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This Tourist Hotspot Is Fining Tourists for Eating on the Street

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© Getty Images Pedestrian street at night in downtown Florence, Tuscany, Italy. The street (Via degli Speziale) is leading towards the Republic Square (Piazza della Repubblica) with the Arch (Arcone) in the background. (photo via repistu / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

By Donald Wood, TravelPulse

Tourism is a major driving factor for the economy in Italy, but officials in Florence have instituted fines of 500 euros for travelers caught eating on the streets in the city’s historic center.

According to the Associated Press, Mayor Dario Nardella said the new ordinance went into effect on September 4 and was implemented due to the actions of “boorish tourists.”

The decree bans visitors from eating on sidewalks, doorsteps or driveways in portions of Florence between noon and 3 p.m. local time and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. The ordinance is valid through January 6, 2019.

“The experts who have been there will tell me that if you want to sit in a cafe and consume some food, you actually pay more to literally sit down,” travAlliancemedia CEO Mark Murphy said on his podcast. “So, folks will opt to do some takeaway and there's a lot of takeaway opportunities in these tourist areas.”

“If you're going to charge people through the nose to sit down and they just want a quick bite, they are going to opt out of sitting down and they're going to try to take it away,” Murphy continued. “It's human nature.”

There are four main streets included in the ban, Via de' Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna, which are some of the busiest roads in the city. Florence welcomes an estimated 10.2 million tourists each year, an increase of 2.4 million over the last five years.

Last year, city officials started issuing fines to tourists who were found eating on monumental fountains or bathing in them.

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