Sometimes it seems like there is no escaping gift shop after gift shop. But now at least one major tourist destination is getting rid of some of these shops and souvenir stalls from major tourist attractions.
According to Lonely Planet, the city of Rome, Italy is banning souvenir stands and snack carts from some of the city’s most famous sites, including the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish steps, among others.
Virginia Raggi, the mayor of Rome, said the ban was to “protect Rome’s heritage,” Lonely Planet reported. Not only does the sale of cheap souvenirs like key rings and tiny plastic versions of real monuments put a damper on your trip, for some travelers, the stands also take away from the historic and natural beauty of these sites. After all, travelers would much rather see these iconic monuments as they are, without having to crop out a souvenir stand in their vacation photos.
“For years, the monuments of the city have been tarnished by vendors who sell drinks, panini, and trinkets in front of Rome’s architectural jewels. This is no longer tolerable,” Raggi said in a statement, Lonely Planet reported.
Since Rome has also banned snacking on the street in front of some of its most important landmarks anyway, it seems just as well to get rid of these mobile stands, too. In addition, the city also banned sitting on the Spanish steps back in August of 2019. But Rome isn’t the only Italian city to enforce some strict rules around its most precious sites: The city of Venice has also implemented a rule that restricts certain cruise ships from accessing the Giudecca Canal back in 2017.
Elsewhere in the Mediterranean, the city of Athens, Greece has enforced similar rules to these Italian cities, including banning high heels at certain ancient sites.
The souvenir stands ban began on Jan. 1, 2020.