UW Rome Center

Italian Law & Police

There are several kinds of police in Italy:

  • Carabinieri (military)
  • Polizia (national) and Polizia Municipale (city police)
  • Vigili Urbani (city traffic police)

Terrorist activity in Europe over the past years has resulted in an intensification of security measures and police are frequently heavily armed. It is not uncommon in Italy to be asked by police to show identification. If asked, it is important to be polite and cooperative. Show a copy of your passport and your “declaration of presence” receipt.

Possession and use of illegal drugs are serious crimes for which the consequences in Italy are severe. Do not risk involvement in any illegal activity. Individuals arrested are subject to foreign laws, not U.S. laws, and may face imprisonment or deportment.