Common laws I should know?


Since I will be going to Italy in the near future, I am curious about laws that I should be aware of that maybe aren’t laws here in America. I say “common” as they are usually smaller laws. Like jay-walking or walking on certain areas of grass here can be breaking the law. Is there anything like this in Italy?


Well, you asked for it! Here are some unusual Italian Laws:

  1. It was long held that a man could ward off evil by simply grabbing his crotch. The Italian courts declared that men are not allowed to touch their genitals in public.
  2. A man can be arrested for wearing a skirt in public. Something Scots should consider before they visit.
  3. Despite there being an abundance of nearby sand, it is against the law to build sand castles or structures on the Venetian Lido at Eraclea.
  4. In Lucca and Florence, it is against the law to open a fast food restaurant in the historic center.
  5. Although it is not illegal to swim in fountains, it does carry a substantial fine.
  6. In Turin, people must walk their dogs 3 times a day or be fined.
  7. Goldfish bowls were banned in 2005 when it was declared that keeping those types of pets was a cruel practice.
  8. In Lerici, on the Ligurian Riviera, it’s illegal to hang damp towels out the window to dry.
  9. In Milan, there is an old law that requires people constantly smile while in public places. Those how are exempt are hospital workers and those attending a funeral.
  10. In Rome, groups of three or more people risk being fined 500 Lira if they are caught singing and/or dancing in the city’s streets. It is also illegal to eat outdoors in Rome’s historic center.

There are more, but these are a scream!


Here are some more… as they say… better safe than sorry, so the more strange laws you know about, the less chance you’ll get a fine, or worse, arrested.

  • It is illegal in Lucca to feed the pigeons in the center of the city.

  • It is illegal for groups of more than two people to hang out in the park after dark in Novara, so if you’re travelling with a group, make sure to get out of the park before dark.

The legal system in Italy works super slow, and it can take years for a case to go to court. On average, no less than ten years pass between indictment and the case going to court. Also something to know, eight out of every ten cases that involve a term in prison just never take place.

If you arrested in Italy, you have a right to remain silent, but you do have to state your name and date of birth as well as your place of birth.

Also, a good thing to know is that by law, you must be able to show some sort of identification at all times. You may show a copy, however, as long as you can produce the original document within twelve hours.


The first rule Page3 mentioned got me. We did attempt to feed the pigeons but we didn’t get into any trouble, we were just advised against it. I was slightly mad but then I understood that this could cause a problem for a lot of people.


Thank you for sharing that we aren’t supposed to feed the pigeons. I can easily imagine us eating cannolis and pinching a little off for the birds. I must admit that I can’t wait to hit up the Italian bakeries!


Those are really funny laws. Typically Italian, I would say. That law in Milan was the most funny. You are required by law to keep smiling. :smiley:


In Turin, you get fined if you don’t walk your dog three times a day! Unbelievable. Just don’t do anything you would’t do at home and you should be fine.


How would they even know how many times you walk your dog, lol? :smiley:


Some of these are just bizarre! Not allowed to sing or dance? Yet you must be cheery and smiling! The crouch thing was fun. Are we sure these are still legit? They only two I get are the pigeons feeding and the fountain law. The others are just mind scratching.


“It is illegal for groups of more than two people to hang out in the park after dark in Novara, so if you’re travelling with a group, make sure to get out of the park before dark.”

Do you know why this is? It’s definitely an interesting law.


Are all these laws still “valid”? It seems to me most of them are ridiculous :smiley:
For instance, the so-called law that forbids anyone from building sand castles in Eraclea, Venice is false. There was a big debate on the subject a few years ago and the mayor explained this might be just a rumor that got out of hand :smiley:


I love some of the animal protection laws, so good!


I think a lot of unusual laws are either exaggerated for not real at all. And some of them are actual laws but they are either not enforced at all are very loosely enforced. Still pretty cool lol.


I’m wondering the same thing, or how many of them are enforced?


LOL! I missed the law about the Goldfish! :rofl:

I think I’ve found another one that’s pretty interesting.
In Turin, during the “ecological Sunday” (a day when cars are forbidden, you have to walk or ride ride your bike)… it is forbidden to die!
Well, not literally. And I think they’ve solved this “problem” in the meantime. But because during the ecological days, you’re forbidden to use cars, it was impossible to call for funeral cars, should someone pass away that very day. If the law says you can’t drive that day, even funeral car drivers would get a fine :grin: