The rules that could catch Brits out in Italy

From Rome to Venice, Italy has some of Europe’s top tourist destinations. Tourists could be fined large sums of money if they break any of the country’s rules.

Sitting down

Tourists could be fined for sitting down in a forbidden area at several popular tourist attractions.

Visitors are banned from sitting on Rome’s famous Spanish Steps, one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

The Steps were built in the 1700s and even featured in the Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday.

Tourists could also be moved on by police if they sit on the edge of fountains or block a shop or restaurant.

Eating or drinking

Tourists will need to be careful about snacking as they could fall foul of some strict Italian rules.

Before the pandemic, two German tourists were fined 950 dollars (£826) after they set up a portable stove to make coffee beneath the Rialto Bridge.

In 2022, an American tourist was fined 450 euros (£385) for breaking Rome’s ‘urban decorum’ rules.

The traveller was caught eating an ice-cream on the steps of one of the Italian city’s famous fountains.

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Venice’s intricate canal system is world-renowned. But taking in a dip in the canals could land a tourist in hot water.

In 2022, locals were shocked after they saw two naked tourists swimming around in the water.

While tourists could be fined for doing so, the water is actually extremely dirty and should be avoided.

Tourists could also be fined for taking a dip in one of the country’s fountains including the famous Trevi Fountain.


Tourists could be fined for walking around shirtless or wearing swimwear away from beach areas.

In Sorrento, a coastal town in southwestern Italy, tourists could be fined 500 euros (£434) for breaking the beach dress code.

Tourists could also be charged if they dress up as a Roman centurion and charge people for photos.

Visitors will need to be careful of this scam. If someone in costume offers to pose for a photo, the likelihood is they will ask for money.

Other rules

Flying a drone in an urban area could get tourists in trouble while busking on public transport is banned in Rome.

Rome’s public drinking fountains, nasoni, are a great way to rehydrate during a busy day of city sightseeing.

However, tourists will need to be careful while they’re drinking as touching a mouth to the spout isn’t allowed.

Visitors should cup their hands under the spout of the tap and use a finger to direct the water into their mouth.

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