I have heard multiple times already this year about a new-ish scam that is running in Italy and across Europe. I haven’t encountered this one yet myself but it sounds like it is going to be everywhere this summer. Originally I planned to send this a an email to the travelers on my upcoming Glam Italia Tours, but as so many of you will also be heading to Europe this summer I want you to be aware too.

Scams To Be Aware Of In Europe

Any place that has lots of tourists is going to have its share of scammers and petty thieves hoping to separate them from their valuables.

The following are three scams you need to be watching out for, number three is the new one.

1. Be Wary Of Beggars

Just as we have homeless people panhandling here in the USA, in Europe you will see beggars, especially around big tourist attractions. In Italy you will see them around the big churches and cathedrals, in Paris you see many more, and they seem to be on the streets in the busy areas.

I will happily buy food for the hungry, and do it all the time, but when it comes to beggars in Europe I generally keep my distance. I am there often enough to see the same faces working the same places, year in and year out.

You will see gypsy women on their knees in the gutter, crying and begging for money. Look a little closer and you will see they’re not thin or starving, in fact plenty of them are chunkier than I am! Often (but not always) they work in teams. Their partners are watching from across the street or somewhere nearby to see where you pull your money from, and what valuables are on your wrists and fingers. A few minutes later they bump into you or distract you, and before you know it your wallet is gone, your watch is gone or whatever they wanted is gone.

As much as you want to be compassionate, don’t be.

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2. The Ring Scam

This one has been happening in Paris forever, but last year while there I finally was able to see it in action. I let it keep going for ages just because I was so entertained, but I seriously advise you to walk away and not engage should this happen to you.

The way it works is the scammer will pretend to find a ring on the ground not far from you. They will politely ask if you dropped it or if it is yours. As they look at it they will tell you it has an inscription, normally something to do with how many carats gold it is.

If you let them keep talking they will tell you they don’t have papers to be in the country so can’t turn it in or sell it, and then they try to convince you to buy it from them.

Remember if you let these people get physically close to you chances are they will rob you without you being even slightly aware of what is going on. And of course, do not even think about buying the ring! It is a fake, and on top of that you are showing them where your money is.

I haven’t been aware of this scam in Italy, but then again after a lifetime of going back and forth to Paris, last summer was the first time I actually saw it there, so who knows?

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3. The Bracelet Scam

This one is happening in Italy at the moment. I have seen it discussed on some of the Facebook groups and travel forums I belong to several times already this year. So far travelers have been in Florence and in Milan when this has happened, but it no doubt happens elsewhere too.

A man or woman stops you and asks you the time or for directions, (or for whatever they can get you to stop for) then they grab your wrist and tie a bracelet onto it. As soon as it is tied they start demanding money for it. Travelers have reported being followed down the street, and one reported being threatened. Aparently the scammers are quite aggressive.

Should this happen to you, yell at the top of your voice. They figure that you will quietly acquiesce and they will get away with it. If you make a lot of noise other people will stop and any police in the area will come (if they hear you). The last thing a scammer wants is the attention of a crowd or of the police, so make as much noise as you can.

While you are traveling you need to be aware of pickpockets and scammers. If someone approaches you, don’t stop to speak to them. Scammers are banking on you being naïve, gullible and unaware. They plan on you thinking it would be rude not to stop and acknowledge them.

The ladies traveling with me are pretty much safe, because I think, scammers can smell the fierceness of a firey redhead coming their way and won’t waste their time with the significant trouble on the immediate horizon (me) when there are plenty of unsuspecting tourists to pick on.

That being said, I will be telling my travelers exactly what I am telling you:

*Keep your handbag closed at all times. If your bag has a flap closure wear the flap side against your body.

*Always keep your hand on your bag.

*Guys, don’t put your wallet in your back pocket.

*Don’t stop and talk to people who approach you– if someone needs to know the time or needs directions there are plenty of other people they can ask. An Italian is not going to stop a tourist – they will ask another Italian. If someone is approaching you, trying to get your attention or trying to talk to you, ignore them and keep moving.

The best way to avoid pickpockets, gypsies et al is to be aware. Know they are out there but that they are looking for easy pickings. When you look like you are aware of your surroundings and your belongings you are less enticing. Don’t hang your handbag on your chair, don’t put your bag or your camera down and turn your back on them, don’t flash money around.

Before you let yourself get panicked, remember that here in the USA the bad guys have guns. In Italy and across Europe they don’t.


728 x 90 Orbitz Lost Stolen Passport

 

Right now I am back in Tuscany with a new group of women on their Glam Italia Tour. Are you following us on Instagram? You can follow me @Corinnamakeup or watch our hashtag #GlamItaliaTour

As you travel around Europe you encounter lots of different rules surrounding food. From country to country there are different customs and rules. I get emails from Afar.com each day, and they recently sent me this article. It’s too cool not to share!

 

Original holidays dinner eating lunch.jpg?1493166916?ixlib=rails 0.3

The Weirdest Food Rules From Around Europe

Your table manners may not be as good as you think they are when you bring them to a different country. (See original article here)

One of the main questions people ask me about summer travel in Europe, especially in Italy, is what shoes to pack.

Ideally you don’t want to pack more than 3 pairs of shoes, just because who wants to drag the extra weight around? Packing space is premium, so fewer pairs make more sense.

European and Italian travel means lots of walking. Lots and lots of walking, (my Fit Bit Alta always tells me that on my first day in Rome I walk around 32,000 steps!)  so you want shoes that you can walk around in all day and night, and not be crippled with blisters, chafing, sore feet and ankles. The obvious choice is a good pair of sneakers but that doesn’t always meet our desire to look chic and stylish.

I have found (through trial and error) some sneakers and sandals that not only are super comfortable and good to walk around Europe in all day long, but also manage to look chic and stylish.

This post contains affiliate links

For the past few years I have been wearing Italian Superga Cotu sneakers.

pink supergas

They come in fun, bright colors and look really cool with everything. This year I ordered them from Zappos.com in light pink. Previous years I have bought them in hot pink, royal blue, grey and black. I normally put an extra insole like a Timberland Pro or a Vionic but Zappos has tons to choose from.

Related Post: 9 Things You Need To Do Before You Travel To Europe This Summer

Last year I bought these fabulous Somers slip-ons from Sofft in gold.

 

sofft somers in blush

I have literally worn them almost everyday for months. the gold look killer with black pants and dresses (my work wardrobe), look totally dialed in with jeans and with anything white. They might just be the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned! In my real job (makeup artist) I can be standing for hours on end so its really important to have shoes that support your feet and by extension your lower back. The Sofft Somers look chic too. I’m ordering the Sofft Somers in blush for this summer. Like Zappos, Sofft gives you free shipping.

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Sandals can be tricky to shop for for travel that involves a lot of walking, because most of them aren’t designed for endless hours of walking. They typically don’t have sole support so your feet can get really sore, and often they chafe and blister your feet too. Here are some great options.

If you had told me 3 1/2 years ago that I would even own something called a Birkenstock I would have died laughing! But here I am, 2 pairs in (one white and one black) to the best summer sandal ever! One of my travelers on my Glam Italia tour pointed out 3 years ago that every chic tourist who had an outfit we were scoping was also wearing these Birkenstocks Gizehs.

birkenstock gizeh

I now own 2 pairs, one black and one white. you do need to break them in before you travel, but the sole forms to your foot and then gives the best support you can possibly imagine. For the past 3 years this has been my Italian sandal – all day long, all over Italy, this is the sandal I’ve been wearing. They come in lots of color choices too. I order them from Zappos.com

Born makes a similar sandal called the Orla. They also offer free shipping.

 

born orla white

 

One of my friends doesn’t like wearing flat shoes. She always looks glam when we travel together, always has heels on. Her secret is wearing shoes by Born. (Born are also known for their incredibly comfortable, super supportive shoes) One year we both trotted around Florence in  heeled sandals similar to these  Born Gayles , our derrieres having that wonderful lift that only a heel can give you, yet so comfortable we felt like we we wearing sneakers.

 

born gayle

This year with mules being so huge the Born Crato is a stylish yet wickedly comfortable option.

 

born crato

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Last week I was working with this very chic European photographer, who as always looked amazing. She had on the latest cropped jeans, a black T, her blonde hair was all mussed up and fresh, and she had these Sofft Mirabelle sandals on in black. They looked fantastic! I was expecting them to be something she picked up in Paris, but she told me she bought them here, online at Sofft.com (they are also available on Zappos.com). She also said that she wears them all day long on shoots because they are so comfortable, even when she is shooting in a studio with a concrete floor. (That makes them perfect for walking around all day in Europe!)

 

sofft mirabelle

I don’t think this photo does them justice – they looked so good on! I don’t need any more black sandals, but I do need some neutral nude sandals so I’m ordering this pair pictured above.

 

Update: I actually did buy the nude shade of Sofft Mirabelle pictured above, and wore them all over Italy and Paris all summer. I lead back to back Glam Italia Tours with groups of women who wanted to walk a lot! My travelers had me averaging 25,000 steps per day, and I wore my Mirabelle’s all day, every day. They looked chic, were super comfortable, and didn’t fall to pieces after all that hard work! They dealt with rainy days and searingly hot days and stayed looking good. They were super comfortable from day one, I never had to “break them in”, and didn’t get even one blister. I will definitely buy these sandals again!

 

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