Several Italian cities have banned items from food trucks to eating on the steps of museums. The country is changing its stance on some of tourists’ traditional holiday habits, but is it a good thing?
Just when you thought it was safe to go to the Duomo di Milano and snap that selfie of yourself standing out front, the city of Milan has slapped it out of your hand. Of course, that is figurative and not literal. The Italian city has taken drastic steps this summer to remove some of the more annoying aspects of travel and life; and the first is the banning of the selfie stick.
Selfie sticks aren’t the only thing to get the boot in Milan this summer, so if you are heading there, be prepared for the new rules. Although they shouldn’t really affect you unless you had already packed that stupid thing into your hand luggage.
Along with selfie sticks, the city has banned glass bottles and food trucks. It may sound like a strange rouge’s gallery of items, but there is meaning to the madness. According to Italian media, the elimination of the three items in the areas of Piazza XXIV Maggio, Gorizia Avenue, Via Codara, Cantore Square and Gabriele D’Annunzio Avenue, are to stop littering and loitering. For anyone that has been to Milan, both are common practices by both tourists and locals. In the case of the locals, it is common for young Italians to sit around the various piazzas of the city speaking to friends and drinking during a Friday or Saturday night, almost like a street party. Hundreds of people can gather. These gatherings invariably leave a large amount of garbage behind that must be cleaned up
Luckily, the bans are temporary. But the city hopes the message will remain that littering glass bottles is unacceptable. Milan isn’t the first Italian city to crackdown on tourists on their city streets. Florence, the home of Italian art, announced that the city’s museums will hose down their steps during lunchtime. The reason? To keep tourists from sitting around and eating on them.
And What About the Eternal City
Not to be outdone by Milan and Florence, Rome has also got into the act. The capital city has banned drinking in public places until the end of October. In addition, tourists who loved to picnic near the city’s famous water fountains will need to find another place to enjoy their sandwiches. Yes, eating and drinking near a fountain is now outlawed in Rome. By the way, don’t sit on those fountains either while you are taking a picture as that will get you a fine. Rome’s law enforcement is giving out tickets of up to €240 ($282) to anyone found guilty of crimes against fountains.
While Milan has run with a great idea, the banning of selfie sticks, it seems the power of banning tourists from various activities has gone to the heads of Florence and Rome. Italy ranks third in tourism in all of Europe, so perhaps all three cities have a point. Being overrun with garbage, food trucks, selfie sticks and people eating lunch on museum steps can take their toll on any hardened individual. More cities may join in the bans if the ones in Italy are proved successful.