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Getting to Your Hotel after arriving...

I will be traveling by train throughout Italy in October and although some of the hotels I have chosen seem to be close to the stations AND Rick says they are a short 10 minute walk, is it recommended that I really do that? I just don't want to be a prime target for pickpockets/thieves as I walk by with my rolling luggage. Please don't suggest that I only pack a backpack b/c that isn't realistic for me. It's not because of overpacking, I just have shoulder/back issues and can't have the extra weight resting on them. So basically, should I take a taxi or walk?

Thanks to all who respond!

Posted by
1317 posts

I had the same problem as Cristina (getting lost) because the street signs are actually ON the buildings, and usually only on one side of the street. But I managed to get myself straightened out and walk to the hotel.

If you can walk through NYC and feel safe, you will have no problem in Italy. However, for other reasons (rolling suitcase on cobblestones, etc.) you might decide to take a cab.

I think it will also depend on WHERE in Italy you are. You may feel more comfortable with a cab in Rome, especially if that's where you're flying into. But for some of the smaller towns (Orvieto, etc.) you will probably feel fine walking. As with most things in life, it's all about cost vs. comfort. :-)

Posted by
1317 posts

Unless you plan to set your luggage down and walk off without it, keep your valuables in a outside zipper pocket of the suitcase, or get into town at 3am, you should be fine.

Thieves and pickpockets in Italy generally operate on a "sneak by and don't get noticed" method. If you're moving, it's a lot harder for them to get their hands into your stuff without you noticing. Just be aware of your surroundings and don't let people get too close to you and your belongings.

Actually, you will probably have a much harder time with finding your hotel/not getting lost. If you would feel more comfortable/less stressed by taking a taxi, then by all means do. But it will be perfectly safe to walk.

Posted by
12154 posts

I agree. Safety isn't your primary issue. A rolling bag can be tough on cobbled streets which are common, but my wife and two sons both chose rolling carry-ons and seemed happy with their choice.

I'd be more concerned about being over burdened. If you are carting a rolling bag and trying to balance a purse, a camera bag, an unfolded map and travel guide, you may have theft problems. Keep your load organized and compact so it's easy to keep track of.

Posted by
56 posts

Thanks for the advice! I think growing up and currently working in New York City has definitely helped in being aware of your surroundings, especially in a big city. When traveling abroad I don't like to look like a tourist or attract attention to myself so I wouldn't have a map out or too many bags going on. I plan to have one rolling suitcase and a messenger bag to wear cross-body (to double as purse & carry-on) because I don't want to be carrying too much.

Thanks again and I think I'm going to take taxis unless the hotel is literally down the block from the station.

Posted by
208 posts

If you only have 1 rolling bag and a personal item it should not be a problem lugging it behind you. I tried to get to my hotel in Rome and got lost. I finally had someone help me with information and I took a tram back to the Termini where I got a cab. It cost me 10euros to go litrally 2 blocks.

So, if you would feel better getting a cab being that it is your first time there, I would say do it. My biggest problem was leaving the station from the wrong door and some streets are not marked very well.

Posted by
10 posts

Shari,
I find that walking from the station is a great way to get your bearings in a new town. If the distance is less than a mile, I hoof it. I've been to Italy 13 times and never been the victim of a crime.

Posted by
23110 posts

I like Google Earth. It goes beyond a simple map by showing trees, and other detail. I always print out the location to the hotel. I would encourage you to walk if it is under a mile or so. I think you expose yourself to a scam opportunity when cabs only go shorts distances. Also, there are always lots of folks with luggage in and around train stations going to and from. So having a bag does not automatically mark you other than someone going to and from the station. As someone else posted, the pickpockets like to work crowded areas where you can easily be distracted. So just walking down a street with luggage does cause you to be more of a target -- just the opposite most of the time.

Posted by
8464 posts

I agree with the poster that suggested you use Google Earth Maps. I did this for my trip to Rome and found it EXTREMELY useful. It's also a little creepy...as in Big Brother is watching....but I digress....If you have the exact address of your hotel you can get directions to your hotel to follow. I did it for the apartment I rented in the old Jewish Ghetto neighborhood of Rome and it helped the cab driver immensely as there was some road work he had to drive around to get me to the apartment. Also provides a visual orientation. In the left hand column where it says layers. Unclick everything and that gives a clear map. Showed me how walkable Rome was. Not sure what it will have for smaller villages etc. but it does work well for the larger metropolitan areas. Enjoy your trip. Italy is wonderful!

Posted by
705 posts

Take a taxi Shari. I always find that 'last leg' to get to the hotel the worst. It's far less stressful to get a taxi and no problems about trying to find you hotel/getting lost etc.