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Rome has banned souvenir stalls at many of its tourist attractions
Posted on 13/01/2020

SocietyItaly

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In a bid to protect Rome's heritage, souvenir stalls have been banned from setting up pitch at many of the city's tourist hotspots

Cracking down on souvenir stalls

Cracking down on souvenir stalls
Pavel Losevsky/123RF

Souvenir stalls - stands that sell key-rings, decorative plates, figurines and other small trinkets - are now banned at some of Rome's most popular tourist attractions.

The ban came into effect on 1st January and includes tourist-heavy places such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps in the Italian captial.

The stalls, which have been branded an eyesore, have been removed in hopes of easing congestion around the immediate vicinity of monuments, improve safety and better protect the monuments themselves.

Rome authorities have also called for the removal of food vans selling tourists overpriced drinks, sandwiches and various snacks parked near sites including the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus.

Souvenir stalls are said to spoil the view for tourists

Souvenir stalls are said to spoil the view for tourists
tupungato/123RF

"They ruin the image of Rome," said Virginia Raggi, the mayor of the city, regarding the stalls and vans.

"For years, the monuments of the city have been tarnished by vendors who sell drinks, panini and trinkets in front of Rome's architectural jewels. This is no longer tolerable."

In total, 17 stalls around the city have been closed down as a result of the ban although eight have permanently relocated to neighbouring streets where they have been authorised to continue trading.

Yet this ban is only the latest in a series of moves to curb the effects of overtourism in popular Italian cities.

Back in August 2019, Rome banned sitting on the Spanish steps with fines up to 400 EUR if tourists are seen damaging the monument. In Florence, tourists can face fines of up to 500 EUR if they are caught snacking on the streets. Meanwhile in Venice, a city that has been hit hard by overtourism, cruise ships are now banned from sailing into the city centre and a tourist tax is also set to be introduced later this year in July.