Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists arrive in Rome to enjoy the myriad of monuments, museums and landmarks. While visiting these places, many tourists can be seen sitting on the Spanish steps enjoying a coffee, pizza or gelato. That was then and this is now.
On October 1, city officials in Rome began a new regulation. The mayor’s office created a new ordinance that makes it illegal to eat or drink near or around any of the city’s famed monuments. Passersby can eat as they walk, but if someone is carrying food or drink, they cannot stop and enjoy the view or sit and watch the world go by. If they do, they are risking being hit with a fine that could be anywhere from between $65 and $650.
The police force, neatly dressed in their white and blue uniforms are constantly patrolling the area looking for any tourists or locals who are breaking the new ordinance. Since the ordinance took effect, there have been a number of people fined.
The mayor’s office said that tourists bring tablecloths, plates, forks and knives and actually side down on the steps, on the lawns of monuments and other places to eat. That is what prompted the officials to create the ordinance.
Some tourists were upset when they were fined, others said it was unfair since there were no signs posting the new ordinance and none of them knew the law existed.
Since there are so many food vendors nearby, the tourists said it only seemed logical that once the food was purchased it could be eaten.