The minister of culture and fine art, Giuliano Urbani, has accepted a request from residents of the centre of Rome that the Campo de Fiori be made into legally-protected area, under a law introduced in 2002 especially for the preservation of places of historic interest, such as the most famous squares in the centres of Italian cities. The bureaucratic process is already under way and should be completed within four months. Then the famous market and meeting place will come under careful scrutiny. The many bars and restaurants in the square will only be allowed to use the outdoor space allotted to them and the market-stall holders will be expected to have stalls and umbrellas that conform to a standard design.

The association of residents, who applied for this special protection in protest at the deterioration of the square, are also hoping that the area will receive extra night- time police surveillance. At weekends and in summer the beautiful square is thronged with young people, often until the early hours of the morning, making it almost impossible for the locals to sleep.