Why is Milan poised to ban ice cream and pizza after midnight?

Why is Milan poised to ban ice cream and pizza after midnight?
Why is Milan poised to ban ice cream and pizza after midnight? Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By David Mouriquand
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In an effort to address a barrage of noise complaints, Milan is preparing to ban late-night snacks. This war on ice cream isn’t new, and does not sit well with many...


The Italian city of Milan is proposing a new law to ban ice cream after midnight, in an effort to protect the "peace and health" of residents.

A legislative starting paper has been filed by the city's local government. If passed, the new law could come into effect next month and last until November – something which local vendors will not be best pleased about, considering they are accustomed to selling gelato late at night as part of Italian culture.

The proposal would ban all takeaway food, including pizza and drinks, after 12.30am on weekdays and 1.30am on weekends and public holidays - all in an effort to clamp down on noisy groups crowding on the streets and keeping local residents up.

The ban would be in effect in 12 of Milan's districts – including the central districts of Brera and Ticinese, as well as Darsena, Lazzaretto, Corso Como, and the popular nightlife areas of Arco della Pace and Navigli.

Last month, mayor Giuseppe Sala stated that “a sizeable segment of the population is complaining about excessive noise.”

“In my role I have to listen to all citizens, including those who have to work and those who want to do their business,” added Sala.

“We are seeking a balance between sociality and entertainment, the peace and health of the residents and the free economic activity of traders and entrepreneurs,” Marco Granelli, the deputy mayor responsible for security, wrote on Facebook.

This isn’t the first time the Italian city is trying to get late-night gelato banned. 

In 2013, the city council – under then mayor Guiliano Pisapia - failed in trying to get late-night ice cream lickers off the streets. The proposed measures were met with backlash – what the Italian media dubbed “the battle of the cones”. This included an ‘Occupy Gelato’ sit-in movement – a tastier riff on the populist socio-political movement that opposes social and economic inequality.

Citizens have until early May to appeal and suggest changes to the new proposed law.

Lino Stoppani, the president of Fipe, the Italian federation of public and tourist operators, told Italian daily Il Messaggero: “The problem of nightlife exists, but this rule will only create damages for businesses.”

As a riposte, Lorenza Bonaccorsi, president of Rome’s I Municipality, told the newspaper: “If it was up to me, I would ban the sale of take-away alcohol throughout the centre.”

Additional sources • Il Messaggero

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