Italy’s Gelato Rules!

24 Oct

Usually this would mean as implied… and why not, since delicious gelato is so readily available in Italy.

As of this month, however, the Rome City Council has adopted a rule – actually an ordinance – that prohibits eating or drinking on the streets in the city center of Rome. And that includes gelato!

To be fair, similar ordinances already exist in Florence, Venice and Bologna.

And further to the point, it is mostly foreign tourists and not Italians who typically perch on monuments and nibble away at paninis or indulge in gelato.

So, as you take in incredible Roman sights, including the Coliseum, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, and any areas that “have a particular historic or architectural value,” eat first or go hungry, or risk a fine that can range from 25 to 500 euro, or up to $650!

What exactly does the Council ordinance say?

“It is forbidden to encamp or erect makeshift shelters and stop to eat or drink in zones which have a particular historic or architectural value.” The ordinance is an attempt to “guarantee the protection of areas of merit in the historic center.”

Now not all Italians agree with the new ordinance. La Republicca, an Italian newspaper, called this ordinance a “war on the panino.”

And some fear the ordinance will impact tourism, which Italy certainly needs.

Like this young man, I certainly can be counted among those who have wandered with a gelato in hand.

But being someone who tries to look on the bright side, maybe this ordinance isn’t so bad after all. Besides saving the historic zones from litter, perhaps tourists will learn to appreciate and even embrace the cultural aspects of eating in Italy as they now take time to sit at tables, appreciate the food, sip their cappuccino or vino, enjoy their gelato and even share a conversation with friends or locals.

As visitors to this wonderful country, tourists might as well experience some of the Italian “gioia di vivere” while taking in some of the greatest monuments Europe has to share.



2 Responses to “Italy’s Gelato Rules!”

  1. Sandy Holswade October 25, 2012 at 1:05 AM #

    I think it is a good thing. Rome is beautiful – let’s keep it that way!

    Larry is still pining away for the four cheese pizza in Cortona.


    • blogginginitaly October 25, 2012 at 11:36 AM #

      HI Sandy,
      Funny…we were just talking about Larry and that pizza! Wish we could all have one tonight!


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