Late-night shopping in certain streets in the centre of Rome will become a reality on Friday 30 July until the 31 August. Shops in 26 streets, winding through the centre of Rome from the Via Veneto, down to the Pantheon and across the river Tiber to Trastevere, will be allowed to remain open until midnight, two hours later than the latest closing time usually allowed. This late- night opening, authorized by the city council, has caused controversy. The local councillor in charge of commerce for the central district of Rome has suggested that shops in the whole of the centre of Rome should be allowed to stay open until midnight, not just those in selected streets, and the president of the same district council, while agreeing with the initiative in principal, has pointed out that the number of city police on duty should be increased to cover the extra opening hours and that public transport may need to be extended to cope with demand.

In the meantime shop owners in the designated streets are having to re-think their staffing when normally they and their employees would pull down the shutters and go to the beach. Under Italian labour law a shop assistant is not allowed to work more than an eight hour day.