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CRIME

MAP: Which are the safest parts of Italy to live in?

If you've ever wondered how safe your favourite part of Italy is, new crime statistics reveal the safest - and most dangerous - areas of the country based on the number of offences recorded.

A crime map shows the safest (and the most dangerous) places to live in Italy.
A crime map shows the safest (and the most dangerous) places to live in Italy. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

Crime in Italy is on the rise again after a brief lockdown-induced lull, according to new statistics released by the Italian Interior Ministry’s Department of Public Safety.

And data analysis of the number and type of crimes committed by province has revealed Italy’s top crime hotspots.

Milan, Lombardy, was revealed to be Italy’s crime capital, according to data analysis by newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

The city and province took first place based on the number of offences recorded per 100,000 inhabitants – with petty theft accounting for 9 percent of the overall figure.

READ ALSO: Ten things you need to know before moving to Italy

Some 159,613 crimes in total were reported in the area in 2021, or 4,866 per 100,000 people.

Bologna took second place with 4,636 (47,192 in total) and Rimini in third place with 4,603 (15,642).

Prato, Florence and Turin are next on the list for overall violations. Rome was ranked 7th with 4,150 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.

However, the map changes according to the type of crimes committed.

Trieste is the province with the highest number of reports of sexual violence in relation to residents for the second year running, with 20.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Padua takes the lead for drug offences, while Naples holds the record for robberies and burglaries, sitting in first place out of the entire country for these two categories.

Parma has the highest number of shop robberies, which remained the case even during the pandemic.

But how about at the other end of the scale?

The figures also showed the places in Italy experiencing the least crime, with Oristano in Sardinia currently ranked as the safest province in Italy in terms of the number of complaints lodged per capita.

The old town in Oristano, Sardinia. The safest city in Italy.
The old town in Oristano, Sardinia. Photo: Jürgen Scheeff on Unsplash

Here are the top ten safest provinces in Italy, based on the crime data of total amounts of offences recorded with regards to number of inhabitants and types of crimes committed.

    1. Oristano, Sardinia.
    2. Pordenone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
    3. Benevento, Campania.
    4. Treviso, Veneto.
    5. Cuneo, Piedmont.
    6. Lodi, Lombardy.
    7. L’Aquila, Abruzzo.
    8. Potenza, Basilicata.
    9. Sondrio, Lombardy.
    10. Trento, Trentino–Alto Adige.

The interactive map below shows the location of these provinces and how many crimes have been committed in each in total.

Oristano ranks in last place for theft, while Pordenone comes at the bottom for fire-related crimes.

Meanwhile, Benevento has the least sexual violence crime in Italy, with zero reports recorded for this type of offence.

There were 5,215 crimes reported per day on average in the first half of the year, up 7.5 percent compared to 2020, but down 17 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Not only are criminal acts increasing after a dip during the various pandemic-created lockdowns, they’re also changing in nature.

READ ALSO: The Italian towns with the best (and worst) quality of life

Digital crimes in particular have spiked amid the rise of computerised services and online work in Italy over the past couple of years.

The pandemic-related boom in remote working, known in Italy as ‘smart working‘, was a major change for a country where this was previously almost unheard of.

Along with this shift in working practices, cyber crimes are also increasing and now account for almost half of thefts and 15 percent of total crimes, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, the data showed.

Reports of phishing, fraud, identity theft and digital crimes have increased dramatically. In the first months of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, fraud increased by 20 percent while IT-related crimes rose by 18 percent.

READ ALSO: Italian police break up online network selling fake Covid ‘green passes’

The website of Lazio, the Italian region that includes Rome, is one such example. It was hit by a huge cyber attack in August, which meant that people could no longer use it to book a Covid vaccine.

Thefts, robberies and sexual assaults, which had declined in the lockdown months, also returned to growth.

Compared to 2019, thefts are still down 36 percent, but in the first six months of 2021, thefts from break-ins rose by 35 percent, motorbike theft is up 17 percent and car theft has increased by 16 percent.

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BUREAUCRACY

EXPLAINED: How to write a formal email in Italian

Knowing how to write a polite email will make your life in Italy much easier. Here’s a quick guide to the style rules.

EXPLAINED: How to write a formal email in Italian

If you live in Italy there are countless situations in which you’re likely to find yourself having to write a formal email in Italian, such as when applying for a job or arranging a viewing for a flat.

But while you may be a master at crafting formal emails in your own language, you’re likely to struggle to do so in Italian. Even people with an excellent command of Italian, including native speakers, need to learn the style rules associated with formal writing.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is Italy’s PEC email and how do you get one?

So here’s an essential step-by-step guide to writing a formal email and getting it right every time.

Greetings 

While greetings are fairly uncomplicated in English (‘Dear’ followed by the title and surname of the recipient will usually suffice), there are multiple options in Italian. 

If you’re writing to someone that you’ve never met before, you’ll want to address them with either Egregio (eminent) or Spettabile (esteemed), like so:

    • Egregio / Spettabile Dottor Rossi
    • Egregia Dottoressa Rossi

Conversely, if you’re writing to someone that you’ve seen before but have no relationship with – as in you might have said hello to them but you’ve never had a conversation with them – your best option would be Gentile (courteous) or its superlative Gentilissimo (often abbreviated to Gent.mo).

Finally, the least formal option is Caro (Dear), which you should only use when writing to someone you’re already well-acquainted with (for instance, a colleague or a university tutor). 

READ ALSO: How to use your Italian ID card to access official services online

Remember: these adjectives must match the recipient’s gender (e.g., you should use Gentilissima for a woman and Gentilissimo for a man).

Titles

Italians love their titles, so you should always try your best to get them right in your emails. Failure to do so might result in your recipient pointing out your mistake – which, from personal experience, is not very nice. 

Here’s a list of the most common Italian titles and their abbreviations: 

    • Any man with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, and male doctors: Dottore (Dott.)
    • Any woman with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, and female doctors: Dottoressa (Dott.ssa)
    • Male professor/lecturer: Professore (Prof.)
    • Female professor/lecturer: Professoressa (Prof.ssa)
    • Lawyer: Avvocato (Avv.)
    • Architect: Architetto (Arch.)
    • Man with no degrees: Signore (Sig.) – equivalent of Mr
    • Woman with no degrees: Signora (Sig.ra) – equivalent of Ms

Opening sentence 

In the opening sentence, you should always state your name (Mi chiamo plus name and surname) and explain why you’re writing. 

If you’re the one initiating the exchange, you can use: 

    • Le scrivo in merito a [qualcosa] (I am writing about [something])
    • La contatto in riferimento a [qualcosa] (I am contacting you in regards to [something])
    • La disturbo per […] (I am troubling you to […])

Gmail inbox

Italians love their titles, so you should always try your best to get them right in your emails. Photo by Stephen PHILLIPS via Unsplash

If you’re replying to an email instead, you could start with: 

    • In risposta alla sua precedente mail, […] (literally, ‘in response to your email’)

As you might have noted, all of these expressions refer to the recipient via third-person pronouns (le, la). This is known as ‘forma di cortesia’ (polite form) and must be used in all formal exchanges.  

READ ALSO: How to register with the anagrafe in Italy

All pronouns and adjectives referring to the recipient, and all verbs the recipient is the subject of, must be used in the third person, as in the following case:

    • Le sarei molto grato, se mi mandasse il suo numero di cellulare.
    • I’d be really grateful if you could send me your mobile number.

The above rule applies to all parts of the email, from the opening statement to the sign-off.

Man typing on laptop

The third-person ‘polite form’ is an essential part of Italian formal emails. Photo by Burst via Unsplash

It’s also worth mentioning that the original forma di cortesia requires the writer to capitalise the first letter of all pronouns and adjectives referred to the recipient.

    • La ringrazio per il Suo interesse e Le auguro una buona giornata.
    • Thanks for your interest. I wish you a good day.

That said, modern Italian is gradually moving away from this practice, with capitalisation surviving in very few isolated contexts. Notably, it is advisable that you capitalise the above-mentioned forms when exchanging messages with lawyers, government officials, law enforcement authorities or high-profile public figures.

Body

Write your message in Italian much as you would a formal email in your own language. Be pithy but clear and exhaustive. Just don’t forget about the forma di cortesia.

Signing off

Once again, there are multiple ways to sign off but these are generally the safest options as they fit nicely into any type of message, regardless of its content or recipient:

    • La ringrazio per la sua gentile attenzione / il tempo dedicatomi (Thanks for your kind attention / your time)
    • Resto in attesa di un suo cortese riscontro (Kindly looking forward to your reply)

You can follow either one of the above expressions with Cordiali saluti (Kind regards) or Cordialmente (Sincerely). 

Finally, as you would in other languages, end with your full name and any contact details that you might want to share with the recipient.

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