One of the many benefits of studying at Sant’Anna Institute is that Sorrento is a smaller city, with only about 15,000 inhabitants, apart from the tourists. It is a small town and easily walkable from most areas to the center of town in less than 30 minutes.
Compared to many larger Italian cities, students generally don’t have to worry as much about crime and theft. As long as a student adopts responsible travel habits, usually they will have a smooth and safe experience. While the threat of crime is much lower than in larger cities, Sorrento is a tourist town and criminals can target tourists and non-Italians as “easy” targets.
In general, Sorrento is a safe place to live, and walking around town during the day should generally not be a cause for concern, however students should take care to safeguard their belongings whenever they are out and certainly when traveling. Restaurants and beaches can be easy places for pickpockets, just like in the US, where diners and sunbathers are otherwise preoccupied.
Keep in mind a few tips whether in Sorrento or travelling to stay safe:
Protect your things! - Keep your belongings in sight and, if possible, in hand at all times, with purses and backpacks in front of you, especially when on public transit. If you place your belongs on the floor, keep them firmly between your feet or a hand on them for security.
Cash in! - Try to carry small amounts of cash around town and while travelling. If you must carry a larger amount, carry some in different places, keeping some hidden on your person if possible.
Walk home together! - The same people who will determine you are a target will be looking for Americans walking home alone late at night, especially if you've been at the bar or club. This is where someone will be waiting to find unsuspecting Americans who don't have their full wits.
Leave the passport! - Never carry your important documents unless you absolutely need them, such as your passport when flying. Keep documents in a safe location or hidden on your person when not in use and never keep them in the same place as your money. Instead bring copies with you when you travel, in case of loss or theft (see below).
Copy everything! - Make sure someone else has a copy of your important documents and carry a copy separately from the documents themselves.
Copies of your credit and debit cards, IDs, and other important info you will be carrying while traveling, will help immensely in case of loss or theft. Best advice is to leave one in the US, email copies to yourself, and leave one in your accommodation in Sorrento, in a safe place that you remember. When you travel, carry copies with you in a different place than with the items themselves. If your backpack gets lost and your wallet is in it along with the copies of your cards, it won’t help you to call your credit card companies or bank.
The best tip is to be confident and to have a great experience! Do as the locals do. Adopt and adapt to the local cultures. Don’t be afraid to talk to locals and make friends, but keep your wits about you. When travelling, know what’s going on around you, don’t bury yourself in technology and have a Plan B. Be flexible but make decisions wisely.
Sorrentine people are kind, open, and want you to have an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Take an extra STEP toward safety: Register with the US State Department
When US citizens and nationals register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
on the US State Department Website, you notify the nearest US Embassy to your travels of your status abroad. The Embassy in Naples serves Sorrento.
STEP allows you to receive updates about health and safety conditions in your destinations, and get in contact with you in case of emergency in country or at home.
Sant'Anna strongly encourages all of our students to enroll in this program during their time abroad. It is free to enroll. Have your passport information handy to complete the process!
According to the website, "Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Stay Safe!"
Security and International Threats
In light of the recent global conflict, it is important that students stay aware and prepare themselves for traveling abroad. As a country, the Italian military police force, the Carabinieri, has made nation-wide adjustments to protect and prevent the occurrence of terrorism. Military presence is growing along boarder lines, in airports, and in high traffic areas. Even with Sorrento being smaller, there are currently 50 officers stationed in the area to ensure safety and work with the local police force.
Sant’Anna Institute itself has emergency policies set in place to keep track of their students and confirm their safety. A staff member contacts each student immediately after the news of any European incident. Safety can’t be promised to anyone at any geographical location, but each student should have a plan of action.
“Remember the purpose of studying abroad: to break down barriers, engage in cross cultural dialogue, and find commonalities with others through the journey.” -Dominic James Fusco
You are coming abroad to enjoy the lovely Sorrento Coast and bolster your academic or professional resume. No one thinks they are going to need medical services, and we hope you do not need them, but in case that you do we have the following services in place.
We provide 24 hour emergency contact to our students as well as the information for an English speaking physician in town.
The hospital is easily accessible within Sorrento for sudden illnesses or emergencies, such as those in the middle of the night, and is part of the Orientation Tour for students.
There is also a pharmacy in town with an English-speaking doctor on staff at all times for less serious concerns.
Staff wil assist students in referrals to doctors and other specialists as needed, as well as help make appointments for students.
Health Insurance Reccommendations
You may choose one of the following possibilities:
- Subscribe to a private health insurance policy in your home country, and obtain from the correct Italian Consulate a statement of its validity for Italy; such a consular statement must also describe the length and types of services covered; besides it must confirm that the contract does not imply any limitations of or exceptions to the tariffs fixed for urgent hospitalization during the whole time period it may be necessary. We recommend HTH Worldwide;
- Subscribe a health insurance policy with an Italian body or company such as the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA), which, thanks to an agreement with th Italian Ministry of Health, offers a special insurance policy to cover medical assistance; in case of an insurance policy stipulated with Italian bodies other than INA, it shall be supported by a statement issued by the insurance company concerned in confirmation that the contract does not imply any limitations of or exceptions to the tariffs fixed for urgent hospitalization during the whole time period it may be necessary.