The Italian Almanac


Breakfast in Rome

Rome city council has buckled under public pressure and toned down a ban on the night-time sale of freshly made croissants, ice-cream, pizza and sandwiches. The ban was part of plans to calm the capital`s night life. While Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno went ahead with issuing a new law requiring vendors to shut down at 2 AM, it contains a clause allowing them to ask for an extension providing they do not sell alcohol and commit to respecting ``decorum``.

``The croissant is safe,`` Alemanno said. Residents concerned they would no longer be able to satisfy late-night munchies after spilling out of discos and bars had mobilised to put pressure on the council, including a planned mass-croissant eat in front of the city hall this weekend. The new law comes into effect in May and sets opening times for shops selling freshly made products as 6 AM to 2 AM, if they do not ask for an extension, and for those selling prepackaged good as 7 AM to 10 PM.

In January the council resuscitated a summer ban on take-away sales of drinks after 21.00 in the city centre after an American was stabbed during a fight at Campo de` Fiori, popular with tourists and locals for its lively nightlife.