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Tourists who picnic on the streets of Florence will now be slapped with fines of between €150-€500 ($174-$580).
The new rules have come into place as the city struggles to deal with the huge rise in tourists, attracted by low-cost flights and cheap holiday home rentals via websites like Airbnb.
The Times reports that the city is taking aim at tourists who eat paninis, focaccia and pizza on its streets, clogging them and leaving their rubbish behind.
The ban has been brought in around the streets of one deli, All’ Antico Vinaio, the Old Wine Merchant, which is particularly popular after it was named as the best in Florence by a travel magazine.
Its naming led to high scores on TripAdvisor, pulling in even more tourists to the already congested streets.
The issue came to light when the owner of a leather shop had a fight with a Spanish family who were sat down eating on his doorstep – locals are now complaining that they can’t reach their properties because of so many tourists sitting on the ground.
The streets affected are Via de’Neri, Via della Ninna, Piazzale degli Uffizi and Piazza del Grano.
Shops have put up posters advising tourists not to eat in the street and to “respect residents, traders and workers of this street.”
Mayor Dario Nardella signed for the new rules, which will remain in place until January 6 and could be extended after that.
The ban is in place from 12pm-3pm and then 6pm-10pm.
If tourists walk while eating their sandwich then they will escape the fine, but if they stop to enjoy the snack then the authorities are allowed to swoop.
The mayor said: “The new rule is not aimed at tourism in general but at uneducated visitors who camp in the streets with their lunch.
“Right now residents cannot get into their houses because of the tourists eating on their doorsteps.”
A city spokesperson explained: “You can walk while eating, but you cannot stop.”
It was announced earlier this summer that tourists in Italy could be fined up to £6,000 ($7,742) if they buy souvenirs from beach vendors.
The island of Capri also announced plans to limit holidaymakers earlier this year.
Last year its mayor revealed he was worried that Capri would “explode” due to the throngs of visitors it gets in the summer.
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