One of my stumbling blocks in going the Best of Italy tour is that I am practically agoraphobic, especially in unfamiliar large cities or their airports, department stores, etc.
Even in the U.S., I have had trouble dealing with aggressive strangers, on the street, etc., although generally I have been able to walk quickly past by panhandlers, etc. for the most part.
From what I have read, the Milan train station is big and crowded and there are pickpockets, including gypies as well as people dressed as tourists who accost "real" tourists, even aggressively following them, in groups or in pairs.
I have this scenario in my mind of being pickpocketed or "losing" something (have someone walk off with something). I know the notion of having a money belt to wear inside one's clothing, but one still has pockets and one does need cash.
Just the idea of having to exchange money, find the right ticket office window and then get to the right platform seems daunting to me. Or is it just my imagination?
I would be traveling alone, and am short, Asian-American, and under such circumstances has an anxious/nervous look--I haven't traveled outside of the U.S. in almost 25 years. I don't know a word of Italian, either.
I assume that the airport-to-train station in Milan would be relatively easy and safe. Just the MIlan-to-Varenna would be "a little" stressful.
So any tips on avoiding aggressive strangers and/or pickpockets would be greatly appreciated.