Sicily is a Southern region of Italy and one of the biggest islands of the Mediterranean Sea. The capital city is Palermo and other important cities are Catania, Siracusa, Ragusa, Agrigento and Trapani.
If you didn’t already know, Sicily is famous for its stunning beaches (many of which are not as touristy as other regions!), incredibly tasty food like arancini and cannoli and (unfortunately), for the mafia.
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Is Sicily Safe?
Here it’s where one of the most feared criminal organizations established its roots since the beginning of the XIV century.
Even if the mafia operates behind the scenes, many people still ask themselves: is Sicily safe?
The mafia is still a reality and its operations carry on here as in other parts of the world, but there’s no reason why as a tourist you should be concerned about it, and in general about staying safe in Sicily.
Let’s find out more!
How Safe is Sicily?
Sicily is a safe region in Italy to visit and to vacation in. Just so you know Palermo, is no less safe than Milan, or, parts of Calabria for that matter.
The often media hides data and statistics to protect the image of cities like Milan and Turin, but southern cities are not necessarily more dangerous than northern ones, just because the mafia is more ‘present’.
There are neighbourhoods within cities and towns in Sicily to avoid, especially as a tourist and with this article we’re going to list them.
Sicily Crime Rate
According to Numbeo.com, the crime rate in Palermo, the Sicilian capital city, is moderate.
The highest crime rate registered is connected to corruption and bribery.
In Sicily, the mafia’s involvement in political parties and institutions is frequent, hence corruption is a big and unresolved issue.
When it comes to being mugged or robbed and having your personal belongings stolen from your car, there’s a general moderate risk.
There’s also a moderate high rate of people dealing with drugs and property crimes such as vandalism and theft.
As a tourist, your main concerns could be connected to getting things in the car stolen and being robbed.
As long as you follow the safety tips below and stick to areas we recommend, there’ll be no risk of danger in Sicily for you as a visitor.
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Is Sicily Safe for tourists?
Yes, Sicily is a safe place to visit for tourists and there’s no reason why you should be worried by this aspect during your vaction here.
Apart from taking the common precautions when traveling there’s not much more you should worry about.
For example, keep your personal belongings always with you and wear bags and cameras with the strap around your shoulder.
If visiting cities like Palermo and Catania you might want to keep an eye out for petty thieves around the most touristic places.
We highly recommend getting a good car insurance cover if renting a car in Sicily as locals drive like crazy and don’t respect the road rules.
This is common in big cities more than anywhere else. If you’re visiting villages or the countryside, there’s no risk to experience that.
It’s worth knowing that in Sicily you don’t pay tolls to access the A18 and A20 motorways, as you do for most other motorways in the country.
Sicily is safe for all types of travelers, this means both as a solo traveler or solo female traveler and as a family.
If you’re a solo traveler, you can visit off-the-beaten-path attractions, but always try to look out for other tourists to be around you.
Exploring the region is popular for those traveling as a group, but we advise hiring a car here, especially if you like to move at your own pace.
Where to stay in Sicily
There are many places to stay in Sicily and most of them are located close to the coast.
Sicily is famous for its beaches as well as its rich cultural, architectural and historical heritage. Let’s now highlight the areas to avoid in Sicily.
Most dangerous neighbourhoods in Sicily for tourists: