You may be surprised to know that the legal drinking age in the country is 16 years old. That’s slightly younger compared to laws applied to many countries.
However, there is not a heavy penalty for teens drinking under 16 years old. It’s socially acceptable to drink alcohol as long as you are with your parents. However, the law isn’t always enforced. When it comes to drinking consumption for minors, Italy is a liberal country. There are many minors in the country that commonly enjoy their alcohol particularly in special occasion as it’s a part of the country cultural practice, and it’s totally normal and isn’t strange.
According to Italian penal code, a restaurant owner or a bartender can be jailed for giving alcohol to customers aged below 16 and also to a person suffering from mental disability. However, there are restaurants and establishments that wouldn’t serve the minor although they are there together with the parents.
Of course, the case is different when you are in another country like the United States where minors would be provided with such a margin in drinking alcohol. There’s not a lot of a cultural tradition, at least in the part years, of minors drinking alcohol for the sake of pleasure, as a generally accepted thing. In Italy, on the other hand, it’s a lot different. There are rules that protect the minors, but otherwise, drinking is seen as a social activity than an offense.
As the drinking age in Italy is 16, locals of that age are also not allowed to purchase alcohol in Italy. Even though it’s prohibited for minors to purchase alcohol in the country, it’s possible that it’s only because the seller didn’t really care. Unlike in America, fake IDs are not common in Italy, usually, their parents buy the alcohol at home and they let them drink, so it’s not very necessary.
However, you still have to keep in mind that the minor, although he or she doesn’t experience any directorial penalty or illegal charges for drinking alcoholic in public, if he or she gets caught drinking alcohol, it is still required for him or her to be identified by the authorities and, preferably, delivered to his or her parents.
As you can see, the drinking age in Italy is different from most parts of the world and drinking culture is seen as a part of the culture rather than an offense. However, as someone who travels to Italy, you must respect the law even though the laws applied to drinking age in Italy is not as strict as other countries like America. Anyway, drinking is not really necessary for people to have fun.
So, what do you think about the drinking culture in Italy? How is it compared to your country? Let us know in the comment below!