Is Isola in Milan safe? – how dangerous is to travel there


Are you planning to visit the Isola district of Milan in the near future? If so, you are in for a real treat. We know that you will love the remarkable art scene in this neighborhood, which is underpinned by multiple renowned galleries and shops selling the latest and greatest in arts and crafts. You will also enjoy the range of gelaterias serving tasty flavors, including chocolate and pistachio, and the vintage shopping experiences dotted throughout the area. Milan’s Isola district is a joyous community of warm locals that is certainly not to be missed!

Is Isola in Milan safe? (Image source: Flickr)

But, if you have never visited Isola before, you might be concerned about how safe this area of Milan is. After all, any region that is popular with tourists carries certain safety risks. With quieter streets, fake taxis, and scammers lurking in tourist hotspots, it is important to familiarise yourself with the safety advice in this article. Read on to establish whether Milan’s Isola district is a safe place to visit and discover our top tricks for keeping yourself and your belongings free from harm.

How has Isola in Milan changed?

The Isola district in Milan sits behind the Porta Garibaldi train station and used to be very different from how it is today. Being near the train station, Isola used to be home to poorer Italians who would travel for work and those inhabitants with very little money or opportunities. Naturally, this deprivation in Isola created higher-than-average rates of crime.

However, just over a decade ago, Isola was the focus of significant change. Owing to its crime rate, property prices in this neighborhood were significantly lower than in most other areas of the city, meaning that entrepreneurs and creatives were able to move there and set up businesses relatively cheaply. That is why today, Isola is a diverse neighborhood where hippy cafés sit alongside traditional working-class bars. There is now a marvelously diverse network of restaurants, bars, and shops that define this unique neighborhood.

Bosco Verticale in Isola
Bosco Verticale – the most popular building in the Isola neighborhood

The gentrification of Isola brought more wealth into the community there, which in turn has made it a safer place to visit than it was ten years ago. There are more job opportunities than before, meaning that people local to the area can rely on income and career development rather than performing petty crimes. The reduction of desperate need has reduced the crime rate overall in the area, which has resulted in more tourists visiting than ever before.

Pickpocketing in Isola

Milan, like any large European city, is the home of many pickpockets. It is an unfortunate reality of big cities, especially large ones like Milan, that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Despite only being a minor crime, pickpocketing is rife in certain tourist hotspots of the city. These criminals take advantage of excitable travelers who don’t have the area knowledge of local people. Pickpockets steal items including phones, wallets and purses, and passports – and usually do so when tourists are at their most distracted.

This means that this criminal activity happens near famous landmarks where victims aren’t properly focused on their belongings, as well as in museums, galleries, and other cultural locations. While a pickpocketing network does exist in the Isola region of Milan, it nonetheless remains one of the safest areas in the city. Pickpocketing is less frequent here than in some other parts of Milan. Areas where you are advised to be especially vigilant include the Porta Garibaldi train station. 

While it is good to be aware of your surroundings, simply placing your belongings in hard-to-reach places should be enough. Deep trouser pockets are helpful, as are locked bags or rucksacks on your chest rather than your back. By taking these simple precautions, you shouldn’t face much risk from pickpocketing in Isola. Be aware of who is nearby and keep your belongings close to you.

Terrorism danger in Isola

The aim of terrorism is to create fear, and terrorists tend to target large groups of people to create as much terror as possible. This means that large cities in Europe, including Milan, are at significantly higher risk when compared to towns and villages. As the second most populated city in Italy, Milan is also at higher risk than other smaller cities in the country. 

The advice is always to be vigilant in busy areas, avoid becoming part of large demonstrations during your time in Isola, and report any suspicious activity to the police. However, the Isola neighborhood is not so crowded with tourists, so the danger is close to none. Still, it is always recommended to be cautious and to observe around, especially at metro stations.

Scams in Isola

The scam risk in Isola is low, but it is worth remembering that it can occasionally happen. Be hyper-aware of anyone asking you to provide personal details such as your address or bank account information. For example, if you are approached by someone claiming to be working for a charity, and you are interested in donating, be sure to check for red flags. If they have a bucket for you to place money into, there is little risk of you being scammed in a major way.

At worst, you would lose only what you give to a scammer. But, if they ask for you to donate with your debit card or provide private details, then this suggests that they are scammers who may be seeking to empty your accounts or steal your identity. An online search of the charity’s name can also help you to establish legitimacy.

Taxi in Milan
Taxis are usually white in Milan

There is also a risk from taxis in the area, though again, this is relatively low. There have been instances of fake taxis in Isola and Milan, more generally. To avoid being scammed by a fake taxi service, use only taxis that are licensed. They tend to have a taxi sign on the roof and official details on the side of the vehicle. Once inside the vehicle, ensure that the meter is reset. In other instances, always agree to a fee before departing in the vehicle.

Is Isola in Milan safe or not?

Overall, the Isola neighborhood is a very safe part of Milan. Crime rates are pretty low and you will feel safe in Isola, especially during the daylight. While there is a small risk of scams and pickpocketing, it remains low for those who are vigilant. By following the tips outlined in this article, you will be able to have the safest possible adventure in Isola. With peace of mind, you will be free to explore the winding streets, mouthwatering restaurants, and edgy vintage clothing stores on offer here.

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