FCO travel warning: Safety at Italian Christmas markets

Christmas is only a matter of weeks away, with ABTA estimating that between four and seven million travellers will be jetting off on holidays during the Christmas and New Year period. A huge chunk of those trips will be to annual festive markets, favoured by European capitals. 

The FCO adds that: “There are isolated cases of domestic terrorism. Attacks carried out by the extreme left-wing and secessionist groups have generally been aimed at official Italian targets, mainly in the form of small bombs and incendiary devices.

“The Italian authorities have made a number of arrests of individuals with links to Daesh and other extremist groups.

“There is a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.”

How else can travellers stay safe?

While terrorist attacks can not be predicted, an amped-up police presence in most market works to keep visitors safe.

Additionally, there are things tourists can do to prepare and stay safe, travel expert Frank Brehany told

He advised: “The first thing for consumers – for any holiday – is they should always research their destinations and understand what has happened there in the past, as that will indicate what their comfort level will be.

“How much risk are you prepared to accept? Deciding that is really important.

“Next, follow any advice – not just from the UK foreign office. Look across countries, so the UK, Ireland, France, Germany; do a mix and match and compare and contrast as you get a great set of information.

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“It really is down to how people feel about risk – because of the deficit in what I see as travel industry/FCO advice to UK citizens, in recent years consumers have had to become their own risk assessors. I’m no different, I do this too.”


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