Florence might be the city that invented gelato and crostinis but that doesn’t mean it wants tourists eating them on the street – and those that do could face a $500 fine.

Around 10 million tourists flock to the city every year. According to the council and traders, visitors snacking on city centre pavements are having an adverse effect on the local economy by blocking storefronts and doorways of shops.

Florence’s new ordinance affects the four busiest streets in the city centre – including Via de’ Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna – and will be will be applied from 12pm-3pm and 6pm-10pm. Tourists caught flaunting the rules will be slapped with a €150-€500 penalty.

Currently in place until January, the bylaw could be extended if the pilot phase proves successful.

The ban follows a controversial move last summer to hose down the steps of the city’s churches to stop tourists snacking there.

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