The Italian Almanac


Italian News - July 14

Naples is to give visiting luxury-watch-wearers plastic Rolexes as part of a drive to bring down crime and revive the city's spluttering tourist industry. Thousands of fake replicas of the status symbols have been commissioned from a local firm and are ready to be strapped around the wrists of well-heeled guests before they take to the city's sometimes dangerous streets.

"I know it's a bit of an unorthodox move - and could raise a few giggles given Naples' reputation as a supposed capital for forged goods," said city tourism chief Marco Di Lello. Prefect Renato Profili said: "We're ready to do what it takes to get this city firmly on the tourist map".

The wristwatch initiative, which also involves a string of local towns, is part of a two-year drive to combat a plague of bag and watch snatching which has led island-bound tourists to give the former tourist mecca a wide berth.