It is now forbidden to sit on the large flower pots outside Palazzo Grazioli, the Roman residence of the Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Situated on Via del Plebiscito, just off Piazza Venezia, the flower pots had been regular resting places for the steady crowd of photographers, reporters and tourists waiting outside the building in the hope of catching a glimpse of the prime minister, who sometimes greets the public in person.

Authorities say the decision was taken for security reasons; the same reasons which saw the bus stop being removed, controversially, from that section of street in December 2009. They have described the area as