Just to update the thread. Thanks for all the replies. I'd never flew before never mind taking camera so it was great to get some information here.
It all worked out fine. Travelled light so I had my camera gear in one bag and my clothes in another with no issues at all using the overhead storage on the plane. I took a lightweight tripod which came in handy for video stuff and just 2 cameras and 4 lenses.
We had a 9 seater van to tour in and made sure we parked it in secure areas while we were on foot. Arrived at Pisa airport then picked up the van and went to see the tower. We parked near a student area for 2 hours or so with no issues at all (but my camera bag was always on me and never left in the van with the band's gear.) The rest of the tour took in Barbaresco which was our first stop so the band's manager could hook up with local friends. Lovely place with no issues about crime. Then Gattorna, Genoa, San Torenze, Genoa, then Atina. On the last day we drove to Rome to fly back to Scotland ( the traffic near Rome is like the Daytona 500, just on the Freeway/Motorway )
I would say that Pisa was more risky as their are a lot of tourists around so it may have attracted some dodgy types. But there were 9 of us all looking out for each other and lots of Police around.
All in all it was a fantastic trip, no issues using my DSLR on the flight when the seatbelt light was off ( just filming the bands and not intruding on other passengers.) No issues with locals in the places we visited either.
Several people posted about using common sense and that was the key thing I think if you travel anywhere. My camera was only visible when I was using it, and in my camera bag crossed strapped across my shoulders when not.
Thanks again for the replies folks