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Milan approves new rules cracking down on noisy nightlife

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Milan approves new rules cracking down on noisy nightlife
Customers at a busy bar in Milan's Navigli district. (Photo: MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

Milan city council on Monday confirmed new rules aimed at limiting noise from nightlife in the city, with restrictions on the sale of alcohol - but no ban on late-night gelato, as was initially reported.

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New legislation aimed at stopping noise from Milan's nightlife from keeping residents awake will come into force in 12 of the city's central districts from Monday, May 20th, remaining in place until November 4th.

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Milan's city council published an ordinance on Monday containing details of the much-debated temporary limit on the opening hours of outdoor terraces, takeaways and other food and drinks businesses, which it said would improve the lives of local residents without hitting business owners in the pocket.

According to the local edition of Corriere della Sera, the new rules limit:

  • Opening hours of bar and restaurant terraces, which must close no later than 1am and reopen no earlier than 6am. The limit is extended to 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Sales of takeaway alcoholic drinks from bars, shops and other businesses, which are prohibited between midnight and 6am.
  • Sales of food and drinks by street vendors between 8pm and 6pm.

The rules will apply in the areas of Nolo, Lazzaretto, Melzo, Isola, Sarpi, Cesariano, Arco della Pace, Corso Como/Gae Aulenti, Garibaldi, Brera, Ticinese, Darsena and Navigli, according to local media reports.

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While initial reports ridiculed the measure as an "ice-cream ban", councillors later clarified that "ice cream is not the target" and that the rules would focus on the sale of "drinks, especially alcoholic ones."

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This was the latest set of temporary restrictions brought in by Milan's city council, and follows the introduction of similar rules last October on weekends in the busy areas of via Melzo, via Lazzaretto and piazza Oberdan.

Previously introduced limits were criticised as ineffective by residents' associations, who said noise levels would remain above safe limits, as well as business owners, who pointed out that many bars in central areas of the city already had an agreement in place to close outdoor terraces no later than 2am.

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