Rome, Italy outlaws eating snacks at tourist sites this summer

You can still marvel at the Pantheon in Rome this summer. Just don’t be eating any gelato while doing it.

Rome has passed a measure outlawing the eating of snacks at many of its most famous tourist attractions, in an effort, say officials, to preserve the city’s treasured monuments.

The snack ban went in effect this past weekend, and will last through October.

For travelers, this came as a shock, since many choose to buy food at street vendors or markets on the go rather than sit at many of the expensive cafes that have set up shot near Rome’s most popular attractions.

“You don’t want to sit at that place,” Kristin Benner of Annapolis tells the Associated Press, pointing to one of the cafes near the Pantheon. “And if you have signs, police and benches, isn’t that taking away from the monuments more than drinking near them?”

Rome is also cracking down on drunks — banning them, too — and is prohibiting homeless from sleeping near tourist attractions.

It seems cities across Italy are really cracking down lately on things deemed to take away from the tourist experience, even as though they claim it is for the good of buildings, monuments and other sites.

Venice has banned picnics and bare torsos in St. Mark’s Square (not to mention pigeon feeding); Florence is targeting the men who wait with squeegees to wash the windows of cars idling at traffic lights.

Rome also recently passed a law cracking down on street vendors.