Rome bans camping and eating on streets in centre

The mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno has banned camping out as well as stopping to consume food or drink on streets around the historic centre, as part of "urgent measures to guarantee the protection of valuable areas".

The order, which will remain in force until the end of this year, affects areas "of particular historical, artistic, architectural and cultural heritage" within Rome's centro storico.

Those caught breaking the new rules face penalties of between €25 and €500.

The first people to openly challenge the “anti-panino” ruling were the president of the Green Party Angelo Bonelli and secretary of the Radical Party Mario Staderini, who protested by eating sandwiches outside the Pantheon on 2 October. The politicians, who suggested that under Alemanno "Rome has become a city of prohibitions and absurd rules", had their names taken by the municipal police.

However not everyone disagrees with the new legislation. Viviana Di Capua from the association Abitanti Centro Storico said "This is a way to re-educate people about how to behave in this city. We've let standards fall."