Almost as famous as pizza, pasta and shiny red Vespas is Italy’s reputation for bureaucracy. Try to open a bank account, schedule a doctor’s appointment or do just about any seemingly simple task here, and you’ll learn the meaning of red tape. With enough mind-boggling rules and regulations to fit every conceivable scenario, there are some laws even the locals haven’t heard about Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Crimes against fashion
As a nation of well-groomed fashionistas, looking good matters to Italians. Casually wearing your flip flops anywhere other than the beach is a sure sign you’re not a local, but according to The Huffington Post, wear a skirt in public if you’re a man and you could risk being arrested. There’s no clarification if this also applies to Roman centurions posing for photos with tourists outside the Colosseum though.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Hands off, men!
In 2008, Italy’s Supreme Court ruled that men who touch their genitals in public, even just for a quick scratch, are committing a criminal offence. Good news for social etiquette, bad news for any men who still believe the superstition that a quick grab to the trouser area wards off bad luck.
No making sandcastles at the beach
Amazingly, something as innocent as building sandcastles on the beach could land you in trouble with the law in Eraclea, a small beach town near Venice. With fines ranging from €25 to €250, as reported in The Telegraph, you may wish to leave the bucket and spade at home.
Goldfish bowls are banned
Following a campaign by animal rights activists a bylaw was passed in Rome banning all round goldfish bowls. Experts claimed the shape doesn’t provide enough oxygen and city councillors eventually agreed the bowls are cruel to fish. The same fish-friendly bylaw also ensures legal protection to people who feed colonies of cats. Go figure.
No noisy footwear
If you’re heading to Capri anytime soon, you may wish to pack your slippers – the island has outlawed noisy footwear. Strutting your stuff in clogs could result in more than just a fine too; one couple was actually arrested for their ‘excessively noisy flip-flops’.
No kissing in cars
Planning a romantic getaway? Be aware that in Eboli, a small town in the region of Campania, it’s banned to kiss in a car. The regulation was put in place to deter young couples who, presumably with nowhere else to go, would park up near the town centre, in an area well known as a meeting place for lovers.
Even dead people need health care
It’s unclear exactly how this law came about, but the rule is pretty clear. If you intend to drive with a corpse on board, please ensure it has health insurance, otherwise you could be fined up to €3,098. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Don’t save a spot at the beach with a towel
In Sirolo, a small town on the Adriatic Coast in Italy’s Marche region, it is banned to save a space at the beach using your towel. Retenews24 originally reported this insult to British tourists but made no mention of how vigorously the ban is enforced.
Smile. Or else!
Miles of designer shopping, an eclectic mix of architecture and one of the most impressive cathedrals in Italy – there’s plenty to smile about in Milan. Just be sure to keep grinning, because, according to The Huffington Post, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times. Exceptions are made for funerals and hospital visits.
Three’s a crowd
Sitting on a park bench might sound like a harmless activity but do it in a group of three after 11 p.m., and you’re breaking the law, says The Independent. Thankfully, the rule only applies to the city of Novara in the Piedmont region. Lawmakers from Viareggio in Tuscany are also vigilant about their benches; put your feet up there and you could be fined.
It is illegal to die in Falciano del Massico. This small town in Campania doesn’t have a cemetery so, in March 2012, its mayor decided to solve the problem by outlawing death. Apparently, two of the town’s older residents had already defied the law before the end of that first year.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.