Street souvenir stalls will be removed from major tourist sites in Rome, Italy, to improve the city's “image and safety”.
The head of Italy's capital, Virginia Raggi, said, according to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, that the stands, which sell objects such as sweaters, mugs, miniatures of the coliseum and of figures like Pope Francis or Donald Trump, are a kind of foreign objects in the cultural landscape of the city.
There are 17 stalls that will be removed from places such as the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and Navona Square. However, eight of them may still have business open on streets far from the monuments.
Raggi, who had already promised to ban the stands, said the measure aims to protect Rome's heritage and ensure safety in the most visited places because he believes the stands were tarnishing the city's image, according to a note from the municipality. Raggi also banned illegal street trading in the summer, which still continues to work in many places.
The focus on street vendors, stalls and vans had already been announced as part of the "fight" against this type of trade in areas of Rome of "particular archaeological or artistic value," according to the Italian newspaper. Everyday Cinque.
According to British newspaper The guardianAnyone who dresses as a Roman centurion to make money taking photographs is also prohibited in the city.
Although the legislation was due to take effect on January 1, this Thursday, two stands were still in operation in front of the Trevi Fountain.
Italy has introduced measures to try to control over tourism and protect its heritage. In Venice, which has 50,000 inhabitants and receives 30 million tourists a year, starting next year, will be charged entrance ticket and use tourniquets. Recently, it was also proposed to erect barriers to protect the Trevi Fountain.
There will also be fines for those who violate the rules of civic behavior, and it is forbidden in Rome to sit or eat at monuments, particularly the Spanish Steps.
Recently, two tourists were caught making coffee by the Rialto Bridge and fined 950 euros. In August, a French couple was arrested for transporting 40 kilograms of sand from Italy's famous Sardinia island and could face up to six years in prison if Italian courts found them guilty.