Destinations

Rome moves souvenir stands away from famous tourist sites

The Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Navona are set to be souvenir-stand-free.

Virginia Raggi, Rome’s mayor, has brought into legislation a ban on stalls near the city’s most-visited sites to improve their integrity and security.

Seventeen stalls – which sell odds and ends, including t-shirts, mugs, miniature Colosseums and figurines – will be moved from tourism sites, including the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. However, eight stalls will still be able to trade on streets away from the monuments, The Guardian reported.

Rome has been mulling restrictions at tourist sites for some time, with news of a proposed string of rules to combat overtourism at the Trevi Fountain emerging last year, among others.

Raggi, who has reportedly long pledged to banish the stalls, said this latest move was intended to protect Rome’s heritage and ensure safety at the city’s most-visited sites, which she said were sullying the city’s image, as reported by The Guardian.

The legislation, banning the stalls, was reportedly due to come into force on 1 January; however, according to The Guardian, two stands were still in front of the Trevi Fountain a day later.

Moreover, Raggi also banned illegal street trading as part of a raft of rules announced last summer, according to reports, but many still freely operate around the tourist sites.

The mayor has been working hard to boost etiquette at historic sites other ways. These include implementing a ban on tourists from: sitting on the Spanish Steps, eating “messy” food by monuments, wandering around without a shirt on, and dragging suitcases and buggies down historic staircases.

Heavy fines are already reportedly in place for those who jump into the city’s fountains. Many of these measures are, however, difficult to enforce.

But one that has reportedly been successful for the city is its ban on “modern-day centurions” – men who make money by posing for photographs dressed in tunics and leather breastplates, and wielding plastic swords.

Rome isn’t the only Italian city cracking down on tourist behaviour, with two German tourists fined €950 (AU$1,500), last year, for making coffee using a travel cooker on the steps of the Rialto Bridge in Venice.

Featured image: (iStock.com/silkfactory)

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