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Venice > Q&A > Personal safety & emergencies

Venice Travel FAQ:
Personal Safety and Emergencies

From: Venice Travel FAQ

Ambulance in Venice

ABOVE: An ambulance waits by the emergency entrance of the Ospedale SS. Giovanni e Paolo, Venice's main hospital.

  • Is Venice safe?

Yes, unless you get drunk and drown in a canal. (A few years ago, Durant saw a body floating in a neighborhood canal after the last night of Carnival.)

Venice's narrow alleys may look creepy at night, but violent crime is extremely rare. Unless your travel companion is a Midsomer Murders villain or you pick a fight in a bar, you're unlikely to be a victim.

Pickpockets, purse-grabbers, and luggage thieves are another story. Like other major cities and tourist meccas, Venice attracts its share of skilled thieves who know how to pick a pocket or lift a handbag before melting into the crowd.

If you're a victim of theft, you probably won't get your item back, but you can file a report (which you'll need for insurance purposes) at the nearest police station. Ask your hotel concierge or receptionist to point you in the right direction.

  • What are the local emergency phone numbers?

Call 112, which is now the central emergency number for police, fire-department, and medical services.

If you'd rather call an ambulance directly, phone 118.

For medical emergencies that don't require an ambulance, the Ospedale SS. Giovanne e Paolo is your best bet. The main pedestrian entrance is on the Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo (north of the Piazza San Marco near the Fondamente Nove; follow the "Ospedale" signs in the streets.) The hospital's emergency entrance is on the water, next to the Ospedale waterbus stop. (Boat lines 4.1., 4.2, 5.1, 5.2.)

In Mestre, go to the Ospedale dell'Angelo, a huge modern hospital on a railroad line just outside of town. From downtown Mestre, the hospital is accessible by train, bus 24H, or taxi.

For minor illnesses and injuries, or for dental emergencies, ask your hotel concierge or receptionist for a referral.

  • Does Venice have a central lost-and-found office?

No. If you lost an object on a train, for example, you'll need to visit or phone the lost-property office at Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station. has a list of lost-and-found offices in Venice and Mestre that may be helpful.

Also see the city of Venice's official lost-and-found page, where you can click a Union Jack icon to download an English-language page with detailed advice.

  • Do I need to worry about scams?

The classic "shell game" isn't unknown, and you may be approached by activists (whether real or fake) who ask you to sign a petititon against drugs before requesting a donation. Just ignore the touts or say "No, thanks."

You're more likely to fun afoul of what we regard as a municipal scam: Horrendous fines for seemingly innocuous activities like sitting on a wall or feeding seagulls. Read our article on tourist fines to avoid problems.

Next page: Cruises

Venice Travel FAQ:
General questions about Venice
Planning a trip
Hotels and vacation apartments
Arriving and getting around
Money and tipping
Food and drink
Sightseeing and local tours
Personal safety and emergencies

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

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