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Why Italy Is Banning Everything

Kebabs and selfie sticks are just the tip of the iceberg in the national struggle to wrest control of historic city centers.
Tourists at Rome's Trevi fountain, where paddling or picnicking (but not selfie stick use) now incurs a fine
Tourists at Rome's Trevi fountain, where paddling or picnicking (but not selfie stick use) now incurs a fineMax Rossi/Reuters

On first glance, it’s easy to nod in agreement with Italy’s wave of bans on tourist-related misbehavior. The latest city to join this movement is Milan, which at the end of July has brought in a (potentially extendable) summer ban on bottles, cans, firecrackers, food trucks, and selfie sticks in its central Darsena neighborhood, a bar-filled canal district that functions as Milan’s main after-dark living room. This comes not that long after Florence’s mayor threatened to enforce a ban on al fresco picnicking in the city’s Cathedral Square by hosing down offenders.

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