The Province

Rome gets serious with scofflaws

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Rome has officially had enough of La Dolce Vita wannabes, money-grubbing gladiators and wobbly-legged pub crawlers.

The Italian capital, long denounced for the urban squalor that has had residents comparing it to a “rubbish dump,” has introduced permanent laws aimed at stamping out many anti-social behaviours. The city council says a squad of 500 new vigili urbani (city police) will soon be enforcing laws against infraction­s such as swimming in fountains and for “slovenly” eating in restricted areas.

It also announced a ban on organized bar hopping.

Many of the curbs had previously been in place on a temporary basis, The Local news site said.

But now unofficial “gladiators” — long a scourge outside the famous Colosseum and blamed for overchargi­ng, harassing and pickpocket­ing unwary tourists — face fines of up to 400 euros ($600) on a permanent basis.

And anyone heading to Trevi Fountain to re-create Anita Ekberg’s sexy scenes from the 1960 film La Dolce Vita will also be slapped with tickets.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi said: “After 72 years of waiting, Rome has new urban police regulation­s. Today is a historic day.”

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