On another thread, I explained that my planned itinerary for a few weeks in Tuscany in July included a period of about 12 days traveling by private car. My friend and I have arranged to spend about three nights in each of four separate home swaps around the area, using each as a base to explore nearby towns. We will also use the day traveling between one base and another to explore some towns and sights along the routes: Pisa to Montecatini Val di Cecina; Montecatini Val di Cecina to Siena; Siena to Pitigliano and Pitigliano to Asissi.
I've gotten several cautions about leaving our luggage in the car. I live in the south of Spain in a heavily touristed area and know-well that luggage in plain sight, especially in a rental car, is practically begging to be stolen. But it wouldn't have occurred to me that it was an enormous risk to leave our smallish carry-on bags in a locked car trunk fWhat or a few hours while wandering through a small town and getting lunch. Is that true? If so, what are tourists meant to do? Do we really have to drive straight from one abode to another without stopping in order to drop our luggage off at our next base before backtracking to some place along the route that we wanted to stop at? We would, of course, NEVER, leave money, jewelry, cameras, passports, etc. in the car in any case. But yes, I wouldn't want to lose my clothing (or my laptop, which probably WOULD be left in the car.)
Just how paranoid do we need to be?