Italy’s new rules for tourists (and locals!)
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As we have mentioned in our previous article, Italy is introducing a lot of new rules that are a consequence of the last years’ mass tourism. Many people are not aware that Italy, by having around 60% of the cultural heritage on its territory, is an open-air museum. Eating on the steps (Spanish Steps in Rome) or on the bridges (in Venice) is considered inappropriate and damaging for the art. It might sound like a harsh comparison, but it’s like bringing a greasy pizza inside the Louvre Museum. While in Rome, if you pay attention, you might notice that even a random bench is probably a piece of a Roman column. It wouldn’t be nice and appropriate if a tourist leaves a melted ice-cream on it or a McDonald’s bag (things that happen more often than you think).

So don’t take it personally, it’s in the interest of all of us to preserve what the masters of art have left us 2000, 1000, 500 years ago.

Some of the below-mentioned bans are also for your own security. One of these is the ban of wearing flip-flops in Cinque Terre. Imagine why? Just remember the Carmel (CA) ordinance that doesn’t allow wearing the high heels.

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Spanish Steps, Rome, August 2019

Here is the Forbes article about the new rules in Italy and we recommend to read it before you head to Italy. 🙂 Don’t say we didn’t tell you!

23 Surprising Things That Will Get You In Trouble In Italy

by Laura Begley Bloom

In the 1953 film Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck sat on Rome’s famed Spanish Steps, while Anita Ekberg took a dip in the Trevi Fountain in 1960’s La Dolce Vita. These days, those movie stars would be getting fines of anywhere from €250-€450 (about $279-$502), based on new rules that ban a range of offenses in Rome’s historic center.

It’s a new era in Italy, where destinations around the country are cracking down on so-called inappropriate behavior and imposing hefty fines. Florence has just enacted penalties up to €450 ($502) for people who snack during certain times on some of the city’s most historic streets. The city of Venice levied a charge of €950 (approximately $1,060) and threw two German tourists out of town after they made coffee on the Rialto Bridge. The crime? Picnicking in a public space. Meanwhile, a Canadian tourist was slapped with a €250 ($279) fee for sunbathing in a bikini in Venice’s Papadopoli Gardens.

And it’s not just the big cities that are cracking down. Just-married model Heidi Klum and her new husband recently went swimming in the Blue Grotto on the island of Capri—a big no-no. The newlyweds had to cough up €6,000 ($6,696). Turns out that while people can visit the grotto by boat, swimming in the beautiful blue water is forbidden. Then there was that sleepy traveler from Austria who made the mistake of stringing a hammock between two trees by the seaside in Trieste. The damage for his afternoon nap? €300 ($334).

Travelers are not happy about all the changes. “The Italians are on a behavior-punishment kick,” Jason Cochran, editor-in-chief of, wrote on Twitter. His comments on the new rules in Florence drew a firestorm of criticism. “You’d better [not] come to Italy in case you disagree,” wrote Twitter user @AvvPaoletto.

So whether you disagree or not, better be careful if you’re headed to Italy on vacation. Here are 23 things that will get you in trouble in the land of la dolce vita.

1. Wearing flip-flops. The hilly seaside destination of Cinque Terre has had it with flip-flop-clad tourists who need to be rescued from local hiking trails. A new law will impose fines for wearing flip-flops. The charges can go from €50 ($56) up to a whopping €2,500 ($2,827).

2. Snacking on the streets. Florence has passed an ordinance banning people from eating on certain streets in the city’s historic center between 12-3 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Fines range from €150-€500 ($167-$558). Rome and Venice have enacted similar fines.

3. Picnicking. As those German tourists discovered, picknicking is a major mistake in Venice. It’s part of a crackdown called #EnjoyRespectVenezia, a campaign that was enacted to protect this World Heritage City from the abuses of the 20 million tourists who visit annually.

4. Sitting on the steps. Keep it moving. A new law in Rome prohibits sitting on the historic Spanish Steps, which were built in the 1700s and recently restored to the tune of $1.7 million.

5. Wheeling your suitcase around. Leave your wheeled luggage at home if you’re headed to Rome or Venice. Rolling suitcases around can get you in big trouble—especially if you’re thinking of bringing them down the Spanish Steps. 

6. Building sandcastles. Sorry, kids—building sandcastles in Eraclea, a beach town near Venice, is strictly against the law.

7. Jumping into a fountain. Don’t even think about wading in a fountain in Rome—eight tourists were fined €450 ($502) each for taking a dip this summer.

8. Drinking out of a fountain incorrectly. Besides keeping you out of the fountains, Rome wants to make sure you’re sipping acqua the right way from its drinking fountains. Touch your mouth to a nozzle and you could be fined.

9. Drinking on the street. Italy is known for its lively after-dark scene, but these days, you need to careful about where you sip: Places from Venice to Rome are cracking down on rowdy tourists by banning drinking on the streets at nighttime.

10. Wearing noisy shoes. Leave the clogs behind if you’re heading to Capri. Wooden clogs have been banned on this island since 1960.

11. Biking. Riding a bicycle—even walking a bike—is now illegal in Venice’s city center.

12. Swimming in a canal. In recent years, tourists have been fined for swimming in Venice’s canals. And just in case you thought that dipping a toe in the water wouldn’t hurt anyone, the ban includes putting your feet in a canal.

13. Singing. Keep your singing to yourself. Rome doesn’t allow singing or busking on the city’s buses, metro and trams.

14. Wearing a miniskirt. The officials don’t care what’s in fashion in Castellammare di Stabia, a small town near Naples. Miniskirts are against the law, as well as low-cut jeans and too much cleavage.

15. Wearing a swimsuit. The fashion police are out in full force in Venice, too. Wearing a swimsuit while sightseeing is prohibited. 

16. Wearing even less. Whatever you do, don’t even think about going bare-chested in Venice or Rome.

17. Kissing in a car. In Eboli, a town south of Naples, passionate couples risk big fines. Kissing in a moving car is strictly against the law.

18. Using a lovelock. You’ll need to find another way to express your love in Rome and Venice, which have banned the tradition of attaching lovelocks to bridges—much to the dismay of Instagrammers everywhere.

19. Daytripping (without paying!). Be careful if you come to Venice on a day trip: Anyone who visits the city must pay a daily tax of $10 or risk penalties up to €450 ($502).

20. Standing still on a bridge. Yes, standing still on a bridge is also against the law in Venice.

21. Feeding a pigeon. Another offense that will get you arrested in Venice is a long-time tourist favorite: feeding a pigeon. 

22. Sorry, Venice vacationers, but there’s more. Other law-breaking moves include leaning against a storefront, lying down on a public bench and buying products from street vendors.

23. Frowning. It’s unlikely you’re going to get fined for this one, but Milan has a law that requires people to smile at any time other than funerals or hospital visits. So turn that frown upside down the next time you’re in Italy’s fashion capital.

The full article article can be found here

If you’re coming to Rome in September we will welcome you to one of our tours with 10% discount – use the discount code MYTOUR at the checkout and the total price will by magic be much lower!!