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rome spanish stepsStrolling the historic streets of Rome while savoring a few creamy scoops of gelato is one of travel’s most delicious pleasures. But if you’re visiting the Eternal City any time soon, don’t try to sit down on the Spanish Steps or the Trevi Fountain with that ice cream — a new Roman ordinance prohibits eating and drinking near the city’s historic, architectural or cultural treasures, reports the New York Times.

The ordinance, designed to protect landmarks such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum from potential damage (it also prohibits camping on the monuments), follows similar statutes elsewhere in Italy. The New York Times notes that it’s illegal to eat a bag lunch while sitting on the steps around St. Mark’s Square in Venice, while this summer Florence banned visitors from the steps of its cathedral.

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Of course, Italy isn’t the only country where tourists could be tripped up by unexpected laws. You’ll want to watch your step in the following places around the globe:

1. Germany: Drivers who run out of gas on the Autobahn could face a fine.

2. Singapore: You won’t find chewing gum for sale anywhere in this city-state, nor are you allowed to bring it into the country yourself (except for medicinal/therapeutic reasons). Violators could face fines, stints of community service or even jail time.

3. Thailand: You may not step on or destroy any part of the local currency. It’s considered an insult to the king, whose face appears on all coins and bills.

4. New York State: You might want to reconsider that vacation fling. Adultery is illegal here (it’s on the books as a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail or $500 in fines).

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– written by Sarah Schlichter

2 Responses to “No Eating on the Spanish Steps and Other Surprising Laws”

  1. Peter says:

    No gas on motorway: this is also a fine in Switzerland and probably some other European countries, too.

  2. CG says:

    I read about gum being illegal in Singapore in an inflight magazine, while on a plane heading for Singapore! I frantically checked my carry-on for the contraband, but had no idea if I had gum in my backpack!

    It turns out that I didn’t, but it was an stressful flight and arrival.

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