's just that being Italian and reading someone saying don't go to Italy because of some stupid guy on a moped... (especially as London appears to be the city with the highest crime rate in Europe)

    So I apologize if I was insensitive, and I'm sorry to hear of your experience. Don't let that affect how you see Italy...
    M.
     
  9. RoseTattoo

    RoseTattoo Active Member

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    Italy is a terrific country and street crime generally is very low although in some areas, tourists, as everywhere, are considered fair game.
    My wife lived in Italy when she was studying and for another 15 years after that, walked home in the middle of the night, left doors open and never did she or any of her friends suffer any sort of problem. Italy on the whole is community and family orientated and therefore you are far safer than in Britain.
    BUT you walked along the sea front in Naples openly wearing a Rolex? Naples is not typical Italy.
    It reminds me of when I was a kid and we used to pin signs on people saying 'Please kick me'
     
  10. st13phil

    st13phil MB Enthusiast

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    I agree. Perversely (or perhaps not, if you give it some thought regarding petty crime attracting unwanted attention) I found it necessary to be more alert to chancers in Naples than I did in Palermo.
    That was funny :)

    My wife's parents were first-generation Italian immigrants to the UK in the 1950's and she still has many relatives in Italy (which she has all but totally lost touch with over the years :( ) so I have a connection to the country, but even without that connection I found it to be a great place that welcomes guests with genuine warmth. As Michele as said, please don't let a couple of idiots on a moped and one unpleasant experience damage your view of a whole country and people.
     
  11. nickcc101

    nickcc101 Active Member

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    My Wife had items stolen from her suitcase at Naples airport. When we returned home we noticed white chalk marks on the front of the suitcase over the exact place my wife had left her watch and earings (by mistake). It turns out that when the suitcases are x-rayed, before loading onto the aircraft, the person carrying out this job marks your case for his accomplice to remove any items of value before the case is loaded into the aircraft hold. Our insurers declined to cover the loss as items of value should not be left in your suitcase. We still visit Italy, as we both love the country, but make sure nothing of value is left in our cases.
     
  12. Roger Jones

    Roger Jones Active Member

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    Sad to say, but Naples has been well known as one of the world centres of petty crime for many generations. It was the same when I was there on a school trip in 1962.

    I visited a business associate near Florence a few years ago. I had a delightful time and no security anxieties at all when enjoying the whole area. Neither did I see any driving worse than the UK can offer, other than that of my host, who is a Brit.

    Another business associate is an Italian. I asked him for a holiday recommendation and he said Sicily, with emphatic enthusiasm. Now, there's another area associated with criminality, but it is vast and most of it is stunningly beautiful and very friendly.

    I'd be more than happy to holiday in Italy. The only places I have suffered from petty crime have been Manchester (theft from car), Liverpool (multiple theft of Vespa when a student; also my only eBay fraud out of dozens of transactions) and Boston, Mass. (theft of Walkman from suitcase left in care of hotel). It's everywhere and you'll be lucky to avoid it, no matter how careful you are.
    __________________________________

    SHMBO = SWMBO?
     
  13. w124nut

    w124nut Active Member

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    On the 6th June I am flying to Sicily (Palermo) and have chartered a yacht to tour the off lying islands for a week.

    I have taken on-board what you guys have said about personal security and hope that my stay there will be as much fun as my previous sailing trips to Turkey and to Greece
     
  14. st13phil

    st13phil MB Enthusiast

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    You should have a fantastic time. I don't know how long you're actually spending on dry land in Palermo but if you get a chance:
    • Take a guided tour of the Teatro Massimo (around 30 mins)
    • Take breakfast under the umbrellas at Cafe Spinnato in Via Principe di Belmonte and watch the world go by
    • Take lunch at Antica Focacceria San Francesco on Via Paternostro
    • Take a trip to the World Anti-Mafia Centre in Corleone (best to book in advance if you want an English-speaking guide). This is quite a drive from Palermo and not easy to get to using public transport, so it's easiest if you you either rent a car or strike a deal with a taxi driver
    • Take a wander around the old markets
    • If you fancy something a bit spooky, take a visit to the catacombs (but not if you're prone to nightmares!)
    The centre of Palermo is a fascinatiing mix of upmarket bits, shabby chic and the downright scruffy. Great fun!
     
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