Which cities in Italy have the highest crime rates?

Which city is worst for vandalism, and where are you most likely to be a victim of pickpocketing? Figures from Istat reveal the picture of crime across the country.

Which cities in Italy have the highest crime rates?
Police patrol the cathedral in Milan - the country's worst city for theft. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP

Figures released from Istat show the crime rates across Italy, and reveal a drop in overall reported crime for the first time in four years.

But to assess whether the country has actually got safer, it's important to look at the different types of crime, and the geographical divide.

Milan is – by a long way – the top city when it comes to theft, with around 7,800 complaints per 100,000 residents. It is followed by university city Bologna which counts almost 7,600 per 100,000 residents, and then Florence (6,000) Turin (5,900), Catania (5,600) and Rome (5,200), showing that Northern Italy is much more prone to thefts than the south.

Using the interactive map below, produced by Il Corriere, you can see how safe your hometown is by comparing rates of different crimes.

However, in terms of robberies, the south of the country is much more afflicted. Naples (291 incidents per 100,000 residents) is followed by Catania (261), Milan (251), Turin (231) and Bari (210).  

The three worst cities for sexual assault were Bologna, Florence and Milan. Prostitution-related crimes were also more rife in the north of the country, with Trieste reporting 7,200 crimes of this kind per 100,000 residents, followed by Catania (7,000), Ravenna (5,900), Ancona (5,200) and Alessandria (5,000). Prostitution itself is legal in Italy but brothels and pimping are not. 

Turin reported nearly 1,900 crimes of 'malicious damage' per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Genoa (1,363), Milan (1,353) and Florence (1,101), while no other region reported over 1,000.



But the good news is that violent crime rates have either remained stable or experienced a drop since 2010, particularly murder rates which have seen a steady year-on-year drop apart from 2013. Deaths linked to organized crime have also decreased.

Crimes against property and thefts are on the up, as well as robberies which have increased for the past three years.

The total number of crimes reported went down in 2014, with 4,627 reported per 100,000 residents, compared to 4,801 the previous year.

However, the study only takes into account those crimes which have been brought to the attention of police, so the apparent drop could be down to numerous other factors, including lack of trust in police and fear or embarrassment at reporting crimes – particularly in the case of sexual assault.

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Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.