In an attempt to polish the image of the Eternal City, Roman Authorities are cracking down on public eating and drinking at historic sites. The municipal ordinance, signed by the city’s mayor, that took effect beginning of October, gives police officers the right to fine anyone caught snacking on the Spanish Steps or walking around the Piazza Navona with a gelato. You are still allowed to throw your coins in the Trevi Fountain, the city needs your donations, but don’t enjoy a panino or ice cream in the vicinity, it will cost you. The fine ranges from $25 to $650.
I understand the reason behind this ordinance but if we want to keep Rome’s historic center pristine, let’s also clean the graffiti from the facades and sidewalks, add plenty of rubbish bins, and get rid of illegal hawkers that harass tourists outside the Vatican and Colosseum. Instead of becoming the food patrol, the carabinieri should spend their time protecting the people from pickpockets.
Similar ordinances were past in Venice, Florence and Bologna. The one in Rome is due to expire at the end of the year. It will not doubt be extended unless the gelaterie win a repeal. They are the most affected by it. Who has not wandered the streets of Rome while enjoying an Italian ice cream?