Italy’s tourism boss suggests stopping watch theft with a cheap alternative

(CNN) — A tourism chief in Naples has found a one-stop solution for all visitors worried about theft in the southern Italian city, after French actor Daniel Auteuil had his luxury watch stolen in the area recently.

Cesare Foa, president of tour operator association Aidit, said hotels could provide customers who wear expensive watches with cheap plastic alternatives to ensure their real watches can stay safe while they go out to explore the city. .

Italian news agency ANSA reported last week that Auteuil had a 39,000 euro ($41,250) Patek Philippe watch stolen from his wrist by two people riding scooters while he was traveling in a taxi with the open window.

French actor Daniel Auteuil, pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019, reportedly had his luxury watch stolen in Naples.

Alberto PizzoliAFP/Getty Images

Foa told CNN on Monday: “It’s important that tourists to Naples can enjoy the tranquility and peace in the city, so hotels and the council could help make sure those customers feel safe and relaxed. giving them a plastic watch.”

Foa went on to say that the suggested watches would not only be effective in preventing theft, but could also serve as unique souvenirs for tourists.

“The watches could be decorated, they could carry a symbol of Campania (the region of Italy of which Naples is the capital) and could be given as gifts to family members and friends,” he said.

An aerial view of Naples at sunrise.

An aerial view of Naples at sunrise.

rudi1976/Adobe Stock

He added that there were ‘no problems with theft’ in Naples and said it was no different to any other city in Italy, such as Milan or Rome or indeed any other major city. city ​​of the world – where visitors and vacationers are often vulnerable to pickpocketing.

Foa said his suggested solution would also be cost-effective, as plastic watches could cost as little as 10 euros ($10.58), he said.

Whether or not the idea will take off is yet to be seen – but wealthy tourists may find it easier to part with a $10.58 watch than a $41,000 one.


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