Florence bans eating on the pavement

Posted by Nidha Narrandes on 7 September 2018

Italian cities are notorious for being overrun with tourists, particularly in the European summer. Florence is no different and the city has passed a bylaw that could see you fined an amount of between R2,674 – R8,863, if you are caught snacking in the city. The new law bans sitting on pavements and doorsteps while eating, in an effort to keep the overrun tourist city clean and loiter-free.

The mayor of the city, Mayor Dario Nardella, declared this week that it is forbidden to eat any kind of food while sitting or standing on the pavements, doorsteps of shops, or in the roadways on Via de’Neri, Via della Ninna, or in the Piazzale degli Uffizi and Piazza del Grano.

The regulation went into effect on 4 September 2018 and only applies to lunch hours between 12pm-3pm and dinner time, between 6pm-10pm. If you’re caught eating in these areas, at those specified times, you will be issued with a hefty fine.

The ban is expected to lift on 6 January, after peak tourist season.

Tourists tend to sit on the pavement and hang around shop entrances while grabbing some grub because of the lack of public benches. Over the years, business owners in Florence have complained that tourists are a nuisance when they hang around shops consuming food, blocking entrances.

This is not the first time that Nardella has prevented tourists from hanging around the area, last year he told city workers to hose down stairs at a popular church in the city to stop visitors from sitting there to eat.

Shop owners will have to put up visible signs, in both Italian and English, to explain the new bylaws to customers.

So what about the famous Italian gelato you might ask? That is absolutely allowed, as long as you don’t sit on the curb or stand in a doorway to enjoy it. Just keep moving.


Picture: Pixabay