Don’t despair good Britons, your civil liberties may be impinged upon more and more every year, but it could be worse. Rome’s Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, elected in April is cracking down on common, everyday activities in the city centre. A new law was passed that prohibits littering, graffiti, sticking up posters, sleeping, shouting, eating and drinking on the street, singing and selling merchandise without a licence.
Most of these make sense; littering and vandalism should be fined, and it’s probably not the safest thing to fall asleep in heavily trafficked areas. But not being able to sing or shout (how do you classify a shout anyway; does it only include angry shouts or are shouts of joy prohibited too?) in the streets or even eat a picnic lunch next to the Trevi Fountain seem a little tight around the collar. Not to mention the damage done to the merchants who go around selling flowers or serenading diners on violins. This new law basically criminalizes the tourist industry in Rome and ruins part of the pleasure of visiting the city.