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Talia Avakian
May 09, 2017

In an effort to preserve its cultural heritage, Italy’s “City of Bridges,” Venice, is enforcing a new law that will limit shops selling pizza by the slice, kebabs, and other types of “fast food.”

“We want to put the brakes on types of activities which are not compatible with the preservation and development of Venice’s cultural heritage,” Paolo Mar, the city’s tourism chief, told The Guardian.

Only ice cream shops selling gelato will be exempt from the new regulation. Ice cream is created through artisanal methods that should be preserved, according to authorities.

“The problem is that with a tourist city like ours, there is a risk of it losing its identity,” Mar said. “There are local products that we must try to promote, this would be better for the spirit of the city and, at an environmental level, would be more sustainable.”

Besides preserving cultural traditions, the change comes in an effort to battle increasing packaged food waste that tourists are leaving along city streets, according to The Local.

Venice is not the first city in Italy to take a stand on limiting the sale of fast food, with Verona taking a stand against the opening of new kebab shops in 2016, while Florence now requires that shops in the city center have at least 70 percent of their produce be locally sourced.

The move also comes after the city introduced measures in April that include installing people-counters at busy areas to monitor the number of visitors coming to the city’s popular sites, the promotion of hidden areas, and an increase in police numbers to try and deal with its increasing tourism numbers, according to The Local.

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