A new regulation bans sitting and eating on curbs and doorsteps on four streets in the center of the Italian city.
Anyone caught enjoying a snack while sitting or standing on four of the most popular streets in Florence’s historic city center will be fined anywhere from €150 to €500 now. (That’s US$175 to $580.)
According to an ordinance issued by the City of Florence that was shared by Mayor Dario Nardella on Twitter, it is forbidden to eat any kind of food while sitting or standing on the sidewalks, doorsteps of shops, or in the roadways on Via de’Neri, Via della Ninna, or in the Piazzale degli Uffizi and Piazza del Grano. Effective September 4, this new rule only applies between the prime lunch and dinner hours of 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Da domani parte l’ordinanza per la vivibilità e il decoro in #ViaDeNeri. Non è una misura punitiva ma un deterrente concreto, per il rispetto della città. Solo chi ama Firenze merita Firenze. #EnjoyRespectFirenze https://t.co/Plm3lFsM7T pic.twitter.com/IcbUFYTU8Q— Dario Nardella (@DarioNardella) September 3, 2018
The new ordinance will last at least until January 6, 2019, in hopes that tourists will be deterred from “invading” the sidewalks and thresholds of shops and homes, which according to the ordinance, has created a “situation detrimental to the decor and the livability of the area.”
While this new rule means you won’t be fined while eating a sandwich or slice of pizza between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on these popular streets, it’s best to do what the locals do and savor your meals inside, instead of on the street.
This isn’t the first time Florence has attempted to prevent tourists from eating in public places. In 2017, Nardella asked city workers to hose down the steps of churches in the city center to prevent them from sitting there while they eat. Rome also enacted a similar ban on eating and drinking near 15 of the city’s most popular fountains during their high travel season last summer.
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s legal (or even just culturally acceptable) to walk around town with a cone of gelato in hand, that is still OK anywhere in Italy. Just don’t sit or loiter in the same place while enjoying that cone of stracciatella and you won’t run into any trouble.