Foreign travel advice

Italy

Local laws and customs

By law you must be able to show some form of identification at all times. In most cases a photocopy of the data page of your passport should suffice, but you may be asked to accompany the police to collect the original document, or to produce it within 12 hours. The police will normally ask for your full passport if you are stopped while driving.

In the Rome area, restaurants must display a menu outside the restaurant, only charge for bread if the customer specifically requests it, inform the customer of the prices being charged before he/she orders, give a proper receipt and not make any cover charge (coperto).

From 8 July to 31 October 2017, in 13 of the 14 municipalities in Rome (including the historic centre), there’s a ban on drinking alcohol out of glass containers on public streets from 10pm each day, and from midnight there’s a total ban on drinking alcohol on public streets. A fine of €150 applies. Off-licences and supermarkets may not sell alcohol from 10pm onwards, and bars and clubs must stop selling alcohol at 2am.

In some Italian towns and cities you may be fined for dropping litter and in some towns or cities it’s an offense to sit on monument steps or to eat and drink in the immediate vicinity of main churches, historic monuments and public buildings. It’s also an offence to enter or bathe in public fountains.

Illegal traders operate on the streets of all major Italian cities, particularly tourist cities like Florence, Venice and Rome. Don’t buy from illegal street traders. You could be stopped by the local police and fined.

Many major cities in Italy now impose a small tax on tourists. The tax is levied by hotels and is usually not included in any pre-paid arrangements or package deal. The rate of tax varies from city to city, and can depend on the star rating of the hotel. Hotels often ask for payment of this tax in cash. Make sure you get a receipt. For more information check with the local tourist information office.