It is easy to get caught up in the beauty and ease of Florence. With bikes and mopeds being the main source of transportation in the inner city besides walking, we do not really have to worry about cars. In Florence, walking in the middle of the street is common. Let’s be honest- the sidewalks here don’t really do much! However it is crucial to remember that safety should be your number one priority, and that we cannot let our guards down!
I witnessed a bad accident the other day, and naturally, my first instinct was to call for help. However as I reached for my PicCell, not only did I find that it was dead, but that I did not have any of the emergency numbers memorized! Marist does a very nice thing for us by putting down all of the Italian emergency numbers on our student ID cards, but what if you don’t have your ID with you? Back in America, we all know to dial 9-1-1 when we need help, and we never leave the house without our iPhones charged, and we can get Wi-Fi whenever we need. That being said, here is a helpful list of safety tips for everyone. I got lucky because other Italians had working cell phones to call for help, but I still felt bad that I could not contribute.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1. Telephone numbers!
Fire Station: 115
Know your own phone number! It sounds silly at first, but you would be surprised at how students do not know their own cell phone number.
That being said, always have your PicCell charged and on your person.
2. Just like you were told as a child: look both ways before you cross the street. Drivers can be easily distracted and careless. You cannot assume that drivers will stop for you, or always be paying attention.
3. For runners: Stick to parks if possible, and always be on the look-out while you are running.
4. Use the buddy system- 2 is always better than 1! NEVER let your friend walk home alone or wander off somewhere, especially at night.
5. Europe is the perfect place for backpackers and travel addicts, so just remember these few tricks and you will be off to a grand adventure- bon voyage!