Verona’s authorities have adopted a resolution that would put a ban on the opening of new kebab shops and other “ethnic food” premises. The proposal is aimed at preserving the “decorum of the city,” the city’s mayor proclaimed.

The new ruling came into effect last week. The city’s officials said they witnessed a considerable surge in ethnic food eateries and Verona’s traditional culture faced the risk of disappearing. The new legislation will affect eateries selling Eastern and Middle Eastern cuisine, for example, kebabs, and limits the selling of deep-fried products, authorities said.

“Thanks to this provision it will not be permitted to open new artisan shops producing and selling food whose preparation will affect the decorum of the city. This will protect not just the historical and architectural heritage of the city center, but also the tradition and culture typical of the Verona area,” Flavio Tosi said as cited by adnkronos.com.

City officials in Venice are also contemplating similar restrictions to limit mini-markets, trinket shops, money transfer points and internet call centers that they claim have been skyrocketing recently and are often managed by Chinese or Muslim immigrants.

“Some of this gimcrackery, especially when we don’t know even know where it’s made, is difficult to reconcile with the city,” said Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, complaining that cheap souvenirs are contributing to the “Disneyfication” of the city. “These are things that have nothing to do with our history and frankly create discomfort,” he said as cited by The Daily Telegraph.

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Verona was founded more than 2,000 years ago and is a“congregation” of many remarkable monuments and buildings from ancient times, many of which comprise the UNESCO World heritage List. The city, which is the setting for three Shakespeare plays, including Romeo and Juliet, was awarded World Heritage status due to its exceptional architecture.

An estimated 80 million tourists visit Italy every year.

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