Is Sicily safe? Safety in Sicily 2021/2022

In the minds of many sane people, there’s a stereotype saying that Sicily equals mafia. At the same time, the island’s growing more and more as a tourist destination. Before going to Sicily, a question often pops up – Is Sicily safe? Is there actually mafia on Sicily? What are the general dangers on Sicily and what should you be wary of?

Firstly, we have to clearly acknowledge, that going to Sicily is not dangerous. There are many anxieties that can pop up in a tourist’s head, but Sicily doesn’t have many of them. Tourists are safe in Sicily, although we decided to still answer some of the popular questions regarding safety.

Is there mafia in Sicily?


Thanks to the Godfather and many global stereotypes, mafia became the characteristic feature of Sicily. So, should you unironically be afraid that a mafioso will grab you off the streets? Truth is, even if you do encounter a member of the mafia, you will have absolutely no idea. There’s no interest for the mafias to interact with tourists.

Also worth noting, that throwing the word mafia around Sicilians is quite unnecessary, as the locals are pretty fed up with the whole stereotype.

Are there thieves in Sicily?

Sicily Boats

If you’re afraid of pickpockets, Sicily’s safer than, for instance, Madrid or Barcelona. Sure, that does not mean you should be overly careless, as you never should be. We’ll always stand out from the Sicilian local crowd, so we do become the obvious target for potential pickpockets, but the crime rates on Sicily are quite soothingly low. The rest of the potential ‘threats’ are similar – there’s no need to worry too much about going outside late at night.

Many also wonder if the stray dogs, venomous animals or sharks are a real danger. We’ve committed a separate article to all of these topics. We’ve also dedicated one for the questions about tap water in Sicily.

What should you look out for in Sicily?

Trapani Salt Pans

When it comes to real threats, it’s quite a short list. In reality, the biggest threat, especially for those who tend to stay at home most of the time, is actually the sun and dehydration. You should pack very light, thin clothing and always keep a water bottle near. Sunscreen also helps.

Those who are not too confident in a car, should probably avoid driving in, for instance, Palermo. It’s much easier to drive outside the main cities. Also, you should be careful when crossing the streets.

To sum up, Sicily is a very safe place for tourists. In reality, there are basically no threats that we’d consider limited to Sicily. The only possible danger is that the Sicilians you’ll have to communicate with, will not know English. You better know sign language well.

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