ROME (Reuters) – You can walk up and down Rome’s famed Spanish Steps all you want but don’t try sitting down to take in the moment any more because police will shoo you away with a whistle and threaten you with a fine.
City authorities have imposed a new ban at the site, beloved of tourists and immortalized in the 1953 romantic comedy “Roman Holiday” with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.
They say too many people sit down for too long, obstructing the steps for others, or stop to eat lunches from nearby fast food joints.
Not everyone was happy with the attempt to restore order, which began this week.
“I think it’s ridiculous, silly,” said Thomas Atkins, an American tourist from Seattle, as he watched police blow whistles to move people on.
“You’re only going to rest for a little while on the stone anyway and you eventually move along,” he said on Thursday.
Vittorio Sgarbi, one of Italy’s best known art critics, called the move “Fascist-like.”
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