No question, Italy is where many people go to experience amazing food and drink. Just ask Aziz Ansari. The second season of his hit Netflix show, Master of None, was set in Italy and was pretty much all about eating. It’s what you do there.
But now, there are some pretty cranky rules in place that might make your culinary escape to this beautiful country a little less…filling.
Earlier this month, Milan banned food trucks along with selfie sticks (“I bequeath my first born to your fine country.” — Everyone), street hawkers, and glass bottles. And if you’re thinking, “Eh, who cares about Milan. Rome is where it’s at!” here’s some sobering news: Rome’s mayor has banned booze from streets and piazzas on summer evenings.
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That means while you are still allowed to toss your coins in the Trevi Fountain, you can no longer toss back a cold brew.”We don’t want the Roman summer evenings to be ruined by episodes linked to excessive consumption of alcohol,” said mayor Virginia Raggi, who imposed the ban from 10pm until 7am.
In June, Raggi also implemented a ban on eating and drinking by the city’s historic fountains.
According to The Local, eating and drinking is also forbidden at other historic and cultural sites, including the city’s Spanish Steps, where tourists are hit with a €900 fine for breaking the law (that’s more than $1,000).
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Florence has also cracked down on tourists who choose to picnic at ancient landmarks. But, like, isn’t the entire country an ancient landmark?
And that’s not all. Reason.com reports that “a creeping food xenophobia also appears to be taking hold in the country.” Last year, “Florence imposed restrictions on so-called ‘foreign’ food from being sold in the historic city center. Fair Verona barred ‘ethnic’ foods. This year, Venice banned new fast food outlets, focusing in part on kebab shops, in order to preserve Italian ‘decorum and traditions.'”
So, there you have it. Italy: the country shaped like a boot that has kicked tourist eating habits to the curb.