It may seem silly having to instruct people to refrain from certain behaviors, when common sense and good manners would suffice to prevent them from happening, and yet: Rome has recently introduced a set of new rules to try to regulate the conduct of both visitors and residents in a city that is increasingly crowded and sometimes appear to be out of control.
For tourists in Rome, new regulations prohibit people from jumping into water fountains, bouncing wheeled suitcases down the staircases of historic monuments, walking around the city bare-chested, attaching ‘love padlocks’, snacking around monuments in order to avoid pieces of food to be all over historic sites.
Residents are targeted as well, starting with locals who dress up as Roman legionaries and hang around popular attractions such as the Colosseum to ask tourists for money in exchange for a photo with them; they are now permanently banned, as are touts trying to sell unofficial tickets and skip-the-line tours outside tourist sites such as the Vatican.
In addition, likely to the dismay of tourists who enjoy taking photos of peculiar Italian habits, residents can no longer hang out their laundry on wires between buildings.
Singing, playing instruments or busking on public transport is also banned.
The goal of this new package of rules is to manage tourist pressure on the city and curb anti-social behavior in general, authorities say.
"Rome is, and always will be, welcoming, but that does not mean tolerating bad behavior and damage being done to our city," Virginia Raggi, mayor of Rome, has said. She added that she would contact foreign embassies to invite them to make citizens of their countries aware of the new regulations.
As is often the case in Italy, where laws are in force but nobody respects them, it’s unclear how the new rules will be applied, or what fines people will incur when caught breaking them. More police is expected around the most popular monuments.