Rome is one of Europe’s most beautiful and historically significant cities and as such, it attracts hordes of visitors. But with great tourism appeal comes an abundance of souvenir stands.
These souvenir stalls are often cited as eyesores by residents and even diminish the visitor experience, especially when they’re located directly in front of historic monuments. That’s why Virginia Raggi, Rome’s mayor, announced that 17 stalls located around the city’s main tourist sites will be closed down, in order to protect Rome’s heritage and improve safety in the vicinity of heavily trafficked areas.
Starting on January 1, stalls selling key rings, fridge magnets, decorative plates, figurines, and other souvenirs were removed from areas like the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Colosseum, and Piazza Navona. Vans selling visitor snacks near the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus were also removed.
“For years,” said Raggi, “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.”
This ban is part of a series of steps to clean up the city’s historic areas. Recent bans have also been enacted to prevent people from sitting on the Spanish Steps, eating certain foods by monuments, and walking around shirtless.