Rome issues new laws to tackle unruly tourism

If you were planning to spend your next trip to ...

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 3:05 AM
Updated: Nov 16, 2018 3:05 AM

If you were planning to spend your next trip to Rome, Italy, drinking on the street while dressed as a centurion, think again.

New laws have been passed by the city's council to fine these costumed "gladiators" up to €400 euros (about $450) if they're caught posing for photos with tourists in exchange for cash.

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Street drinking, organizing pub crawls and taking a dip in the city's fountains are also on the banned list.

The rules are part of a raft of urban police regulations which Rome's city council announced on its website Thursday.

Crackdown on alcohol

Temporary measures banning street drinking are also now permanent. Anyone caught swigging from a glass container on public streets after 10 p.m. can expect to be reprimanded or fined.

Bars and clubs must also cease serving alcohol from 2 a.m. until 7 a.m.

The new laws allow police officers to impose fines and even ban people from a certain area for up to 48 hours. Repeat offenders can be banned for up to 60 days.

Not everyone's pleased with these new developments. The ban on selling alcohol in the early hours of the morning was supposed to crack down on drug dealing, but AffarItaliani.it reports that local businesses say it's stopped young people drinking without tackling the drug issue.

The city council says the new rules are there "to deal with many aspects of city life, with particular attention on respecting the artistic and cultural heritage of the capital."

"Respecting the artistic and cultural heritage"

Overtourism has become a buzzword in Rome -- and across the world -- in recent years, with its famous fountains recently playing host to "selfie violence" and illegal bathing.

In August, an altercation between two tourists who both tried to take the perfect Trevi Fountain selfie at the same time ended in a brawl.

Meanwhile, two Canadians were fined €450 ($513) each for bathing in the fountain.

Legend has it that if visitors want to return to Rome one day, they should toss a coin over their left shoulder into the fountain's water.

The new law specifically says coin tossing is still on the approved list -- but if tourists want to return to Rome in 2019, perhaps the most important requirement is that they're on their best behavior.

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