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Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

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Charlottetown...
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Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

I was there visiting today and one black guy came to me. He put a blue rope around my wrist and declared it is a sign of friendship. Then he asked for money, I said I do not have any. So two more black people approached and it was pretty scary. I insisted I do not have paper bills and only have coins, so they demanded all the coins in my pocket and I got away with giving them 6 euros. It ruined my day so bad.

Be careful when you visit Sforza Castle in Milan. It seems that there is no administration or any police force, plus a lot of people from Africa and Middle East there hanging around. The castle itself is impressive. But it is not worth the risk of being pickpocketed or robbed.

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Boston...
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1. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

Wow... I hope you are okay. There was no other people around? No other tourists at all? What time was it when this happened? Were you alone? (1 person party)

I am glad that you did not get hurt... thank you for sharing this information... I am visiting Italy this summer and I will keep my eyes out.

Charlottetown...
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2. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

It was around 4 in the afternoon under the broad day light. I was with my mother. There were other tourists in distance but that did not change anything. The square inside the castle is pretty big.

Victoria, Australia
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3. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

Unfortunately these things can happen everywhere. My husband had a very similar experience in Paris, but managed to shake the guy off before he could put the string on my husbands wrist. Be vigilant, but don't let it spoil your holiday in lovely Italy.

NY
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4. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

lol - same thing happened to my wife near an entrance to the castle - mid morning and no one else around. Somehow she made the guy take it off, she was really impressive as it is not easy to do.

I think the best strategy is to see these guys coming, ignore them and walk faster and try not to let them get hold of your arm - may also help to yell "bastare" in case they are persistent and speak any Italian. The worst comes after they get it on your wrist or arm.

PS I also want to say it happens not only at the castle

Edited: 13 May 2013, 23:34
Johannesburg, South...
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5. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

It happens all over Milan, especially at the Duomo and has for years.

Just ignore them and walk past them confidently without any eye contact. They get the message very quickly.

Or tell them to get lost.........I have in the past shoved them very firmly.......

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

Oh no.. Will definitely watch out.. Am heading there with 2 other girls in June.. :( Thanks for the heads up!

Milan, Italy
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7. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

oh! What a terrific experience. Hope it didn't turn the holiday to be too bad.

Next time tell them that if they do not leave you'll start to shout. Mostly in places like the castle, usually full of people as you said, it's the only way to get people attention and remove bad guys...

Portsmouth, United...
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8. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

I saw them when I was there 2 weeks ago but luckily they ignored me and my two male companions!

Got caught at the San Siro though the next day, even though the place was swarming with police before the match the guys were still going round putting unwanted coloured string on people's wrists, including mine, and then asking for money, saw one very irate woman trying to stop one pestering her, shouting and everything but still no cops moving in to help. They are a pain and it's basically just begging but even though it's annoying a lot of tourists the police don't seem to be even slightly concerned!

Georgetown
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9. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

Its so helpful to know about these things ahead of time. I have never heard of this but at least now can be on the lookout and have a plan.

Johannesburg, South...
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10. Re: Be careful at Sforza castle (Castello Sforzesco) in Milan

Please don't worry about it.

They get the message very very quickly as to whom they can hassle or whom they cannot hassle.

It's the "sign against drugs" guys that irritate more than the bracelet guys!

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