Florence bans eating on sidewalks and doorsteps in historic streets

The Italian city of Florence is taking further steps to minimize damaging effects of over-tourism. According to a new city ordinance that took effect on Tuesday, tourists and locals are banned from eating on the sidewalks, roadways and on the doorsteps of shops and houses. Anyone caught eating on the sidewalks and doorsteps along any of the four streets that run through Florence’s historic city centre – the Via de’ Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna – may face fines of between €150 and €500.

The restrictions apply only during the peak lunch and dinner hours, between noon to 3pm and between 6pm and 10pm. According to Italian sources, local businesses have been distributed leaflets to be handed over to tourists, urging them to “Respect residents, traders and workers of this street”.

The order comes as another measure against the damages of over-tourism. “It’s not a punitive measure, but a solid deterrent,” said the Mayor Daria Nardella, “If tourists behave themselves as they do at home they will always be welcome, especially if they want to sample our foods.” Last year, mayor Nardella ordered church steps to be hosed down to prevent tourists from gathering there to eat and rest.

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