taxing take-away food to save Florence's streets from food oil?

Uffizi boss talks of taxing take-away food in Florence

By Region Culture News North-west Italy

The head of Florence’s Uffizi Gallery suggests taxing take-away food. He believes the oil from the food stains Florence’s streets and monuments.

Eike Schmidt, head of the Uffizi Gallery, suggests taxing take-away food, such as pizzas, kebabs and fast food. The money could then be directed to keeping the streets and monuments of Florence clean. He believes the oil, ketchup and so on stains the city.

Food oil stains streets and monuments

Schmidt blames oil from take-away sandwiches, pizza and kebabs for stains on Florence streets and monuments. He said they are particularly harmful for the ‘pietra serena’ or Macigno sandstone used extensively in Renaissance Florence

Italian news agency ANSA reported Schmidt’s remarks made during an interview with the news site QN.

“It would be fair to introduce an additional taxation for street food establishments, or those that do not offer their customers space and tables but force them to eat on the street,” said Schmidt.

However, the Florence branch of Confartigianato Imprese, which represents artisans and small business owners, refuted Schmidt’s proposal.

The group’s president Paolo Gori described it as an “absurd” and “senseless” idea. He said, “We are absolutely opposed to this additional burden on the city’s businesses”.  

Instead, Gori suggested addressing the “uncivil behaviour” by increasing checks and handing out fines to those who do “not respect the rules.”

This would not be a first in Italy. Rome banned people from sitting and eating on the Spanish Steps in 2019.

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