Culture

Rome Has Banned Souvenir Stalls From Its Major Tourist Attractions

You know what’s inarguably great? The city of Rome. Pasta, wine, fashion, gelato, living history: it’s all there.

But you know what’s less great? Trying to marvel at the Colosseum over a row of plastic Colosseums.

Now Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi has decided to address the eyesore of souvenir stalls and mobile snack bars (known locally as caminon bars) scattered around the city’s grand sights.

In short: they’re banned.

Multiple stalls have been removed from the vicinity of tourist destinations like the Colosseum, Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. The ban came into place on January 1, 2020.

The offending stalls generally sling mass-produced trinkets you probably don’t need. Think mugs, miniature landmarks and bobbleheads of famous people like the Pope and Donald Trump. If you’ve been to Europe, you definitely know the vibe.

As reported by the Lonely Planet, mayor Raggi had some blunt words on the topic. “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,” Raggi said in a statement. “This is no longer tolerable.”

Rome’s mayor generally takes a hard-line approach to the city’s tourist trade. In fact, she has promised “zero tolerance for those marring our city”. This includes banning Roman centurion impersonators outside ancient sites and cracking down on people eating, drinking or climbing on monuments. She’s also no fan of people wading through Rome’s fountains in various states of undress.

We can only applaud an attempt to declutter major tourist sites. But just know your visit to the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps will still be very busy. The hawkers are clearing out, but interrupt someone’s Instagram shoot at your own peril.

(Lead Image: Giorgio Galeotti / Wikimedia Commons)