Florence proposes ‘sandwich tax’ and bans city center evening walks

(CNN) — As the vacationers head back to Italy, one particular of the towns that has experienced most at the arms of tourism is fighting back.

In a bid to stay clear of overcrowding throughout the pandemic, authorities in Florence have introduced that people will be banned from the city’s most common nightlife places, until they’ve been having or ingesting in the spot.

And in a bid to deal with the aspect effects of tourism, a person of the city’s most vital voices has termed for a tax on road food items stalls.

Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella has signed an ordinance banning people today from wandering around popular regions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings until additional notice.

Access to six locations of the historic metropolis heart — which include the well-liked nightlife spot of Santo Spirito — is not authorized from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., except people are working with the bars and eating places there.

Other bans include things like the central parts Piazza Strozzi, Santa Croce and Piazza S.S. Annunziata. All are places the place men and women like to congregate in the evenings on the measures of the famous churches and palaces.

Ingesting or consuming on the actions of the basilica of Santo Spirito is banned 24/7, as perfectly.

Anyone breaking the policies will be fined involving €400 and €1,000 ($475 – $1,185).

The rules will be in put until the conclude of the pandemic.

Locals have reacted angrily to the news. Veronica Grechi, who owns a B&B in Florence, Velona’s Jungle, reported the selection is “not suitable.”

“The squares are public — if folks are behaving terribly you need to make them go away, you really don’t say that you can only obtain these places with a receipt from a bar — it is really declaring you can only get accessibility if you fork out,” she mentioned.

“It’s wonderful to say you can’t provide a beer together and chuck it on the ground, but restricting accessibility — no, it really is not right.”

The simply call for a ‘sandwich tax’

Travellers eating and consuming in the courtyard close to the Uffizi are ruining the historic constructing, says director Eike Schmidt.

Alberto Pizzoli/AFP by means of Getty Pictures

But though the town authorities declare war on nightlife, the director of the Uffizi Galleries — dwelling to a person of the world’s most well known collections of Renaissance art — has long gone following tourists, demanding a “sandwich tax” on the avenue meals stalls which source guests with take-out meals that end up littering the city heart.

“Bans [on eating] and fines [for littering] have proved primarily insufficient at tackling the phenomenon,” Schmidt advised CNN. The open up courtyard all over the Uffizi is ringed by inbuilt benches of extremely absorbent “pietra serena” stone, so the trouble is not just litter, he claims — food and drink are ruining the stone that is been there considering the fact that the Renaissance time period.

“Even now, the benches and methods of the Uffizi and the Loggia dei Lanzi [which looks onto the main square] are comprehensive of folks ingesting and drinking. The outcome is oil and sauce on the stone, bits of paper, foodstuff leftovers and stains from comfortable beverages everywhere.

“The stone absorbs it all and receives harmed in excess of time, so to secure it we have to be cleaning it constantly.

“Owning stallholders just take obligation by a smaller contribution could be a concrete way of tackling it.”

Street meals sellers are distinctive from restaurateurs, mentioned Schmidt, simply because the latter have premises the place customers can consume, that they cleanse afterwards. Whereas with road foodstuff, “of program it can be a respectable company, but they acquire the income for the sale of the item, but essentially flush the implications — litter, oil, ketchup, sauce that drips on the floor or the stone — on the citizens. So we will need to equilibrium the predicament.”

An ‘absurd’ concept

His proposal has been met with delight by some locals. “The predicament is horrible, and demands to be managed,” said Grechi, who would like both to see consuming and drinking banned in the location, or to transform the city planning to ban clusters of avenue food stuff stalls: “It implies that any one who will not want to sit down for a meal goes to the very same spots,” she said.

But these in the enterprise have reacted with fury.

Paolo Gori, president of the small business and provider sector of Confartigianato Imprese Firenze, a trade association for modest and medium enterprises which has 8,000 users in the location, identified as it “absurd.”

“It is not the second to believe about new taxes just after 18 months of a pandemic,” he advised CNN, including that about a 3rd ofre his users have either folded in the pandemic, or are shut to folding.

“The hospitality sector is just one of the most afflicted industries — they are just starting to see gentle at the finish of the tunnel, and right here arrives this strategy of a sandwich tax.”

What’s a lot more, he stated, “Florence was born on avenue meals — we have a road food society,” referring to lampredotto, the local delicacy made from the fourth stomach of a cow, usually served in a sandwich.

As a substitute, he stated the town should really be placing the onus on the vacationers producing the mess.

“We need to have to good persons who never behave well — who litter, who make the metropolis dirty,” he claimed.

“We want travellers, but actions desires to be civil. Florence is everyone’s heritage, but travelers need to have to regard it ample to depart it thoroughly clean.”

A dilemma of good quality

Alessandro Frassica, owner of upmarket sandwich bar Ino, agrees that it’s far too significantly, way too before long.

“The challenge unquestionably exists, so we will need to acquire action that can better ‘hit-and-run’ tourism, but I haven’t understood how the tax would be used, and who to,” he explained to CNN.

The difficulty is not just sandwiches, he reported.

“Ice cream, pizza — it really is all out of handle now, particularly if you might be talking about the top quality of what is actually on give.

“To make a little something of great good quality has a charge — from the solution by itself to the workers, cleanliness and cleaning of the sales position. So when some thing expenses so very little, we must be asking queries.

“And let’s not forget that usually people today provide their personal meals in a backpack and depart the waste all over the place.”

But Schmidt insisted: “The condition which is on its way back again is already penalizing many types of enterprise — but most of all it’s detrimental the impression of the entire metropolis, and that hurts everyone.”

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