Weird foreign laws that could cost you hundreds

Weird foreign laws that could cost you hundredsIf you're traveling to Italy this summer, beware that laws in this boot-shaped country are city-specific and include restrictions on building sandcastles, feeding pigeons and kissing in a moving car.

And these are only several examples of 150 "public security" laws enacted throughout Italy since Silvio Berlusconi, the country's prime minister, granted local councils more power.

Earlier this month, Vigevano, a small town on the outskirts of Milan, fined a surprised young couple $206 each after they sat on the steps of a local monument, according to Britain's Daily Telegraph.

Feeding the pigeons in Venice, or Bergamo, meanwhile, comes with hefty fines of $645 and $430, respectively.

These unusual regulations show that researching the country you're traveling to not only requires reading up on local museums, hotels and eateries, but also educating yourself about regional laws and customs.

Italy's recently-enacted rash of esoteric laws caught the attention of several travel sites, who moved to get the word out to their members.

Skyscanner, which compares air fare prices for hundreds of airlines on thousands of routes worldwide, put together a list of the strangest foreign laws for its newsletter subscribers.

"With many destinations across the globe starting to clamp down more strictly on tourists who do not obey local regulations, it pays to be in the know before arriving abroad," said Scot Carlson, Skyscanner's North American country manager.

Here's a look at some other esoteric regulations:

Dubai: Smooching in public is against the law here.

Mexico: Even in a land trying to get a grip on escalating violence perpetrated by gangs of drug smugglers, there are bizarre laws. For instance, it's illegal here to lift either foot off the pedals while riding a bicycle, as it is to curse in public.

Switzerland: Passengers who hold a driver's license and are riding in a car with a drunk driver can be arrested and detained.

Japan: Some medicines that can be purchased over the counter in the U.S., including several Vicks and Sudafed products and others containing pseudoephedrine, could lead to your detainment if you try to take them through customs here.

Denmark: Wearing a mask in public here can lead to your arrest.

Philippines: You can get ticketed here for wearing sandals, or flip flops, or going bare foot, while driving a scooter.

Germany: Keep your rental car full of gas here. It's illegal to run out of petrol on the Autobahn, as it is to walk -- as if you would want to -- on the famed highway that eschews speed limits.

Singapore: This country's harsh laws are renowned the world over. But in case you aren't aware of them, it's worth reviewing. Do not use drugs here; the country imposes the death penalty for many narcotics offenses.

Many things that Americans take for granted, and do routinely in public without a second thought, are illegal in Singapore, including smoking, chewing gum, spitting, littering and jaywalking. Violating one of these laws can result in stiff fines -- including a $1,000 penalty for littering, or smoking, on the first offense. Even higher fees are levied against repeat offenders.

Antigua: Travelers have had brand new camouflage clothing -- as well as luggage with this motif -- confiscated by custom's officials here.
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