Is Sardinia Safe for Tourists?

Traveling in Sardinia is very safe; it is one of the safest places in the whole of Italy. Sardinia is a very calm island, full of polite Sardinians, with old traditions and customs.

As long as you use common sense like you would in your own country or anywhere else in the world, then you will be fine. The people of Sardinia are very kind and would be happy to help when they can.

The coastal areas are more adapted to hosting tourists and are very accommodating. If you are looking to venture inland, you will see the real Sardinia, full of friendly, and kind locals. Sardinians are typically quite guarded of strangers, as they are from tight-knit communities. But there are some of the most helpful and most generous people you can find in Europe once you get to know them.

Little Mafia activity & kidnappings are far in the past.

Fortunately, there is almost no Mafia activity in Sardinia, compared to the Sicily & the south of Italy. Although, it is believed the mafia holds investments in Sardinia real estate.

is sardinia safe, mafia activity in sardinia
This map shows the Mafia activity

During the 1970s, Sardinia was notorious for its bandits. There were a string of kidnappings, even including the singer Fabrizio De Andre from Genoa, who later fell in love with the island, choosing to live on a farm. The bandits had nothing to do with politics, unlike the Mafia. Sardinia soon developed a reputation across Europe for these kidnappings. Throughout these dark times for Sardinia, the bandits were all that the international press had to write about Sardinia. Over-shadowing the beauty of the island. Typically, bandits were struggling farmers from the central regions of Sardinia. They would kidnap travelers looking for a ransom. The violence and kidnappings have long vanished from Sardinia.

is sardinia safe? The kidnapping of fabrizio de andre
Fabrizio de Andre

Crime Rate in Sardinia

police car lights in sardinia, is the region of sardinia safe?

According to The National Institute for Statistics, Sardinia is one of the regions of Italy with the lowest crime rate, making it one of the safest areas of Italy. It is placed third from last, out of the twenty Italian regions. The crime rate of Sardinia is several times lower than the Italian average.

In 2017 a questionnaire was sent to all Italian households, to learn about daily life across Italy. One of the questions asked the population whether they had a fear of crime in their region. Sardinia was the region of Italy that was least fearful of crime. Only 15.6% of Sardinian families consider the phenomenon of crime to be worrying.

What % of Italian families fear crime in their region?
Sardinia15.6%
The Italian Average38.9%
Lazio (Highest in Italy)50%

Don’t take sand from Sardinia beaches.

To avoid getting into trouble with the law, we urge you not to take any sand from the beautiful beaches. Just recently, in Summer 2019 a french couple was jailed for six years for stealing a large quantity of sand from a beach in Sardinia. They took 40kg of sand away in the boot of their car. Sardinia has long battled to stop tourists from removing the sand from its famously pristine beaches. It is entirely wrong to take sand from a beach. I understand that hefty fines and even arrest may come as a surprise too many, but it is a serious offense. So to stay safe, you must respect the natural environment of this beautiful island. Taking even a small amount of sand may seem harmless, but its a trend that has become so commonplace that it threatens the coastal environment.

Use common sense while traveling in Sardinia

You should never have any valuables visible in your car, as it would entice criminals to break in and steal.

If you are parking at a beach, make sure you park in a sensible place, I have seen the local police, handouts pages of fines to a long row of cars, parked on a verge at the entrance of a beach. Even if you see others parking somewhere, it doesn’t mean that it is a safe or legal place to park.

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