Rome cracks down on Piazza Navona Christmas stalls

Irregular tenders for Piazza Navona Christmas stalls.

Rome commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca has asked the city's Municipio 1, the administrative authority for Rome's historic centre, to cancel the allocation of licences for this year's stalls at the Befana Christmas market at Piazza Navona. This follows an investigation by Italy’s anti-corruption agency (ANAC).

The authority, headed by magistrate Raffaele Cantone, uncovered "administrative irregularities" in the tendering process for the Christmas stalls. A separate probe by the Municipio 1 had reached the same conclusions.

The market came under investigation after it emerged that roughly half of the 42 ten-year licences were granted directly or indirectly to the powerful Tredicine clan, which owns the majority of the mobile sandwich bars around the city and has political connections.

The latest twist to the story follows moves by the city’s former mayor Ignazio Marino who reduced the market's licensed stalls from 115 to 72 last year. This was followed by Marino's crack-down on the mobile bars, most of which are also owned by the Tredicine family.

This year's market was scheduled to run from 6 December until 6 January but what happens next will be decided by Tronca.