Did you know it is illegal to chew gum in Singapore or to hold a salmon is a suspicious way in the United Kingdom? Probably not. These are only a couple out of the hundreds of weird laws from around the world. Be warned, Italy is no exception. But no worries, if you’re planning to visit this beautiful country, just keep reading to find out the weird laws in Italy.
Weird Italian laws you probably didn’t know, but should!
Weird Law #1 – You Must Smile all the Time : ) In Milan.
If you want to avoid a fine in Milan, you must smile at all times. This weird law in Milan requires citizens to smile at all times, apart from funerals and hospital visits. So, remember to turn that frown up-side-down!
While you may think this law was created to erase the glumness from the city of Milan, it actually was created as a way to bring prominence to the city of Milan during the Austro-Hungarian times. However, this law hasn’t been enforced in years, so don’t get too worried about keeping your pearly whites big and bright in Milan – it seems this rule simply hasn’t been repealed since it was implemented during Austro-Hungarian times.
So it’s ok after all to frown in Milan – but why would you want to?! You’re on vacation!
Weird Law #2 – Get a Room in Eboli. No Hanky Panky in Cars Here!
Remember all those classic movies with steamy love scenes in a car? Feel like reenacting them? You better put an end to those thoughts if you’re in Eboli, Italy! If caught getting frisky in a car, lovers will be fined €500.
I’d watch out for this law and suggest if you’re in the mood to move the bedroom. Formed in 2008 by the mayor of Eboli, this law protects the public security of Eboli and is enforced. Who knew kissing could be such a threat to public security?!
Weird Law #3 – Walk Your Dog 3 Times a Day in Turin. Or Else!
Love your dog? Well you’re not alone, in Turin there are several laws concerned with the health of man’s best friend. If you want to avoid a fine of up to €500, you must walk your dog at least three times a day and don’t even think about dying your pets fur. Any form of animal mutilation, such as dying or oddly cutting your dog’s fur, leads to a hefty fine.
As of 2005, many Italian cities began enforcing laws against animal cruelty. While there are much higher punishments for animal violence and abandonment, animal “fur modification” is still viewed as a form of animal cruelty and is enforced. So, while the walking your dog three times a day might not be strictly enforced, I suggest you avoid dying your furry pal pink unless you want to pay a fine!
Weird Law # 4 – Rome Goldfish – Be Free! You’re Bigger Than Your Bowl.
For all those goldfish pet lovers out there, I’m sorry to say your beloved pet won’t be allowed to travel with you to Rome. For in 2005, Rome declared it animal cruelty to own a goldfish and all fish bowls were banned.
Fish bowls? What’s wrong with them? In 2005, after a series of new laws were created to prevent animal cruelty, Rome’s government decided to include fish in the list. While not all fish tanks are bad, fish bowls, specifically, do not provide enough oxygen for any fish and lead to early death. Fish bowls are no longer sold, but it is difficult to enforce this law for those who owned fish bowls before 2005. So, if you own a fish bowl, do your little fishy friends a favor and buy them a new little home!
Weird Law #5 – Build Castles in the Sky, Not the Beach. At Least in Eraclea.
Are you visiting the town, Eraclea, and do you like building sandcastles? Well too bad! In Eraclea, it is illegal to build sandcastles on the beach. Don’t get upset, though! Just take a break from your creative architectural designs and sit back and relax!
Yet another supposed threat to public security, the ban on sandcastles began to be enforced in 2008. The officials of Eraclea believe the risks of sandcastles are too high for they are obstructive to walking on the beach, therefore, they are dangerous for the public. Sandcastles dangerous…what? Because of this supposed danger, this law is enforced and you will pay a hefty fine if caught!
Weird Law #6 – Keep Out of Fountains in Italy.
While it isn’t technically illegal to swim in a public fountain in Italy, you will get a substantial fine if your caught! I suggest if you’re hot, you go and enjoy one of Italy’s many beautiful beaches.
As tempting at it might be to just dip your toes into that cool fountain water on a hot summer day, I suggest you don’t. The ban on swimming, even if you just put your toes in, is heavily enforced with police guards who will gladly give you a fine up to €900. Why you may ask is this banned? Well, these fountains are historical monuments and must be preserved. So, do Italy a favor and help preserve its history by avoiding fountain swims!
Weird Law #7 – Two Is Company in Rome. Three’s a Crowd.
Rome is known for having great night life, but if you’re out on the town with your pals, remember to behave yourselves. In Rome, if you’re caught dancing and singing in a group of three or more, don’t be surprised if you’re fined €500!
If you’re doubting this law, that’s reasonable, for it is not really enforced. However, in 2008, this law, part of the anti-gathering laws, came to be when thousands of soldiers were to take the streets of Italian cities to fight crime. Because of this controversial move, and the potential for large protest gatherings, this was enforced in order to protect public decorum and prevent damage to public parks and gardens.
Weird Law #8 – Copycats Beware. There’s No Faking It In Venice.
Do you like Louis Vuitton handbags? Don’t be fooled by the fake Louis Vuitton handbags sold on the beach near Venice! If you’re caught buying a fake bag, you’ll have to pay a €1000 fine!
This is a law many tourists don’t know about and is something to be highly aware of. Illegal street trade in Venice is highly monitored and enforced, so those caught participating in it will be fine most assuredly.
Weird Law #9 – No Nibs or Dibs on Beach Spots in Capri.
If you like the idea of a romantic picnic on the beach, then don’t go to Capri, Positano, or Ravello. Picnics as well as putting your towel down to save your spot has been banned in these areas! So, if you want to get a good spot on the beach in Capri, Positano, or Ravello, I suggest you get there early!
If you’re worried about having your towel confiscated while you go for a quick swim, don’t worry. This law is only enforced by the coastguard for those who try to beat the crowd and leave their beach gear overnight in order to keep the public beach areas more accessible to all.
Weird Law # 10 – Noisy Shoes Not Allowed in Capri.
Another law to watch out for in Capri is the ban on noisy sandals. The residents of Capri value their peace and quiet, so I’m sorry to all the flip flop lovers, but your beloved shoes will only lead you towards a hefty fine!
Are flip flops really that loud? Well, according to the residents to Capri they are. .And unless you want to pay a fine worth much more than your $5 flip flops, then avoid wearing those pesky noisy shoes! So want to know what to wear in Italy – short answer, go for a silent stylish.
Fines aren’t most people’s idea of great time and they’ll put a major dent in your travel fund. So, if you’re planning a trip to Italy and only want to spend money on delicious food, fun excursions, and unique souvenirs, then remember these 10 weird Italian laws!