I'm visiting Rome in September with my wife who wears a head scarf.

Are there any rules or customs we should be aware of?


1 Answer 1


In short: you have nothing to worry about.

The only Italian law which is somehow related to your case is for public security, it prohibits wearing or doing things that make a face difficult to be recognised if there is not a rightful reason to do it. So:

  1. A headscarf, as far as I understand the term, does not cover the face so it's not a problem at all
  2. Religion is considered a rightful reason to cover one's face. (but when I stop at the fuel pump, for example, I have to remove both my helmet and the eventual helmet lining)

And, to be honest, many Italian women wear an headscarf while in Rome both to show respect when entering churches and to protect themselves from the sun, so it's not something unseen either.

Law references (but still, I'm not a lawyer)

Testo unico della legge di pubblica sicurezza, articolo 85, decreto regio 18 giugno 1931, n. 773

prohibits to

comparire mascherati in luogo pubblico / appear masked in a public place

and then

Legge 8 agosto 1977, n. 533, Disposizioni in materia di ordine pubblico, Articolo 2


l'uso di caschi protettivi / use of protective helmets


qualunque altro mezzo atto a rendere difficoltoso il riconoscimento della persona, in luogo pubblico o aperto al pubblico, senza giustificato motivo / any other mean aimed to make difficult to recognise a person, in a public place [e.g. a square] or open to the public [e.g. a museum or a bar], without a justified reason

As I stated before religion is actually considered a justified reason; the only current pitfall is that as of August 2017 the county of Veneto seems to have declared illegal the use of Niqab and Burka -but I can't find the exact law, and on top on that I'm not even sure if such a law can be recognised on a national level, sounds more like the stuff that local administrations do to show off to their electors.

  • (I'll add the law references later)
    – motoDrizzt
    Aug 19, 2017 at 19:03
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    @JonathanReez I am driving myself a motorcycle. While it is not exactly prohibited, I remove my helmet because the service person may be scared (especially if the fuel station is deserted). I only let my helm on if the station is full, then I leave the gloves and have my wallet in the hand. Aug 19, 2017 at 20:15
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    In Germany, many fuel stations and banks have an explicit “no helmets” sign at the front door, so it seems to be prohibited. Signs look like this one. Aug 20, 2017 at 5:08
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    "No helmets" signs are also common in the UK.
    – badjohn
    Aug 20, 2017 at 8:24
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    Well, as I stated in the answer it's exactly prohibited by law (at least in Italy) because by law you are not authorized to hide your face or make you unrecognizable unless there is a good reason, and wearing an helmet while walking is not a good reason at all, I don't think that's much complicated.
    – motoDrizzt
    Aug 20, 2017 at 9:28

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