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Is it true the legal drinking age in Italy is 16??????

Also for purchasing it's 16? If it is, WOW...

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Unlike some other Italian users told you, legal drinking age in Italy is still 16; they TRIED to bring it to 18 by the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007, but although the Finanziaria 2007 by itself was approved, the article about raising the age to 18 was finally REJECTED by the parliament; recently (April, 2008), a notorious parent association urged the government (with a press release) to raise the age to 18, but till now no change to any law.
So, the drinking age is still 16.

During 2007, some change was only aimed to make bar (pubs) restaurants, discos, etc to more strictly respect the 16 limit, while 16 is now also the purchasing age (previously there wasn't a purchasing age)

For that reason from last year till now local authorities launched campaigns aimed to sensitize public awareness about this issue; that also happened in my town a few weeks ago and, like any other province or municipalities authorities all around Italy did, they CLEARLY stated the 16 limit have to be respected. 16, not 18.

(art. 689 of Italian Penal code says in public places is forbidden to get alcoholic drinks to minor of 16)
As for any danger for teens, in continental Countries in Europe there are WAY less problem than in the US; actually the Countries with less alcohol-consumption issues are the ones with the lower drinking age (like France and Italy). That's not by chance, but because drinking is part of the culture in such Countries and people (of any age) are way more educated about drinking.

Yes it's true. But now the Government wants to elevate the legal age to 18 because always more teenagers are caught drunk in discos, clubs and sometimes at school and if the Parliament will approve it it will be 18.

It really doesnt matter what the legal drinking age in Italy is, if all you want is a beer or glass of wine you'll get one.
Italy is not a culture where people drink to get drunk, it's more social drinking, like at meals etc. They dont have such big problems with drunk driving and the view here to "get wasted" every weekend as we do here in the states.

Even if they passed a law in Italy to 18 for legal drinking age, it would probably never be enforced, its the culture.

i think now it's 18 but i'm 15 and when i go in a bar, restaurant or supermarket i can buy bacardi, beer, ruhm, martini, vodka and every kind of drink.... nobody ask if you are 18 or not, the wanna make money....

I'm not italian but when I was 15 or even younger I was spending holidays in Italy. And I must say I had no problems to buy alcohol in supermarkets, pubs or discos.
But I noticed not many drunk young people on the streets (or they just looked older)
Frankly, I had great time during each visit to Italy:)

honestly, they don't check ID.
well, the first time i went to italy was when i was 15 and they didn't ask for anything. i now go to university there and i see younger teenagers buying alcohol and they don't check ID. it might just depend on where you go.

Passer@ Scopaiol@ +23
i'm italian.
we have a legal age only for voting or driving, they are the one 2 things that legal age is respected for.
for all the rest... maybe there's but nobody respect it and police absolutely don't care about.

you can go in each night clubs you want, drinking as much as u want, buying marijuana, cigarettes.... nobody will care about.
nobody asks for looking you ID, or control what are you doing.
have fun.

Paula The Librarian
The large number of teens getting drunk has been a recent change in Italy.

When I lived in Vicenza friends with teens visited over the New Year's holidays. They were freaked out when the teens went downtown on their own. They were calling for us to come pick them up by 10PM. Why? There were no hordes of drunk teenagers. The Italian teens were simply eating pizza, drinking soda, or nursing 1 beer, and talking.

yes but for very alcoholic drinks it should be fact everyone could brink whatever he want usually and this is a big problem because there aren't any controls..

No, it's 18
However they give you drinks and cigarettes even if you're younger

I believe it, Because in Vegas, the Legal Age is 19.

Alan A
im heading off to italy then

The legal drinking age in Italy is 18 now. But it had been 16 forever, and many laws (especially with alcohol consumption) aren't as highly regulated as they are in the states.

So, there are still many bars and restaurants in Italy today that will sell you alcohol if you are 16.

I lived in Florence for quite some time, just got back.

Blue Uke
That's what it is in most countries in Europe, but you can only drink a glass of whine with your parents during a meal. Like a 16 year old can't go to a bar and get a glass of beer or anything.

yes unfortunately. It would be better not to have this stupid rule here! Do you know how many young people die out of this? I don't think so.

Smile for a While.
I wonder what the teenage death rate is....

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