Cross at your own risk!
In the seventies and eighties, Italy was under siege from bomb-throwing, homegrown terrorists. This danger that has now more or less ceased, and although serious crime, once very limited, has now admittedly increased, one has to laugh when fellow Americans ask if I feel safe here, and laugh even more heartily when Italian journalists compare this or that Italian city with Chicago in the 1930s. In 2013 there were only 34 homicides in Rome, giving it a lower murder rate than either Amsterdam or Glasgow (not to mention the top 60 US cities. BUT, in the same year, there were 56 pedestrian deaths. So the worst danger you face when you visit here, aside from that represented by the very able pickpockets on some bus lines and a few knots of thieving gypsy children, may well be that of crossing the street. Here’s some advice on how to do that safely and effectively. (more…)