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Rome bans New Year's Eve fireworks

Rome fireworks ban - which carries fines of up to €500 - is expected to be widely ignored as usual.

Rome has banned the use of firecrackers, bangers, rockets and other explosive material from 31 December 2021 until midnight on 6 January 2022.

Those who fail to comply with the order, signed by the city's mayor Roberto Gualtieri, risk fines of up to €500 in addition to having their fireworks confiscated.

Calling on Romans to "celebrate the new year safely", Gualtieri said the ban is to "protect the safety of adults and especially minors, who are often victims of accidents, to avoid frightening animals and polluting the environment."

The last-minute ban, welcomed by animal rights activists, was announced after most people have stocked up on fireworks and will likely be ignored as in previous years.

Last New Year's Eve a central Rome street was left covered with dead starlings after the explosions of "botti" just after midnight, making news headlines around the world.

The birds, apparently disorientated and startled by the fireworks, died after flying into windows and electricity cables on Via Cavour.

A similar New Year ban on botti and petardi fireworks will also be in place in Milan.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that every year several thousand animals and birds die in Italy as a result of fireworks at 'capodanno', reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The majority of these are living in urban settings, especially birds, but there are also dogs, cats and other pets which die from heart attacks or from being hit by cars after running onto roads terrorised.

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia