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CRIME

Naples ‘safer than Milan and Rome’: study

Naples may have an unenviable reputation for criminal activity, but a new survey suggests that the city is less dangerous than Milan, Florence and Rome.

Naples 'safer than Milan and Rome': study
Photo: Gennaro Visciano/Flickr

Which Italian city is the most associated with criminal activity? If you guessed Naples, you're almost certainly wrong – according to a new survey.

This year's annual look at the quality of life in Italian towns shows that – as you might expect – those in the north came out on top. But the northern towns and cities were also ranked surprisingly low when it came to security, Il Tempo reported.

Milan was judged to suffer from the worst criminality, and the northern city of Rimini was ranked second worst, followed by Prato and Imperia.

Moreover, Naples was thought to suffer less from criminality than either Florence or Rome.

The most “virtuous”city – thought to have the least crime – was Pordenone, which has jumped three places since 2012. And the next best places to live unhindered by crime were the northern city of Treviso, which rose from third place in 2012, and the southern town of Matera, which has jumped ten places since 2012.

While the survey made grim reading for many towns, the overall picture was positive, according to the authors of the study.

The Social Sciences and Economics Department of the Sapienza University in Rome, which conducted this year’s survey, said that central-northern areas had particularly improved this year. They also noted clear improvements in north-western and central areas of the country.

A total of 59 towns out of 110 included in this year’s survey registered a good or acceptable quality of life, an improvement on last year where only 42 out of 103 towns reached this standard.

Overall, the city with the highest quality of life was the northern city of Trento which scored high for business and employment, lack of criminality, population, financial and educational services and free time.

The southern city of Crotone, meanwhile, was ranked as having the worst quality of life, with low results for business, employment, environment, financial and educational services, free time and standard of living.

The best results were in the north-east, especially in parts of Marche and of Tuscany and Piedmont.

Among the areas judged ”acceptable” were towns in Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche.

Those judged “inadequate”and “insufficient” were exclusively areas in the south, where, according to the authors of the study, “no sign of improvement” was shown. 

The survey follows another study published earlier this month by Il Sole 24 Ore, in which Naples was found to have the worst quality of life in Italy, while the northern city of Turin was found to be in decline.   

Which part of Italy do you think has the best quality of life? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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CRIME

New York returns 214 stolen artworks to Italy in seven months

Authorities in New York announced on Thursday the return to Italy of 14 more antiquities, worth an estimated €2.3 million, as part of an investigation into smuggling of stolen artifacts.

New York returns 214 stolen artworks to Italy in seven months

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been conducting an extensive investigation over the past two years into looted antiquities that have ended up in New York museums and galleries — including the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art.

During a ceremony on Thursday with the Italian consul general and Italian police representatives, 14 more artifacts – some 2,600 years old – were officially returned to Italy, bringing the total number of repatriated pieces to that country over the past seven months to 214, District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said.

READ ALSO: Italian ‘art squad’ police recover 800 illegally-excavated archaeological finds

More than 700 pieces worth more than $100 million have been returned in the past year to 17 countries, including Italy as well as Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, and Greece, the statement added.

New York, a hub of stolen antiquities trafficking for decades, set up a task force in 2017 to investigate the illicit trade.

According to the statement by District Attorney Bragg, who took office in January 2022, Thursday’s repatriation included the silver “Sicily Naxos Coin,” minted around 430 BCE and currently valued at half a million dollars.

Other notable items included ancient pottery dating to 510 BCE, and amarble head of Roman Emperor Hadrian, dating to 200 CE.

Among the culprits behind the 14 returned pieces, the statement said, were well-known art traffickers Giacomo Medici and Giovanni Franco Becchina, as well as Robert Hecht, the Paris-based American art dealer who died in 2012.

The traffickers had “relied on gangs of tombaroli (tomb raiders) to loot carefully chosen and insufficiently guarded archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean,” it added.

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