The consumption of tasty snacks and delicious junk food near ancient monuments is now illegal in the city of Rome, according to NBC News. Beginning October 1, anyone found munching near any of the historic Roman tourist attractions will be issued a hefty fine for their disrespect. However, as long as you don’t stop to savor your foodstuff of choice, chances are Roman authorities will leave well enough alone.
Should authorities find you and your friends lunching on the steps near one of the city’s numerous historic landmarks, there’s a very strong possibility that a very large fine is in your future. Although most of the fines are generally around $65, they can easily skyrocket to $650 should police find your picnic to be particularly offensive.
Magdi Adib, one of the police officers assigned to the snack and junk food beat, explained that they’ve ticketed several individuals for chowing down in front of the monuments since the ban went into effect. “Eating on monuments can really get out of control,” Adib said. “Once I caught a group of tourists who set a table on the Spanish Steps, with table cloth and cutlery! This has to stop.”
Adib also noted that most of the individuals ticketed for these crimes were foreign tourists. “We could have given tickets to many more, but you have to apply some reason,” he said. “If they drink a bottle of water it’s OK, but if they camp out, we fine them.”
According to Fox News, a number of Italian cities have introduced snack and junk food bans around historic monuments in order to preserve the area for future generations. After all, nobody would want to visit the Roman Colosseum if it was covered with potato chip bags and candy bar wrappers.
“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 city ordinance reads.
Do you think it’s fair to ask people not to eat snacks and junk food near historic Roman landmarks?