NEWSFLASH: Rome Just Broke My Heart

Oh my God.

You guys.

I’m heartbroken. I’m devastated. I have been betrayed by the city I love.  I’m not even playing.

Please join me after the jump; I need a moment to collect myself.

Arrivaderci, amore mio. Gia mi manchi.

Arrivaderci, amore mio. Gia mi manchi.

I just finished reading this piece of tragic news, from Jaunted:

Starting this month, tourists in Rome will have to get their pizza-and-pasta fixes in before hitting the bar scene, as late-night snacking will be officially outlawed.

Authorities in the Eternal City are looking for ways to quiet the town’s rowdy tourist-fueled bar scene. They already go against the European norm by closing most bars by 1 a.m., but apparently that isn’t doing enough to stem the party tide, as revelers tend to just move the fun out into the streets, soaking up the alcohol at the city’s omnipresent roving ice cream and snack trucks.

But not anymore—a new city ordinance that goes into effect this month orders all food vendors in the city—mobile stores and more traditional ones—to shut it down by 1 a.m. as well.

Why?  Why, in the name of all that is good and sacred in this world, would you want to do something so cruel?

(Imagine me, fully bejeweled, spinning around with accusatory pointed finger like a soap opera star, when I say the following:)

It’s YOU, you annoying, bleating, drunken students and hostelers, who spend all of Daddy’s Money on liquor you can’t hold, who think the city is one big bar, who think you’re loud and fabulous but instead you’re loud and immature and annoying.

YOU understand nothing.  NOTHING! Nothing of the inherent, heartbreaking beauty of a city that has survived much more formidable foes than the likes of you.  Rome is not your parent’s house while they’re on vacation. It is a city.  It is MY CITY, and YOU have ruined this most treasured late-night tradition for the rest of us.

YOU have taken away from me something that I loved dearly.  Something my friends and I shared.  Something that was a rare treat when we found ourselves out late at night… as we walk to his car, along beautiful, decrepit, aqueduct-lined streets, laughing and changing words to songs and tired and full, and we pass a tiny, lit niche with a statue of the Madonna and candles and flowers.

That. You’ve taken that away from me. You ungrateful little drunken bastards.


18 thoughts on “NEWSFLASH: Rome Just Broke My Heart

  1. Well…I’ll be….we are all getting old! You sound like your pop-pop lamenting the music of 1972 (well, he did have a point there… but I digress). What a sad state of affairs.

    Being the capitalist pig that I am I instantly thought of the revenue lost by those hard working cart-cookers who once had the freedom to ply their trade in the wee hours. And what about the tax on that revenue? Will it be missed in favor of less drunks in the street at 3 AM?

    Well, guess what? There will not be fewer drunks in the street at 3 AM because you cannot legislate tact. There will only be hungrier, hip 30 somethings and possibly fewer salami smeared wrappers. La morte alla legislatura! Love ya! ROCK ON!!!

    PS – You should organize a brown bag ‘eat-out’ at 1 AM on the night that the new law takes effect. 🙂

    • I love that you call yourself a capitalist pig, then lament the hard-working, blue-collar worker and suggest a protest. You’ll always be a hippie, Euge. Come back to your roots.

  2. You said it, Sister! Keep preaching! I am heart-broken. And I have to say… I get so tired of the student-scene as if Rome is some giant night club and pub crawl. Come on! This is the Eternal City!

  3. I join the “never had that chance” crowd, only having lived vicariously through your wonderful writing of such experiences. Soo Sorry an totally bummed out for you on this news.

  4. Seriously? WTF?! That’s a ridiculous hour to stop serving food… that is the best time to eat said food. That punishes the good people and the drunk fools won’t even get it.

    In time, I’ll bet it’ll change back when they realize the law didn’t work.

  5. Ok. You perfectly know what I think about stupid guys who get drunk as idiots in campo de’ fiori (can’t forget that night with you and Viola @ Drunken Ship) or trastevere, testaccio and s.lorenzo.
    But what I believe that our shitting government is adopting silly and useless measures to prevent something that’s not possible to remove. That will have to fail, exactly as the recently adopted limits for illegal foreigners prostitution.
    We are breathing a really stale air of bigoted moralism, and everybody knows what history teaches about dictatorship’s restrictions… The result will be in a lot of illegal alcohol sellers on the street, or at leat stupid kids will buy bottles in the supermarkets, and as well they will spend less than in bars and pubs.
    Never as today I am ashamed and frustrated to be italian and to live here.

    • Wow, Marco, very eloquent and well-written!

      We should make cornetti and sell them on the street at night!

  6. As someone who lives near Campo I’m not sure if this law will work. And yes it is the drunk visitors who are ruining it for everyone. Not just American exchange students but the idiots who come here for their stag/hen parties.

    Get plastered at home people.

  7. Pingback: Friday Round-Up: All The Travel News That Fits « Miss Expatria

  8. I too am grieving. And am reminded of an occasion when I was walking across from Piazza di Spagna towards the Fontana di Trevi in search of late night catfood from the Forno. I was stopped by two young American tourists. The conversation went like this:
    ‘Do you speak English?’
    ‘Do you live in Rome?’
    Oh good. Can you tell us where the nearest Macdonalds is?’
    ‘Why not?’

  9. The whole situation is sad. I agree that this is not the answer. But, I thought you might find this interesting:

    My husband works in public health– and we have noticed in the 20 years we’ve been going to Rome that more and more of the late night partiers are Italians. When I was an exchange student way back when–you would rarely find Italians getting drunk. Unfortunately this is probably similar to the rise in obesity in Europe… could both be coming from the breakdown of families, the rise of processed food, the lack of supervision after school etc. Sounds familiar.. sounds like America.

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