Italy

pickpocket foiled

Pickpocket foiled on Rome train

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Dear Bambi and Bob, July 26th, 2015 was a typical hot summer day in Rome. My family and I decided to visit the Bhorgese…

Venice pickpockets

Venice pickpockets

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Venice pickpockets are identified on a poster taped up all over Venice. Take a good look and you’ll realize it’s pretty hopeless to identify…

Pickpocket paradise: a tram packed to bursting, thieves squashed against victims

Pickpocket paradise: a crowded bus

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Pickpocket paradise, but still requires nerve and patience Luciano’s morning hit was tense. He had ridden the trams during what should have been rush-hour,…

Hotel Oddity #45

Hotel Oddity #45

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Window magic at Hotel Luna Baglioni I was happy to discover that all three windows opened in my beautiful room at Hotel Luna Baglioni….

stealing credit cards

Stealing credit cards on trains

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So, we’re standing at a bar near the train station, drinking espresso with pickpockets in Naples (how we got here is described in Part…

pickpockets in Naples

Coffee with pickpockets in Naples

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Coffee with Thieves An August Sunday in Naples. Holiday time for all of Europe and most shops were shut. We bought bus tickets at…

overcharge scam

Overcharge scam or accidental mistake?

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Overcharge Scam “Do you take credit cards?” “Si, signora,” the salesman replied. “How much is this pepper grinder?” “€12.90.” So why was the credit…

Naples pickpocket warning

Naples pickpocket Angelo sighted

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Guest Post Dear Bob Arno and Bambi Vincent, I want to thank you for your information. Before I went to Naples I searched for…

pickpockets on rome metro

Pickpockets on Rome Metro

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Hunting Pickpockets on Rome Metro As we rode the steep escalator to the depths of Rome’s Termini Station we marveled at the swirling, pushing,…

Venetian glass beads

Venetian glass beads, blown live in Venice studio

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Serendipitous finds are one of the joys of travel. In Venice, the rule is wander, get lost, and head away from the unbearably crowded…

View from the table: Fumy motorbikes buzz by the lone pizza table in the street.

Pizza fumé

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Sounds good, but it’s not what you think if you’re imagining a fragrant, wood-smoked Margherita pie. Back in Naples, lunching at the tiniest pizza…

Naples lane at night

The Thieves of Naples—part 9

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. We now have to rush to our last meeting with Franco outside Mergellina station. It’s 5:00 and Michele…

Zucchini

The Thieves of Naples—part 8

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. After his demonstration of hard bargaining, pickpockets Angelo and Luciano smoke on the narrow balcony while we chat…

Naples pickpockets: Angelo, left, and Michele, right.

The Thieves of Naples—part 7

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. Michele arrives promptly at Circumvesuviana station with his brother Lucca. Lucca’s nice to have along, and also helps…

bait and switch thief in Naples. Pacco man

The Thieves of Naples—part 6

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. Leaving our hotel at 12:30 to meet Michele for our 1:30 appointment with Luciano, we pass by the…

Bambi and Bob Arno, filmed with glasses-cam

The Thieves of Naples—part 5

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. At the Piazza Garibaldi bus stop outside the main train station Michele goes to buy a bus ticket…

A serious security-risk, especially when cavorting with thieves. Stash in pickpocket-proof underwear.

The Thieves of Naples—part 4

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. We take the tram to Circumvesuviana train station to meet Michele, with whom we intend to go find…

Pulcinella, symbol of Naples

The Thieves of Naples—part 3

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The Thieves of Naples NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. At Osteria Tonino, a small family restaurant, we were seated with friends of the…

Shoe-shopping in Naples

The Thieves of Naples—part 2

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. Everywhere we go, people recognize Bob from the film. They stop in cars in the street (1:30 a.m….

Pulcinella, symbol of Naples

The Thieves of Naples

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NAPLES, ITALY, the week before christmas. POURING rain. 3:30 p.m. and it’s already dark, with gushing rivers flowing through the streets. Our luggage didn’t…

Sfogliatelle inside

Sfogliatelle!

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If this doesn’t make you drool, well, try the lower photo. Sfogliatelli must be the most exquisite pastry ever invented. Found only in Naples,…

Naples panorama—view from our room at the San Francesco al Monte Hotel.

Hotel oddity #25

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The San Francesco al Monte hotel in Naples, Italy, a former monastery originally carved into the mountain in the 16th century, is a warren…

A platform for pickpockets

A platform for pickpockets

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Denouement. None of us wanted to leave the park. After the demos, the dinner, and the as-yet-untold experience on the buses, after the conversation,…

Criminal scavengers, and poets as well

Criminal scavengers, and poets as well

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Bob gets cold feet. Overnight, reality began to percolate and bubble over the exhilaration of yesterday’s thieves’ challenge. By morning it was clear to…

A seafood orgy with thieves

A seafood orgy with thieves

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Dinner with thieves, continued. Carafes of white wine land on the table. I join Andy and Lou and have beer. Among much laughter, the…

A pickpocket party begins

A pickpocket party begins

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Dinner with thieves. It’s 3:00. The film crew’s still perfecting camera angles, lighting, and table arrangements. I’ve taken my seat as requested, so cameras…

Overly careless behavior repels thieves—but don’t try it!

Overly careless behavior repels thieves—but don’t try it!

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Anticipation. Frank has RSVPed by email, with enthusiasm. But what about the others? Will they come to our dinner? I wonder about the restaurant…