Fear of crime has received remarkable attention in the United States, Great Britain and France. In Italy the issue of personal safety and concern for victimization has been an object of interest only since the 1990s. The aim of this article is to study how selected socio-demographic variables affect feelings of unsafety in the streets and in one's own home. The first part discusses important research results from other countries. The second part illustrates the concept of vulnerability, connecting it to the fear-of-crime debate. The last section analyzes data drawn from the Indagine sulla sicurezza dei cittadini. Bivariate and multivariate analysis (binomial logistic regression) show that gender, age and education affect both dimensions of personal unsafety, and the concept of vulnerability seems useful in explaining the distribution of fear of crime in the Italian population. Moreover, in spite of a general stability in the incidence of feelings of unsafety, data show that between 1997 and 2002 the level of fear of crime has significantly increased in the most vulnerable social categories.