A town in Italy has gotten so crowded over the Christmas season, it introduced a one-way foot traffic rule to cut down on the hordes.
The new pedestrian rules were introduced on the Naples street of Via San Gregorio Armeno, CNN reported, a popular stretch filled with nativity scenes in the heart of the city. The new rules, which first went into effect over the weekend, will be implemented from 9 am to 9 pm on December 7 to 11 and then again from December 17 to 23.
All about the new on-foot traffic rule in Naples, Italy
The rules will then be in effect from 9 am to 3 pm on Christmas Eve.
Via San Gregorio Armeno, once a Roman street, is now known for its elaborate nativity scenes, according to Italy’s tourism site. It’s Christmas year-round on the street thanks to shops that sell nativity characters (along with modern popular figures) and has been a well-known site for handmade nativity figures dating back to around the 18th century.
The council told the network the one-way system was implemented since public safety was “dangerously compromised.” The streets are “mainly without sidewalks and are visited by high numbers of tourists in the Christmas period, especially the ‘shepherds’ street,’ San Gregorio Armeno,” leading to “situations of exceptional crowding, because of the vast foot traffic.”
The council added there is a “risk for public and private safety, compromising minimum safety standards… dangerously compromising the safety of citizens, who are sometimes literally trapped within the crowd without being able to get out.”
Naples isn’t the first city in Italy to implement measures to control overcrowding. Next year, Venice will start charging a tourist tax for travellers who arrive for the day only. Italy also declared the waterways around Venice a “national monument,” and banned large cruise ships from the lagoon basin near St. Mark’s Square and the Giudecca Canal, earning the city a reprieve from being included on the UNESCO World Heritage danger list.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
Main and Feature Image Credit: Salvatore Laporta/Getty Image
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