The Rome city council has decided that the areas of the city centre of Rome closed to unauthorised traffic during the day, known as the ZTL (zona a traffico limitato), will also now close on Friday and Saturday nights from 23.00-03.00 from 17 June until 23 September 2005. Extra buses and taxis will be provided for those nights. This is just one of the new measures taken by the city authorities in an attempt to regulate weekend nightlife in the city.
The intention is to make nights more tolerable for the residents of the city, while at the same time permitting commercial activities to go on late into the night. Finding a balance has been difficult, with residents' associations complaining about night-time disturbance. The mayor and the city council hope that the new rulings will go some way to keeping all sides happy.
Bars and restaurants with a permit from the city council to put tables and chairs out on the streets will be more carefully controlled and the areas that they are permitted to occupy will be marked by painted lines or metal studs. Anyone using more space than authorized will be fined and, in the case of receiving more than three such fines, will risk losing the permit for a period of three years.
The tax levied by the city council on activities using the streets for tables and chairs will be increased by up to 100 per cent in the historic centre and three other popular areas, near the station Termini, the Salaria and in Monte Mario, and by 20 per cent in other areas of the city. This will bring the tax in the city centre up to 189 per sq m. The increased taxes, expected to amount to more than 4.5 million in 2005, will be used by the council to pay to keep the streets as attractive as possible.