Venetian authorities have banned the sale of kebabs from its central tourist district in an effort to preserve the cultural identity of the historic city which they say is being diminished by fast food outlets.
Venice’s tourist chief, Paola Mar, says the sale of mini pizza slices will also be banned from fast food outlets though also added, “The city does not object to kebabs or fast food in principle and does not have a problem with people eating outside.”
Mar went on to say, “The problem is that with a tourist city like ours, there is a risk of it losing its identity.” Only foodstuffs such as artisanal ice creams will be excluded from the ban.
Venice, like much of Italy, is proud of its locally sourced cuisines and is the latest city to shut out fast foods from its popular tourist districts. Similar measures have been enacted in Florence and Verona, where it has been met with opposition from locals who appreciate the variety that other cultures bring to the Italian offering.
Venice receives millions of tourists each year and has long grappled with environmental protection measures for its canal city, including limiting tourist numbers and the introduction of charges to enter public spaces, such as St Marks Square.