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Eating Gelato on Rome’s Spanish Steps? €500 fine!

October 2, 2012

The law will prevent tourists from eating snacks around many of the architectural treasures in Rome’s ‘centro storico’ Photo: ALAMY

The Telegraph has this eye-popper of a story: “Eating a gelato on the Spanish Steps may be at the top of a list of things to do for many visitors to Rome, but it could land them with a €500 (£400) fine from today.” Here’s more from the Telegraph story:

Under the law, tourists are prohibited from eating pizza, sandwiches, panini or any other snacks around many of the monuments and architectural treasures in the ‘centro storico’ or historic centre of the Eternal City.

They include the marble fountains of Piazza Navona, which is thronged with cafés, restaurants and street artists, as well as the stone walls which surround the Pantheon, a former Roman temple converted into a church, and Via dei Fori Imperiali, the broad approach to the Colosseum, the ancient Roman arena where gladiators once fought.

Fines will range from 25 euros up to 500 euros, in what one Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, described as a war against the sandwich.

“It is forbidden to encamp or erect makeshift shelters and stop to eat or drink in zones which have a particular historic or architectural value,” reads the ordinance adopted by Rome city council.

The law is intended to “guarantee the protection of areas of merit in the historic centre.” Similar bans have been adopted in Venice, where eating snacks on the street is prohibited in St Mark’s Square, as well as Florence and Bologna.

You can bet there will be some bizarre/amusing videos on You Tube involving fine wielding carabinieri and teary/outraged panini eaters.

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