• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
No more kebabs: Florence forces shops to sell local food
Authorities in Florence want new shops and restaurants to make sure 70 percent of their produce is local. Photo: Jeremy Brooks

No more kebabs: Florence forces shops to sell local food

Patrick Browne · 16 Mar 2016, 15:06

Published: 16 Mar 2016 15:06 GMT+01:00

An agreement signed by the city council last week will force new businesses to sell local, traditional foods chosen from a list of produce drawn up by the region of Tuscany.

The city's historical centre is a Unesco World Heritage site which is visited by millions of tourists each year.

However, the city's Democratic Party mayor Dario Nardiella says the city is losing its character due to the growing number of kebab shops and mini-markets selling low quality foreign products to tourists.

“This measure comes at a difficult time for the city,” Nardiella told La Repubblica.

“Deregulation by previous governments has removed controls on what food products can be sold, which has led to a distortion of the centre's food culture."

Nardella said the huge number of shops and restaurants profiting from the tourist trade could damage the traditional feel of the centre unless regulations were introduced.

“One restaurant opens every week in the historic centre. Mass-produced foods are replacing our traditional trattorias and historic food shops: we have to put an end to it.”

The long list of local produce the council wants shops to sell includes some of the most iconic items in Italian cuisine, such as Chianti wine and pecorino cheeses.

It also includes lesser-known but highly-prized regional varieties like the pearly white Sorana bean or Garfagnana spelt.

“The ruling is retroactive for all shops, but not restaurants, in the historic centre too,” Stefania Crivaro, a spokesperson for the city council, told The Local.  

"They now have three years to ensure that 70 percent of their produce is locally sourced."

Crivaro said the decision was not a ruling against ethnic foods and shops would be allowed to sell less than 70 percent local produce in some circumstances.

"A five-man commission working to ensure the city's food culture and feel of the historic centre will grant approval to businesses that don't want to sell local produce on a case-by-case basis."

While the initiative has won praise in some quarters, Oscar Farinetti, founder of global Italian supermarket chain, Eataly, said new rules could prove too restrictive and damage business.

Story continues below…

“It's sensible for regions to protect their biodiversity but 70 percent might be a bit too high,” La Repubblica reported him as saying.

But the scheme could be rolled out in other historic cities soon.

“We've been getting lots of calls from councils up and down the country who are curious about the idea and are hoping to introduce something similar to their historic centres," Crivaro added.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Patrick Browne (patrick.browne@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pope visits Armenian genocide memorial
Francis laid a wreath and prayed at the Tsitsernakaberd site. Photo: AFP

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a rallying cry to protect memory at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, on day two of a trip likely to stir tensions with Turkey.

Italians in the UK: 'After all these years, we feel unwanted'
Thousands of young Italians have moved to London in recent years. Photo: TJ Morris

Italian expats in the UK shared feelings of anger, fear and confusion after Britain voted to leave the EU. And they never even got a say.

How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking to stay in Italy long term? Here's how.

Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
(L) Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, which campaigned for Britain to leave the EU and (R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Photos: Geoff Caddick/Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Britain may have taken a leap into the dark, but this is what's expected in Italy.

Europe needs renovating after Brexit: Renzi
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has called on the remaining EU members to reorganize the EU. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Renzi said it was "not an easy day."

'Brexit is a disaster for Great Britain': WW2 veteran
Harry Shindler MBE. Photo: Rosie Scammell

“I would have thought that 70 years of peace would have been sufficient for people to say ‘we’re not going to change’ anything."

Renzi calls urgent meeting as Italy's far-right rejoice Brexit
Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, summoned the country's top economic minds to his home on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called an extraordinary meeting on Friday morning as global markets were plunged into turmoil by the UK's shock decision to leave the EU.

Brits in Italy left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Britons on Thursday voted to leave the EU. Photo: Emanuel Dunand/AFP

Britons in Italy woke up to the shocking news on Friday that the UK has voted to leave the EU, sending the pound crashing and fuelling concerns about their future on the continent.

Venice beaches offer 'sun or your money back' deal
Venice beaches are offering 'weather insurance' in a bid to boost visitor numbers this summer. Photo: Darkbeach/Flickr

Authorities hope the move will attract more beachgoers.

Berlusconi plots Forza Italia relaunch from hospital bed
Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly hoping to relaunch his political party, Forza Italia. Photo: Alberto Solaro/AFP

Following a near-fatal heart attack and surgery to replace his aortic valve, the 80-year-old mogul shows no sign of slowing down.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Culture
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Travel
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
National
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Health
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Travel
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
National
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Politics
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Travel
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Politics
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
2,537
jobs available