We Had Our Passports and Money Stolen in Naples, Italy
The story starts the day before we arrived in Naples. My husband, Brian, and I just finished a 10 day cruise with my husband’s family and we decided to extend the trip a couple of days in Sorento and the Amalfi Coast. It was Memorial Day weekend and we thought, we’re there anyway, why not stay the weekend?
Our last port before Rome was Livorno, Italy. Livorno is only an hour or so outside of Florence, so we hired a driver and the eight of us loaded in a van off to Florence. While there, we shopped. Yes, we could have seen the David again or gone to a museum, but we only had a couple of hours and we were on a mission to shop.
We went to the leather market. Then to the Ponte Vecchio where we looked at jewelry. We were going to meet our Long Island friends, Marilyn and Barry at a restaurant in Florence. They had just arrived and coincidentally, we were there the same day!
On our way to the restaurant, we stopped in one store and I bought some tea. I took out my wallet and returned it to my backpack. When we got to the restaurant, my wallet was gone. I had two credit cards and $50 Euros. I searched everywhere and it was gone.
My husband and I ran back to the place that I bought the tea and they were no help. (All of a sudden, they don’t know how to speak English.) That was frustrating. A nice relaxing lunch with the family and with our friends turned very stressful. I cancelled the cards and that was that.
After we docked outside of Rome:
Then, on our way from where the boat docked about an hour outside of Rome, my husband and I said our goodbyes to the family and got on a train to Naples. Once there, we found the local train to Sorrento.
Brian and I had a ton of luggage. We usually travel light but since we were on a 10 day cruise, we brought more clothes than we normally do when we travel. We had three suitcases, two backpacks and a bag. The train pulled into the station. We were the last ones to get on and we were standing.
At the next stop three men got on the train. A stop later, the three men existed the train. As they exited, an English couple said, “You should check your pockets. It looks like they may have taken something.”
Brian checked and the passports that he had in the front pocket, along with some US dollars. He tried to get off the train to run after the crooks, but the doors closed too fast. They were gone and we were without ID.
First thing we did was notify our kids who quickly looked up what to do when your passport is lost overseas. My son said, “You need to go to the consulate. But since Monday is a holiday, you will have to wait until Tuesday.”
Filed a police report and called the US Embassy:
When we got to Sorrento, we filed a police report immediately. Brian still had his credit cards and euros, so we had some money but losing the passports was a major blow, especially since I didn’t even bring my driver’s license with me.
Paola and the entire staff at our Sorrento hotel, were extremely helpful. They helped us translate our story to the authorities and more. The police cancelled our passports and we went back to the hotel and rescheduled our flight. Then we also called the US Embassy, but everyone was gone for the day. It was a Friday afternoon and a long holiday weekend.
That evening, I got a message on Facebook from an Antonio Esposito:
“Your passports have been found at the E.A.V. circumvesuviana station in San Giovanni a Teduccio. Please call us. We have informed the American Consulate,” he wrote me.
I ran downstairs at the hotel, Palazzo Marziale, and spoke with Paola, the owner. She called the police department on our behalf and told us that she would take us the next morning. “You need to reverse the stoppage of your passports,” she said.
Meanwhile, throughout the night, my new friend, Antonio Esposito said:
“Your passport will be on the next train to Sorrento. Meet at the station at 21.30 and see the ticket man there.”
I asked him if the money and the wallet was there too.
“Every action of our life, even the smallest, is responsible for the beauty or the ugliness of the world, Augusto Daolio. No, only passports,” he said.
I wrote, “You are truly the best. God bless you!!!”
“What matters is not doing much, but putting a lot of love into what you do. (Mothere Teresa of Calcutta)”
I asked him how he found me. “Facebook is an excellent search engine.”
He went on to say, “Of course it pleases me the good guys have their own way of entering the heart and taking root. I tell you one thing. Return to Naples, despite this unfortunate negative event. Naples is beautiful, including the Neapolitan people.”
We got our passports back on the 21.50 train, were able to reverse our tickets back to our original flight and went the next day with Paola to the police department where they wrote up a report that our passports were returned.
Interestingly, we weren’t the only ones that were robbed on that train. There were two other parties there who were also robbed.
The thing about this story is not that we got robbed, but that there really are good people in this world. And, the other thing, things can always be worse!
Returning to Naples, we took a car service. I was done with the trains… 🙂