Rome cracks down on tourist behaviour

Visitors to Italy’s capital are being told to obey the old maxim – when in Rome do as the Romans do.

Visitors to Italy’s capital are being told to obey the old maxim – when in Rome do as the Romans do.

Tourists in the Eternal City will be banned from snacking near monuments on pain of paying a €50 fine.

City officials say they want to preserve artistic treasures and decorum in a city that has millions of visitors every year.

The ordinance also bans the homeless from setting up makeshift beds and cracks down on drunks, litterbugs and revellers loitering in central areas.

It says unless the situation is “kept under control” misbehaving visitors will “irreparably damage the preservation of historical and art areas and monuments and the possibility to enjoy them”.

The ban, passed on July 10, began this weekend and stays in effect until the end of October.

Rome – which also passed a crackdown on street vendors – is the latest Italian city to take steps to protect its monuments and limit the effects of mass tourism.

Venice banned picnics in public places and bare torsos in St Mark’s Square; Florence is clamping down on squeegee men who wash the windshields of cars and demand payment.

City official Davide Bordoni said police will have to use their judgement in deciding when to intervene, saying: “It is obvious that some situations must be tolerated.”

According to the Corriere della Sera daily, three Tunisian men eating and drinking beer on the Spanish Steps were among the first to be fined.

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