TIPS FOR Daily Life Safety
For your safety and for the security of your belongings, please consider the following suggestions:
Be responsible about access to NYU-owned and contracted buildings. Report incidents and suspicious persons to the school immediately.
Keep a photocopy of your passport and visa as well as your NYU ID card with you at all times – it’s the law, and police may ask for identification at any time.
Carry a working cell phone at all times. It is essential to be able to call for help in the event of an emergency and unwise to rely on WiFi or the kindness of strangers. Make sure that you program emergency numbers into your phone and share that number with the Office of Student Life as soon as you have it.
Avoid drawing attention to yourself.
Look out for one another. Don’t let a friend go home with strangers or alone
If you notice that a friend is sick or in a potentially dangerous situation, call the NYU Florence emergency number immediately and/or seek the help of local police or an open business establishment.
Keep your wits about you at all times. Stay in control. Awareness is often the key to prevention.
When walking through the streets, exercise extra caution. If someone says something or acts in a way that you find disturbing, ignore and avoid making eye contact with the person. If the person is persistent, turn to a police officer or merchant and ask for help. Florentines are generally very proud of their city and are willing to assist a person in need. If you find yourself the repeated subject of unwanted attention, please inform a staff member in the Office of Student Life. The staff will provide you with information and support.
Make photocopies of all important documents, and keep those copies at home or in the safe in the Office of Student Life.
Always keep an eye (or better yet, a hand) on your belongings while in public. Never place a bag, wallet, piece of luggage, electronic device, or backpack out of sight.
Carry your money in more than one place, and do not carry money and credit cards together. Don’t keep money or your wallet in back pockets or easily opened bags.
Don’t carry your passport or large amounts of cash on your person. Feel free to lock up small valuables and important documents in the safe in the Office of Student Life.
When using ATMs, be careful. ATM skimming devices are becoming increasingly prevalent in Italy. To avoid problems, use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside banks, the NYU campus, or businesses. Cover the keypad while you enter your PIN. Look for a tampered appearance around the card reader, and avoid card readers with irregularities. Monitor your account statements for unauthorized transactions.
Don’t open your wallet in public. Keep small amounts of cash in a more accessible place. When taking cash out of an ATM, avoid showing how much you’ve taken out.
If you’re walking down the street and have a purse or satchel in your hand or on your shoulder, hold it tightly and don’t carry it on the street side. Thieves on scooters may snatch your bag.
If someone steals your wallet or snatches your bag, don’t fight or hold on. Resistance can lead to serious injury.
Carrying weapons, including knives and pepper spray, is illegal.
Be careful when using public transportation, particularly the 25 bus. The confusion that ensues when a group of people gets on or off a bus can be distracting. Criminals on crowded buses slit the bottoms of purses, bags, or pockets and remove the contents.
Thieves regularly visit nightclubs, bars, cafés, shops, restaurants, and laundromats and take advantage of the natural distraction these places present to steal patrons’ belongings. Be aware of who is around you as you frequent such locales.
In your living situation, lock all doors and avoid leaving valuables, including electronic devices, money, or jewelry in plain view. Call the Office of Student Life if you suspect that an unauthorized person has accessed your living space.
Unfortunately, pickpockets are a reality in Florence. Be especially careful in bars, nightclubs, on crowded buses, near the train station, in shops, in cafés, in laundromats, in restaurants, and in tourist areas. Pickpockets (even children) have ingenious ways of distracting you so that they can take your belongings.
On the street, beware of anyone who stops you holding out a folded newspaper or a piece of cardboard, carrying a folded blanket over one arm, or holding a small child. Pairs of accomplices or groups of children have been known to divert tourists’ attention so that another can pickpocket them. In one particular routine, one thief trips the victim. An accomplice assists the victim in getting up while a second accomplice discreetly takes the victim’s belongings.
Lost or Stolen Credit Cards
If your credit card is missing or stolen, cancel your card immediately. For some cards, you may need to call your bank directly.
Lost or Stolen Articles
If something important is lost or stolen, notify a member of the Office of Student Life staff. You will have to go to the Polizia or Carabinieri station and file a police report in the Ufficio Denunce. The police will follow up from that point to provide you with legal proof of your loss, which you will need when you request replacement of personal documents. If you have travel insurance, your insurance company will also want a copy.
Filing Police Reports
If you need to file a police report regarding an incident or a lost item, feel free to call on the support and translation skills of staff members from the Office of Student Life. Some police stations have English-speaking officers and English-language forms. Remember to bring your passport with you. The Polizia dello Stato address can be found in resources.
Traffic in Florence is fast, unpredictable, and hectic, so it is especially important to look both ways before crossing streets. Use the pedestrian crosswalks (wide white lines on the streets), and wait for the walk signal to turn green before proceeding. Don’t assume that vehicles will stop for you.
Stay on the sidewalk when walking down the street. This seems like common sense, but many sidewalks are narrow, and it may be tempting to walk in the street.
Think twice before renting scooters, cars, bicycles, or other vehicles. The traffic laws in Europe are very particular., and signage and norms may seem unclear, putting you at risk for accidents.
City of Florence Lost and Found (Ufficio Oggetti Trovati di Firenze), Via Francesco Veracini 5/5 (Piazza Puccini, Via Maragliano area), Tel: 055 334 802, Fax: 055 3246 473
This office for items lost in the city of Florence is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning only, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning and in the afternoon.
Polizia dello Stato, Via Zara, 2