Car ban in place as northern Italian cities fight smog

Traffic restrictions are in place in parts of northern Italy in a bid to combat high levels of air pollution.

Car ban in place as northern Italian cities fight smog
Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

A daytime traffic ban in Turin, where safe limits have been surpassed for 15 consecutive days, has been extended to include Euro 5 diesel cars despite rain being forecast. A similar initiative was imposed in October, when pollution values broke the limit for several days.

Restrictions on Euro 4 cars are in place in Milan, where the pollution rate has also broken the legal limit, and other parts of Lombardy, excluding Como, while 85 municipalities across Veneto have traffic limitations in place.

Dozens of Italian cities are in the air pollution danger zone, with 25 exceeding the EU’s standards for air quality by mid-October, according to a report by Legambiente, the environmental organisation.

EU standards specify that cities should have no more than 35 days of poor air quality – when levels of PM10 pollution exceed 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air – per year.

Turin had 66 days of poor quality air between January and mid-October, followed by Cremona with 58 and Padova with 53. Venice had 52 and Milan 50 during the same period.

Almost all of the worst affected cities are in northern Italy. Only Frosinone, south of Rome and an emerging centre of industry, falls outside Italy's traditional “industrial triangle” in the north-west.



Turin chosen to host Eurovision Song Contest in 2022

The next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2022 will be held in the northern Italian city of Turin, organisers confirmed on Friday.

Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam.
Italy's Maneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP

“Turin has won the race to become the host city of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, having triumphed over 16 other competing bids,” read a statement on the contest’s official website.

“The Grand Final will be held in PalaOlimpico on Saturday 14 May with Semi-Finals on 10 and 12 May.”

“We won! Turin has won!” mayor Chiara Appendino wrote in a celebratory post on Facebook.

Italian state broadcaster Rai said Turin had beaten off competition from the cities of Milan, Bologna, Rimini and Pesaro to host the event.

READ ALSO: Italy wins Eurovision: ‘We just want to say to the whole world, rock’n’roll never dies!’

Turin will be the third Italian city to host the event after Naples (which hosted in 1965) and Rome (1991), after Rome-based rock band Måneskin’s victory in Rotterdam earlier this year with the song ‘Zitti e buoni’.

That event, watched by 183 million people, was Italy’s third Eurovision win and its first for three decades.

‘Turin is the perfect Host City for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest,” said Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl.

“As we saw during the 2006 Winter Olympics, PalaOlimpico exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale and we have been very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment from the City of Turin who will welcome thousands of fans next May.”

“This will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Italy in 30 years and, together with our Host broadcaster Rai, we are determined to make it a special one.’

Turin was home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and is hosting the ATP Finals tennis tournament next month.