Safety in Florence

In your new surroundings, the way students dress, talk, look, walk, act, gesture, and even the way you make eye contact are open to interpretation. You may be sending cultural signals without even realizing it! You are, in turn, interpreting others’ signals utilizing your own cultural standards. This cultural exchange combined with the language barrier and unfamiliar surroundings makes for a stimulating experience but also tends to increase your vulnerability. The Office of Student Life provides information, prevention programs, and support to assist students with any safety and security issues that arise.

NYU Florence has experienced few problems with safety or security within the confines of its facilities. However, keep in mind that Florence is a city like any other. We advise you to follow the same basic safety precautions that you would elsewhere and remember that there are elements with which you are not familiar.

Statistics

Statistics collected at NYU Florence indicate that the most common safety and security issues that arise among students include:

  • Petty theft

  • Harassment

  • ATM fraud

  • Sexual assault

In the majority of cases, the following are factors that contributed to students' vulnerability in the incidents reported:

  • Inebriation

  • Walking alone at night

  • Distraction

  • Language/cultural barriers

Do what you can to mitigate these factors, and you’ll likely have a safer semester.

Florence at Night

The nightlife in Florence can be a lot of fun, but always be alert and aware of your surroundings. The city is predominantly residential, and there are usually few people walking on the streets late at night. During the day, you can usually walk around central Florence without encountering problems, but remain vigilant and use common sense.

Getting Around Safely

Do not walk on the streets alone at night. It is safest to take taxis from one destination to another or to walk with a group of trusted friends. Stay in well-lit areas where there are open businesses and other people around. Avoid strange characters and people who loiter in isolated areas. When possible, walk on the sidewalk in the direction against traffic. Never accept rides from strangers, and never travel by hitchhiking. If you find yourself out beyond bus operation hours without a safe way home, call the Office of Student Life for emergency assistance. Staff will meet you and accompany you home free of charge.

While they are a lot of fun during the day, Le Cascine Park and the San Lorenzo Market are not places to frequent at night.

If you run into problems, call one of the emergency numbers listed in the Emergency Numbers section. For immediate assistance, seek a policeman or enter a café, restaurant, hotel, or another public place. Do not take risks here that you would not take at home.

Bars, Clubs & Pubs

Socializing in the city can be an enjoyable part of your experience, but don’t leave your street smarts at home. Sometimes students are surprised when safety issues arise in social situations. Cultural signs that you are entering into a risky exchange are different from those to which you may be accustomed, so to prevent problems, be extra cautious. Here are some tips for enjoying Florence’s nightlife safely:

  • Use the buddy system. Don’t go out alone, and never leave a bar with a person you just met. Go out together, return home together.

  • Have fewer drinks than you would consume normally – mixed drinks are very strong in Italy. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol reduces your ability to defend yourself from being targeted by criminals.

  • Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know well, and never leave your drink unattended.

  • Consent may be different in Italy. If you agree to go home with or even just accept a ride from someone, the other person may assume you are consenting to having sex. No is not always taken as no, and if you are intoxicated, the other person may not see this as a warning sign to stop.

  • Be wary of bars that offer special drink deals (free alcohol, flat rates for unlimited drinking, women admitted free, drinking games, American student nights, etc.). In Florence, such advertising is illegal, and criminals know that such bars attract tourists and foreign students and wait for things to get out of hand to act.

  • Avoid conflict. Move away from a threatening situation and call the police or NYU Florence for help.

  • Avoid illegal drugs as well as those who sell them.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. To be aware, you must be reasonably sober. If your ability to stay alert is impaired, make sure a sober, trusted friend is prepared to look out for your safety

  • Always have cash for cab fare. If you don’t, and you’re alone at night, call the NYU Florence emergency number for help. The staff on call can help you get home safely, free of charge.

Safety Resources: How to Report an Incident

Office of Student Life

Please report any incident immediately to the Office of Student Life during regular business hours or to the staff member on call after hours. Telephone number: +39 055 5007450, E-mail: florence.studentlife@nyu.edu

Mobile Campus Safety App

Safe NYU is New York University’s free mobile campus safety app, developed by the Department of Public Safety and its Division of Emergency Preparedness and Communications.

The app provides safety and security services at the tap of an icon, including:

  • 911-calling capability for life-threatening situations

  • A call box in the palm of your hand: simultaneously send your location and call NYU Public Safety

  • Reporting of incidents or tips via in-app forms, real-time chats or voice calls

The app also provides information on how to prepare in case of an emergency, links to transportation information and links to support resources including victim assistance, the wellness exchange and the bias response line.

The Bias Response Line

The New York University Bias Response Line provides a mechanism through which members of our community can share or report experiences and concerns of bias, discrimination, or harassing behavior that may occur within our community.

Experienced administrators in the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) receive and assess reports, and then help facilitate responses, which may include referral to another University school or unit, or investigation if warranted according to the University's existing Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.

The Bias Response Line is designed to enable the University to provide an open forum that helps to ensure that our community is equitable and inclusive. Please find here the Bias Response Line Reporting Form.