Italy’s Florence bans eating in the street
Italy might be the home of al fresco dining, but in the tourist mecca of Florence street-snacking has become such a problem that local authorities have introduced fines of up to €500 ($581) to combat it. The city ordinance, which came into effect on September 4, bans people from pausing in the historic center to eat food on sidewalks, roadways and on the doorsteps of shops and houses. Around 10.2 million tourists visit Florence each year, to see such world-famous attractions as Michelangelo’s “David” and the medieval Ponte Vecchio — and that number has risen by 2.4 million in just five years. The four streets affected by the ban — Via de’ Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna — are among the busiest in the city and the restrictions are in place during peak eating times: noon to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.