In an attempt to educate visitors on 'historic landmark etiquette', the Mayor of Rome has announced that anyone caught eating, drinking or 'camping out' at the city's monuments will receive a fine.
The announcement has been made by Gianni Alemanno in order to better protect Rome's historic centre and 'areas of particular cultural worth'. Great numbers of visitors often pack landmarks such as the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and in front of the Pantheon, stopping for lunch or a refreshment; many thoughtlessly leaving rubbish behind.
Mayor Alemanno believes that the sites 'should be used exclusively as a place to enjoy monumental and architectural perspectives', according to bbc.co.uk. It has introduced the fine to illustrate the point.
Imposed until the end of the year, the fine starts at €25 and rises to €500. The directive from Rome City Council forbids congregating in designated zones and littering outside the monuments.
Consequently, those deciding to book a holiday to Rome might like to research some local restaurants, rather than risk their luck. With such wonderful food on offer, however, dining in an Italian ristorante or trattoria will hardly be an inconvenience.
Mayor Alemanno was keen to point out that the ban wasn't 'anti-panino' and that the police would not disturb anyone with a sandwich in their hand on the street, wantedinrome.com reports. Instead, it was to 'combat degradation around the capital'.
If successful, the measure could help preserve Rome for future generations of visitors.