When in Rome, don’t try to drink outside after 10 p.m.
It is now illegal for anyone — tourist or resident — to drink alcohol out of glass containers on the streets and piazzas of Rome between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., now through October 31. The ban, which started on Saturday, forbids drinking alcohol out of any container after midnight. Scofflaws face a $ 170 (150 Euro) fine.
“We don’t want the Roman summer evenings to be ruined by episodes linked to excessive consumption of alcohol,” Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi said in a video statement.
Public drinking in the Eternal City is a long-standing tradition, especially in nightlife areas such as Monti, Trastevere, and San Lorenz.
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But there’s a flipside to all the fun: garbage and inebriated tourists. Trash piles up in heaps near many of the city’s great attractions, and local bloggers compete to outdo each other. The winner? Roma Fa Schifo (Rome Sucks), which recently posted a photo of a man in a gladiator costume relieving himself in public.
All of the city’s districts — except for Ottavia in the distant northwest — will be affected by the ban and an accompanying restriction that closes bars at 2 a.m.
The ordinance is posted around the city in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German so tourists will have a tough time playing dumb with the local polizia. In the first five days of the ban’s tenure, authorities have already issued 37 fines, The Local reported.
The ban comes just a month after Rome barred eating and drinking near the city’s fountains in an attempt to curb litering near the ancient monuments.
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The mayor — elected last year after pledging to turn things around — is perhaps motivated by the philanthropy of huge Italian names like Tod’s, Bulgari and Fendi who have funded local cleanup efforts when the government did not.
“The public sector is inefficient and totally disorganized while the private sector functions better,” a Roman citizen told the New York Times last month.
“(It is) a tragic situation,” he said. “No other country in Europe has a capital in this condition.”
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