Things are definitely different in Italy, and I’m not talking only about the driving! Some of these are good, and some not so good, but a lot of them are funny, and maybe even a little bit weird. Here is a short list of some traditions and laws in Italy.
In Milan a law states that locals must constantly smile or risk being fines. Those attending as funeral or visiting a hospital are exempt.
It’s against the law in Florence to eat or drink in the immediate vicinity of the main churches and public buildings.
The Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that it is legal for anyone living in Italy to grow marijuana from balconies or terraces.
A few years ago the Italian Supreme Court ruled that having sex in a car that is parked in a public place is a felony, carrying a possible prison sentence of anywhere from three months to one year.
Turin has a law that requires dog owners to walk their pooches at least three times a day to avoid a fine of €500. It is also against the law to “turn one’s dog into a ridiculous fluffy toy.”
When a vendor or shop owner gives a customer change, it is never handed to you directly, but instead always laid on the counter or in a receptacle on the counter.
It is against the law to feed the pigeons in St Mark’s Square in Venice, but every time I go there, people are doing it. Many of these odd laws are not easy to enforce.
One of the most unusual laws that I’ve heard of is testing of dog poop samples in Naples and Capri. According to the New York Times, the samples are then matched to a DNA database and the owners who don’t clean up after their dogs are fined 500 euros. I wonder how that’s working out.