Venice, Italy Strike Two for Europe

Just had my wallet stolen.

It was on the overnight train from Vienna to Venice.

When we woke up, Matt mentioned that a man had opened the door to our cabin in the night, turned the light on, and asked if we had any free seats. With four of the seats converted to beds and the two of us fast asleep, it was a pretty strange thing to do and we laughed at his inability to grasp the obvious.

Moments later I realized my wallet was gone, and it took us another hour to grasp the obvious.

I was lying nearest the door. My wallet was in my pocket, easily accessible. When Matt woke to the sound, the guy covered his ass by turning the light on  and pretending to look for a seat. If he’d simply walked away, Matt would’ve sensed something was up.

We filed a police report. None of the officers spoke much English, but my Spanish was enough to bridge the gap. The process was made more complicated because we don’t actually know what country we were in at the time of the theft.

I have insurance. All I lost was a nice wallet my mother gave me for Christmas, a bank card and credit card that I’m canceling now, a dive license, and about a hundred Euros.

I’m with a friend, and he’s able to carry me until I’m back on my feet money-wise.

Certainly could’ve been worse.

I’m going to try to keep some perspective and spend the rest of the day enjoying Venice.

69 Responses to Venice, Italy Strike Two for Europe

  1. Simone

    Dear Matt,
    i read all day your journal because i dream to travel forever but… but when i cant travel i read your journal.
    If you come in Rome and if you want to dance with me, please, please, email me.
    With love and more destination in my mind,

  2. Rich

    Hmm, sorry to hear about you getting robbed. :(

    I suggest that you carry your valuables in a bag stuffed by your junk if you don’t want to lose it. *especially when you sleep*

    My father is from Italy, I speak Italian, and I’ve spent a couple months in Italy just for the record.

    There is a lot of theft there and it’s not too hard to pick a fight. Be careful. Good luck.

  3. F*ck Rome. You guys come down here in Marche. It’s like Tuscany, but better. Green hills, lush landscapes, fresh air and great food. And plenty of partying, too!

  4. Jena

    I’ve done Venice, in August no less. Hot as hell. Not exactly the time of my life. And Italian trains in general scare me to death. Nasty vessels. But, study abroad only allows for so much advanced preparation. Sorry about the thievery. Love your journal. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Cammy

    Sorry about your wallet. I had a similar experience. I got 100 Euro, a credit card and a bank card stolen when I was in Spain. That bitch….

  6. Andrew

    Sorry to hear about the wallet. I sent a quick message to your email account with more info about my brother’s experience on the European trains.

  7. Candace Kowal

    I’m sorry that Italy has not treated you well Matt.

    Two glorious years ago I spent a mere two days in Venice. It was probably one of the best experiences of my life. I’m sorry about your one hundred Euro’s (I know that’s alot in Canadian, so, it must be around the same in American).

    However, the Italians are a very welcoming people and I truly hope that you have a better experience within Venice.


  8. Italian Thief

    Damn, didn’t you know Italy is a den of thieves? It’s because they’re lazy. With all your travelling, you haven’t learned about a thing they call a money belt? What a n00b.

  9. Marco

    I’m from northern Italy, and it’s not like a den of thieves!

    Maybe you should be paying much more attention if you travel to the south, like to the dangerous Neapolis. The thieves and bad guys of Neapolis and southern Italy affect also the reputation of northern Italy, but it’s really a very different thing!

    Enjoy Venice 😉

  10. Anne

    Sorry about your bad experience on the train. I was in Tuscany the same day [staying in a great villa]. Love that country – go there at least twice a year and have never had a bad experience. [not even on a train]. In July I was on a train to Naples [on my way to Ravello] and everyone was great.
    Am headed to Paris and South Africa next month [September and October 2006]. Will be there six weeks.

  11. walter

    I am half-italian living near roma (italy),sorry for roberry but it is the same danger everywhere in the world I suppose, how could you be so naive? anyway it is a lesson to you for the next time traveling by trains (not only in italy)and the lesson has to be paid!:)
    come back again and dance on the top of a vulcano like Vesuvio or Etna and of course on the Colosseum or in the Vatican city!
    god bless you boy!

  12. I’ve just seen your video, simply amazing! I’m sorry you’ve had this bad experience hre but trust me, we’re mosly good people,I’m from the South, even though I live in Tuscany now, in central Italy, it’s not really true what Marco wrote, since bad people can be found anywhere, obviously you always need to find an escape goat and ignorance helps in spreading the bias. Hope you’ll manage to get on the road soon!

  13. Paul

    It’s too bad when you hear ignorant people sentence judgment on the basis of bias and prejudice. I hope your staying in Venice was good, and definitely you should try to visit the rest of Italy, all the way down to Sicily, becuase it is beautiful! and cereful with your belongings! people that will try to ripp you off are everywhere in the world. you just have to be smart and little careful in how you keep you stuff. Ciao!

  14. Mario

    When you wanna come to Perugia, Italy, you will be my guest,lodging and a real Italian food it’s on me.

    Let me know be email!


  15. Hi Matt, when you’ll come back in Italy, write me and go here in Minturno, in the middle between Rome and Naples. You can visit these cities and other with me. Thanks a lot!!!


  16. Stefano

    Hi Matt.
    My compliments for your trips and dancing.
    Dont’listen at those idiots saying that Italy is “full” of thieves.
    I’ve been robbed EVERYWHERE in the world but for this i do NOT think that that country is full of thieves.
    Enjoy the life and stay far from that idiots
    like Simone who commented that… 😉

  17. christian

    sei un grande matt!!! ti aspetto in centro italia… ci sono dei posti da paura!!! per non parlare della pizza e del vino! dai vieni.. ti aspeto!

  18. GmGasTer

    Hi Matt, I live in Venice, and I’m sorry for what happened. I apologise, really. But Italy is not that, and things like that happen everywhere… I’ve been robbed in NY, for example 😉

    Hope you’re enjoying your life

    See ya

    PS: great video!!

  19. Ted


    I’m sorry to hear about the train. I guess shit happens. I once had a buddy who got robbed in Bolivia and lost his camera and all the photos in it. It was a great shame since we just spent a month in Chile and Argentina. But it didn’t make us think less of Bolivians and we both enjoyed traveling in that country tremendously. Keep on trucking and hope you keep up your dancing!

    PS- I can’t believe all these other people who supposedly travel the world but can issue generalizing judgements just based on one or two incidents.

  20. I’m sure that you still were in Austria, when they stole your wallet.
    Sorry for your mum… but if you come around next Xmas, I’ll know what to give you as a present :-)

  21. bzach

    When i visited italy last summer, naples was one of my favorite places in all of italy. I was on there for one day, and maybe it was because it pissed rain and everywhere else i went was 35 degrees celsius and it was a welcome change. Either way, I found naples to be beautiful and patriotic.

  22. the dude

    Heh, I posted the Den of Thieves thing. I saw a guy I was with get pick-pocketed by children with cardboard squares. They come up to you and kiss and touch you, and the cardboard conceals what they are really doing. And I’ve heard other stories from people who have gone there as well. I had a woman in Rome try to con me saying she was interested in sex for like 5000 lira which was about 3 bucks or something at the time. They try to lead you somewhere and rob you.

    In addition to a money belt, I suggest a biker wallet with a chain. I used one and it served me well.

  23. Hello Matt,
    if you’d like to visit Bologna I’d be happy to show you around (at no cost). Its such a great city, with lots to see, eat and enjoy.

    Sorry to hear about the theft of your wallet. Unfortunately, thieves are everywhere and not just in Italy, but with some attention they are not difficult to keep at bay.


  24. Napolillo

    Please come in Scampia (NA) where the people are frendly and is the place most loved in Naples after capri. There are the most important palace of the city.

    Here you can dance with the shooting of 47magnum under your feet.

    Whit love your Fan.

  25. Lynn

    Sorry to hear that Italy was a bad experience. We went last fall, but did not go to Venice. Naples is supposed to be the worst for crime. We were warned to watch our stuff! If you have not been there, try Capri. Take the chairlift and try the Lemoncello when you get to the top. I really enjoyed the videos! Keep on dancing and happy travels.

  26. Marco

    Really Italy is out of control. Fuori controllo. Mafia rules in the south and in the north, where i live. Italians are good people, but unable to carry on their ex-wonderful Country. Matt, you visited worst places… as security… so don’t renounce to the italian spectacular scenarios for your dance.

  27. christian
  28. Luigi

    Hi matt,
    congratulation for your project.You made crazy lot of people.:D
    I am officially inviting you in naples…as many stupid italians said…we have many problems, unfortunately, but dancing is for everybody…contact me you will enjoy NAPOLI!!!Thanks to the italians that wrote to matt…next time talk more about your city and people…and thanks also to make conflicts in a wounderful projetc as MATT one!!!Italians, powerfull people!!!:)

  29. Nicolò

    I think you cant ate Italy!
    It’s a very beautiful country, a lot of culture, history, and other funny thing.
    Of course we have many trouble, but which country doesn t have??
    Please come in Milan and I will dance with you!!

  30. Lukariello from Naples

    Hi Matt! I’m sorry about your wallet and other things. But I’d like to underline that, as you wrote, you haven’t been able to notice where you exactly were when the bastard took your personal belongings. Unfortunately, as I read here, there’s a lot of people thinking the only possible thing is that the robber was Italian.IT IS NOT SO OBVIOUS!I’m from Southern Italy and I can assure you that only 0.01% of people is bad. Unfortunately most of Italian people, especially the ones referring to Naples as a Far West, are ignorant. I’d be glad to demonstrate you they’re totally wrong. If you ever came to Naples I assure you there would be thousands people glad to dance with you.

    Enjoy your trip.


  31. Dario

    Hi Matt!
    Sorry for your wallet but as you said you don’t know in which country it was stolen.
    You could write something about Venice which is one of the most beautiful city in the world.


  32. Luigi

    South Italia is dangerous, so if you don’t care it can be a nighmare, sorry for you man, I come from Sicilia and I know that foreigners are always the firsts victimes of this acts…

  33. Antonio

    Sorry for what appened, I’m from Naples, so I know something… But the only thing I can say is that your travels and your MISSIONS are the best shape of freedom I’ve ever seen. Thank you.

  34. Lina from the South

    I can’t believe that bitch that said the south gives all of Italy a bad name. That my friend is a fascist right there. I hope they steal that $3 from her ugly Gucci knock off.

    Things like this happen all over the world, I’m glad it didn’t stop you from seeing the real beauty that this earth has to offer.

  35. I’m really really sorry for your wallet.
    I hope you had fun in wonderfull Venezia!
    I’m from Naples and in 27 years no one did never stole anything to me. I want to reply to a guy from “north of Italy” (italian thief)that there is no “Bad Guys” in Naples and in South. Off course there is a lot of problems and poor people like in many parts of the world, and we must solve it! Lucky you! Good boy that live in the quiet North-Italy, you are really an “angel”! right?
    (Don’t forget it happened in Venice!!)
    Anyway Matt we’ll be happy to host you in Napoli. The City of Pizza in wich you can dance among the sea, the Vesuvio, the History and the shining Sun.

  36. Jonathan

    Hi Matt,

    Congratulations on this amazing project of yours. It gives an idea of how we should all feel about the joy of living on this planet and go around it visiting it’s wonderful diversity of places and people.

    I live in Milan at the moment and if by any case you plan to pass through here and make a video in front of the fantastic “Duomo” or the “Sforzesco” castle I would be honored to be a dancer in it.

    All the best.

    Jonathan K.

  37. gikkio

    Great Matt!!
    the guy who said things about the South Italy is a ignorant! and ruin the spirit of this site… South Italy is a wonderful land kissed by the sun full of fantastic peoples :)
    Andy From Bergamo

  38. beppe

    Dear Matt,

    Italy is a lovely country, but… full of italians!

    i’m italian, and if i could leave it, i’ve just leaved.

    But it is note the same things…

    Here we have beautiful summer, gorgeous city, and a lot of smiling people…

    you have to stay with your eyes opened when you’r here in italy…

    try some lesser city, or some natural park, and be glad to come here again…


  39. Donna

    Dear Matt,
    I lived in Italy for almost 3 years- in a beautiful small seaside town called Gaeta- in between Rome and Naples.
    I traveled by car, taxi, and train. I took the train to Firenze (Florence, Rome, Pisa, Venice) traveled to Isle of Capri. I was a 26 yr old female at the time–my husband was in the military and ws gone 2 weeks each month.
    I never experienced any problems the whole time I was there. I was accepted by the Italians. I was told before I moved there not to wear jewelry in public even. But I did. Carried around nice cameras.
    I don’t consider that I was lucky or anything. I just did not expect any problems there.
    But I love Italy and I would go back in a heartbeat. I would love to retire there even when it is time.
    Give it another chance and don’t listen to other people putting that beautuful country down.

  40. gero

    Well done! Andy From Bergamo!
    Dear Matt come back in Italy, no make difference in the south or in the north, COME! We’ll enjoyng togheter dancing with you!
    Gennà from Naples

  41. ivan

    ciao Matt…. I’m italian…I’m very afraid about your bad experience…. sorry for the thief! When you stay in Italy you have to take your eyes open more than in other country, and not only for looking the great monument and natural beauty…unfortunatly.
    Italy is a great place but, how wrote beppe, full of italians…:-)
    remember that there are many people that loves you and your life dancing!
    I wait for dancing with you on the water of lago Maggiore!!!! Good chance!!!

  42. robert

    pay attention when you travel by austrian trains.
    The Austrian people are usually thieves.

    Be carefull expetially in Salizburg; is full of nomads people.


  43. Michele Lenza

    Gentilissimo Mat piacere Tam (clown Tam Tam),
    l’Associazione ANTAS e tutti i suoi Clown del Sorriso sono lieti di invitarLa al Convegno Nazionale “Buonumore nel percorso terapeutico” previsto per il 26 novembre a Roma presso il Policlinico Umberto I – Università Sapienza.

    L’umanizzazione negli ospedali è il primo passo per indirizzare l’organizzazione della sanità verso la centralità della persona umana.

    Si tratta di una grande assunzione di responsabilità a cui deve corrispondere una crescente responsabilizzazione non solo degli operatori sanitari, ma anche dei cittadini utenti che divengono “registi” delle prestazioni loro destinate e del processo di cura attivato nei loro confronti.

    Nel Convegno sarà evidenziata l’importanza di stare accanto al paziente, curarne l’aspetto psicologico ed emozionale ed aiutarlo ad affrontare, tramite la terapia del sorriso, le invasive terapie farmacologiche.

    Inoltre vuole essere il preludio alla costruzione e alla gestione nel territorio di una “rete per l’umanizzazione”, attraverso l’interazione tra i servizi sanitari e le Associazioni, le organizzazioni di volontariato e con tutte le forme di rappresentanza sociale che nascono e crescono nel territorio della regione Lazio , così come sta già avvenendo in altre Regioni italiane.

    Il convegno proposto vuole essere un’occasione di approfondimento tra i vari relatori e partecipanti su un tema come quello dell’ Umanizzazione dell’ospedale pediatrico, e fornire inoltre, un’opportunità di riflessione a studenti, interessati a integrare nell’ambito dell’attività sanitaria l’aspetto umano della loro professione, pertanto auspichiamo la vostra gradita partecipazione.

    Cogliamo l’occasione per esprimerLe i nostri più cordiali saluti.

    Ti aspettiamo in Italia

    Un Sorriso.


    Per confermare la presenza al Convegno basta inviare una Mail all’indirizzo:[email protected] (ufficio stampa)




    ” L’umanizzazione nell’ospedale pediatrico”

    26 novembre 2009 ore 9:00 – 18:30

    Presso l’Aula Magna di Pediatria,

    Policlicnico Umberto I

    Università Sapienza Roma

    Viale Regina Elena 324

    L’Associazione ANTAS (Associazione Nazionale Terapie Alternative e Solidali) in collaborazione con la Clinica Pediatrica Policlinico Umberto I Università Sapienza Roma presenta il Convegno Nazionale dal titolo “Buonumore nel percorso Terapeutico”.

    L’obiettivo di questo convegno, nella sua prima parte, è quello di valorizzare l’evoluzione degli studi e delle soluzioni nell’ambito dell’ospedalizzazione del bambino e, in particolare, evidenziare il grande contributo della figura del clown a fianco al medico.

    Si metteranno a confronto, con l’intervento di primari e professori, le esperienze dei reparti ospedalieri di diverse città italiane, ed in particolare si dimostrerà l’impegno e i risultati maturati nell’attività svolta nei reparti della clinica pediatrica del Policlinico Umberto I Università Sapienza Roma.

    Questo convegno rappresenta una ulteriore occasione per valorizzare la sperimentazione di queste terapie in ausilio alla medicina tradizionale in Italia.

    Nella seconda parte sarà evidenziata l’importanza di stare accanto al paziente, curarne l’aspetto psicologico ed emozionale ed aiutarlo ad affrontare difficili terapie farmacologiche, con la straordinaria presenza e testimonianza dello scrittore Fabio Salvatore autore del romanzo “Cancro non mi fai paura” che scrive e dichiara :

    “bisogna rendere umana la malattia, che a volte vive di omertà e tabù. In Italia poco si è fatto circa la dignità del malato e convivendo da dieci anni con il cancro, ho sentito il dovere di battermi per questi valori: i malati hanno un’anima che merita amore e comprensione, come lo stesso cancro, che non va sfidato ma compreso. Il successo di questo romanzo, non è il successo mio personale, ma di tutti quelli che in silenzio giorno dopo giorno sono al fianco di chi soffre. Il cancro non è solo di chi lo vive, ma anche di chi ti circonda”.

    Inoltre si darà voce a varie testimonianze di studenti ( futuri medici, psicologi, riabilitatori,ecc.) che sono interessati ad inserire nella loro professione futura l’aspetto umano dell’essere clown, e sarà proiettato in anteprima nazionale il documentario “Clown in Ospedale” prodotto dall’Associazione ANTAS.

    Interverranno :

    Prof. Bruno Marino Taussig de Bodonia
    Direttore DAI di Pediatria
    Università Sapienza Roma

    Prof. Manuel Castello
    Professore Onorario di Pediatria
    Università Sapienza Roma

    Prof. Anna Clerico
    Responsabile Unità Operativa di Oncologia Pediatrica
    Università Sapienza Roma

    Prof. Giuseppe Titti
    Primario Emerito Pediatria Ospedale “G.B. Grassi” (Ostia)
    Docente scuola di pediatria Campus Biomedico

    Prof. Luciano Baldini
    Ricercatore di Psicologia Pediatrica
    Università Sapienza Roma

    Prof. Paola Pecco
    Primario Emerito Pediatria Ospedale Infantile “Regina Margherita” (Torino)
    Docente scuola di specialità di pediatria Università di Torino

    Dott. Carmelo Perrone
    Direttore U. O. Pediatria A.S.L. Lecce

    Dott. Giuliana Filippazzi
    Delegato di EACH nel Progetto OMS “Ospedali pediatrici promotori di salute”

    Dott. Simona Caprilli
    Psicologa Psicoterapeuta Ospedale A. Meyer (Firenze)

    Prof. Donata Francescato
    Professore Ordinario di Psicologia di Comunità Università Sapienza Roma


    Scarica il pieghevole illustrativo

    Scarica la locandina


    Ufficio Stampa ANTAS

    Michele Lenza Mail:[email protected] – tel. 349.2621374

    Carla Rodomonte Mail:[email protected] – tel. 348.5268336

    Responsabile del Progetto

    Daria Pedullà Mail:[email protected] Cell. 340.8303237

    Segreteria Organizzativa

    Anna Canali Mail:[email protected] Cell. 338.6348576

    ANTAS onlus

    Associazione Nazionale di Terapie Alternative e Solidali – Largo G. Rovani, 7 00137 Roma –

  44. Giordano

    Hi Matt. Your videos are simply marvelous and, every time I look, I feel great emotion. Sorry for my English (I’m Italian).
    Please!! Italy is a god land, let me show you how beautiful…Take your dancing feet here in Sicily (Catania)! The place where I work is perfect! Contact me via mail,Italy appear just one time in your video!! Is incorrect !;) In any case, may you smile forever…

  45. Hi Matt, listen: no time to spend in arguing which city is better than another but… you MUST dance in Rome. 3 thousand years of monuments, churches, places and stones can’t go wrong. I’ll take my family to dance with you and you’ll eat better than in dreams!
    Contact me if you like.

  46. Melo

    Hi Matt… a wonderful video!
    when u back in italy exactually in catania, sicily?
    A Greatest Dancing under the Etna vulcan!!!!!!

  47. Alessandro

    I don’t know why you have been robbed in Venice and half of the people is writing about Napoli. What’s Wrong with u, People??
    Italia is wonderful, Matt, but as you can see is a strange country where people from the north are racist we the south ones.
    150 years of history and we are not an entire single nation. And what is funny? That all the problems of the entire Italia are about napoli.
    Robbed in Milan? A neapolitan did it.
    Shooting in Venice? A Neapolitan did it.

    This is awful.
    We officially invite you in Napoli, where you can have the best trip of your life.

  48. maria

    congratulation! i’m sorry for your money but please come in italy again: rome (colosseo), florence (davide di donatello), naples, pisa (the tower), stromboli (vulcano) and much more are waiting to dance. ciao

  49. LakeComo

    Thief is a complete idiot.
    By the way thieves are everywhere. Matt was robbed on the train FROM vienna TO venice. He wasn’t in Venice yet. Maybe the thief was an Austrian guy..

  50. sikda

    Hello Matt.
    wonderful places, but if you have not seen Naples, you have not seen anything…

  51. Carol Vasseur Scanu

    @ dude… those kids are gypsy, Rom, NOT Italian.
    @Matt …Probably the people who stole your wallet were also from the east or Rom. It is a plague unfortunately but don’t give up on Italy or the Italian people. The suggestion of Sardinian dancers, wearing costumes going back several generations, is a very good one but I would also suggest Pisa… you can dance leaning to the side LOL
    or Florence on the ancient Ponte Vecchio, in the courtyard of the Uffizi or in front of the cathedral.
    Naples can offer you the Reggia of Caserta, the ex-royal palace which was Padmé’s palace in Star Wars.

  52. feminine gentle, plus flower decoration, more embodies the tenderness of a woman. High heels feet part of the classic Rose Red, the latter half of the fresh flower pattern mosaic. Casual high heels, full of sense of design.

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