Just got back from Italy a week ago. Here are some tips.
Pickpockets - I agree with the previous post - don't fear this but beware - we had no problems - keep purses and items close to you and in front of the body - backpacks can be easily gotten into without you knowing it.
Belongings in hotels - I have heard of several thefts from hotel rooms - most hotels even post signs saying they are not responsible for items stolen from rooms - since most hotels ask that you leave the key with them when you leave the room, it is very possible for someone else to get your room key - we were never once asked for our name or ID when asking for our room key even when there was a change of staff person who had no idea who we were - all we did was say our room number - this is scary!
Colosseum and ancient Rome - they are now charging for walking through the Forum - this is new - what's great about this is that there is now an additional place to buy tickets (a ticket covers the Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill)and very few people know about the ticket office located between the Forum and Colosseum. We walked right up to the counter and purchased ours with no wait whatsoever. Rick Steves has spread the word about buying tickets at Palatine Hill so there is now long lines there! Once you have a ticket you can bypass the lines into the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. You will still have to go through the security check but then can proceed directly to the turnstiles labeled tour groups! This saved us over 45 minutes of waiting time!
Borghese Gardens - a short walk from the Spanish Steps is a wonderful break from the crowds and noise of Rome - quiet and shady - there's even a small lake where you can rent a rowboat for $6 euros.