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Italy holidays: Rome bans this familiar tourist draw at key attractions

ROME, the capital of Italy has taken yet another drastic measure to curb tourism excess at its most popular attractions. The city has banned souvenir stands at key tourist sites including the Pantheon and Spanish Steps.

Italy holidays: The stalls can obscure the view for visitors and add to congestion (Image: Getty Images)

Rome, in Italy, has banned souvenir stands at popular tourist sights across the city. The mayor of the Italian capital, Virginia Raggi, has said the stands “tarnish” Rome. She said the souvenir stalls are “incompatible with decorum and security.”

Raggi added the decision had been taken to “protect the cultural and monumental heritage of the capital, as well as public safety in crowded areas.”

The stalls, which are often placed directly in front of monuments, can obscure the view for visitors and add to congestion around those areas.

The ban is a long-awaited move by Raggi who previously claimed the stands “ruin the image of Rome.”

She said: “For years, the monuments of the city have been tarnished by vendors who sell drinks, panini and trinkets in front of Rome’s architectural jewels. This is no longer tolerable.”

Italy holidays: The mayor of the Italian capital, Virginia Raggi, has said the stands “tarnish” Rome (Image: Getty Images)

The crackdown will apply to 17 vendors in Rome who sell such souvenirs as figures of the Pope, fridge magnets and statuettes of the Colosseum.

The sellers have been banned from setting up around the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

These sites include the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza Navona.

The vendors in question must move to other sites after the rule came into force on 1 January.

However, eight of them will be able to set up their stands on streets nearby their original site.

The vendors are unhappy about the new rule cracking down on the souvenir stands.

They have argued they are providing tourists to Rome with a service.

Angelo Di Porto, who has a stall next to the Trevi Fountain, told The Telegraph:

“This has been in my family for seven generations.”

Italy holidays: The crackdown will apply to 17 vendors in Rome who sell souvenirs (Image: Getty Images)

He added that the stand was a “legitimate business” that pays rent and a range of taxes.

Two associations that represent the Rome stall owners have promised to fight the new rules through a regional administrative tribunal.

They claim not enough alternative sites have been offered to the vendors.

The clampdown follows a host of strict measures introduced in Rome.

Italy holidays: The vendors in question must move to other sites after the rule came into force (Image: Getty Images)

Last summer, it was announced visitors were banned from sitting down on the Spanish Steps.

Roman police will blow whistles at those who rest their feet and shoo away those who raised against the staircase.

It’s also now illegal to drag wheeled suitcases and pushchairs down historic staircases.

What’s more, walking around the city without a top on is banned, as is entering public fountains.

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