Travel Tip Tuesday! How not to get mugged...

I've decided to start a new post topic for Tuesdays, dedicated to things I've learned on the "road."

Tip #1
How not to get mugged on a train in Italy

I'll start this tip off with a story. I've lived in Europe, traveled throughout twice and never really felt threatened, despite my occasional run-ins with gypsies and undercover cops (that's another story). 
But, on the last week we spent in Italy, my mom and I took a train from Florence to the Cinque Terre. I sat and read in the booth, oblivious to the world around me, until my mom started screaming "No,""No!" She also started doing that "I see you" hand thing, pointing to her eyes and then to the gypsies, so I knew something serious was going on... I looked up to find four big gypsy women centering in on us, and that's when I realized we were the only ones left in that section of the train! 
The gypsy women would circle us and ask for money and then go back to their booths and stuff baby slings with newspaper. Rick Steve's told me that this little trick usually ends in a live baby being thrown at you.  
Anyway, they got too close for comfort after they blatantly kept pointing at our suitcases and plotting how to beat us up. So we did what any rational person would have...we pushed our way up out of the seat, swung our far too heavy of suitcases into the gypsies and took off running.  We eventually spotted a nice Italian man and sat next to him. He immediately informed us to be careful because there are a lot of gypsies on the train. 

So lesson learned...when in Italy and traveling by train, make sure you are not sitting in an empty train car.

*I have no problem with gypsies on a whole, just the ones on that train!

Leaving Florence...

We made it to Vernazza!

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