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Florence Bans Eating on Pavements, Shop Doorsteps

Florence Bans Eating on Pavements, Shop Doorsteps

Saturday, 8 September, 2018 - 07:00
The dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Flore is seen from Giotto's bell tower in Florence, Italy. Clarissa Cavalheiro/ Reuters
Florence - Asharq Al-Awsat
Florence has launched a new campaign to face mass tourism by banning visitors from eating Panini, pizza and focaccia on the pavement and on shop doorsteps. Tourists who find themselves on the wrong side of the law, face fines of $135-$450.

The ban applies to streets and piazzas around a particularly popular delicatessen in the city center - All’ Antico Vinaio, which is situated between the Uffizi Galleries and Palazzo Vecchio, Florence medieval town hall.

Described by one food and travel magazine as “home of the world’s best sandwiches”, it has enjoyed a surge in popularity after being favorably reviewed on TripAdvisor, where it is related “excellent” by 79% of contributors.

According to the Daily Telegraph, like many Italian cities, Florence suffers from a dearth of public benches, so tourists often resort to squatting on the herb or crouching in the doorways of shops and restaurants while grabbing a bite to eat.

Local businesses have long complained of the nuisance and the issue came to a head in August after a scuffle between the owner of a leather goods shop and a Spanish family camped out on his front step.

The new ordinance will remain in force until January 6 and could be extended after that.

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