Unwary tourists risk getting hefty fines in some Italian cities and villages for doing things that are perfectly legal everywhere in the world.
At Eraclea, near Venice, The Independent of London rightly reports, “parents need to keep a beady eye on their children: sandcastles are banned, as they ‘obstruct the passage’ along the beach.”
“Two people may sit down on a park bench in the city of Novara [Piedmont], but if a third person joins them and it’s after 11pm, all three are breaking the law. In Viareggio, the benches may contain as many people as care to squeeze on to them, but if one of them puts his feet up on it, he risks a fine.”
Can you sit on the Spanish Steps or in the Loggia di Lanzi of Piazza Signoria? And if you can, are you allowed to eat a sandwich? And if eating is against the law, can you drink from a can of soda? And if not, is a bottle of water allowed?
In Florence, you can’t play Frisbee in the piazza or offer to wash windshields at the intersections. Recently, Florence outlawed the use of the centuries-old Florentine gigllio (lilly) unless a royalty is paid to the city, but you are probably safe until they figure out how much the royalty will be.
Beware! The vigili are watching!