Centurions return to Rome

Rome mayor vows to fight court order reversing city ban.

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi has said that she will fight a ruling by Lazio regional administrative tribunal (TAR) on 27 April which overturned a city order banning centurions and rickshaws from operating around historic tourist sites in the capital.

The city's ban was quashed by the TAR following an appeal by groups representing the costumed centurions whose trade "could not be considered an emergency" according to the court.

Mayor Raggi has vowed to introduce new legislation to "protect" the city's heritage, tweeting immediately after the court ruling: "Rome can not be held hostage by centurions and rickshaws."

The ban, which was introduced by Rome commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca in November 2015, was extended by Raggi last December. The order, which included penalties of €400, was meant to remain in place until 30 July this year.

Consumer agency Codacons said the ban had been unjustified but argued that "clear rules" must be introduced governing the so-called centurions and how much they can charge tourists for appearing in souvenir photographs.

In the past the centurions have been accused of aggressive behaviour and requesting exorbitant photo fees.