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No packed lunches for tourists in Florence

September 13, 2018 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

According to The Times, one of Italy’s top tourist destinations says that packing a lunch and eating it in certain locations in Florence could result in hefty fines.

The reports say if tourists are caught eating on the pavement on four main streets in the city’s historic centre during peak lunch and dinner times, they could be fined up to €500.

A city spokesman said, “You can walk while eating, but you cannot stop, with local businesses asked to put a new bilingual poster about the restrictions on prominent display in their windows, with the poster saying, “It is forbidden to eat any kind of food just stopping and staying on sidewalks, on doorsteps of shops and houses and on roadways … Respect residents, traders and workers of this street”.

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The restrictions apply during peak lunch and dinner times, from 12-3pm and 6-10pm on the streets of Via de’ Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna and will remain in place for at least four months.

Dario Nardella, the mayor, introduced the measure as the numbers of tourists who visit the city continues to swell, with last summer, Nardella also ordered the steps of churches in Florence to be regularly hosed down to stop tourists lunching on them.

He told The Times: “The new rule is not aimed at tourism in general but at uneducated visitors who camp in the streets with their lunch” adding, “Right now residents cannot get into their houses because of the tourists eating on their doorsteps.”

The rule was introduced after a shopkeeper was beaten by Spanish tourists after he tried to stop them picnicking in his store’s doorway.

Residents’ associations have been demanding action on “hit and run” visitors, who they say clog up the narrow streets and leave litter behind, according to the president of the Via de’ Neri committee, Roberta Pieraccioni.

She told told La Nazione that they hoped the new measures would “restore a bit of decorum to our street”.

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