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Published on : Thursday, August 24, 2017
Tourism Chief Anna Paola Concia unveiled a new campaign #EnjoyRespectFirenze with a stern warning to tourists that visitors to the city must not only help preserve its heritage, but also “respect the Florentines who live in it”.
The motto is to inculcate the idea of respecting the city, its history, its art and its inhabitants.
“We want to defeat the common idea that people coming to Italy can do whatever they want,” she said at a press conference. “We’re at the point where we have to make it clear that they must behave as if they’re in their own home, that Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and must be conserved and that the tourists have this responsibility as well.”
The only difference to that of the Venice campaign is that Florence initiative is purely prohibitory while the former seeks to encourage the tourists to behave better. According to the campaign, the visitors will be asked not to deface their surroundings, dump trash, buy counterfeit goods or sit anywhere but benches and public seating areas. Tourists squatting on church steps to eat or drink have enraged Florentines to such an extent that, this summer, the authorities took to hosing them down to put an end to it.
As an interesting step, the council has produced souvenirs, including T-shirts, mugs, key rings and tote bags with some of the offending behaviour printed on them – all of which will be circulated in the hotels, restaurants and the major tour operators to keep their clients aware of the city’s campaign. The stick figure cartoons on the items – illustrated with social media-style thumbs up and down – have the potential to become cult possessions.
Italy has been affected by mass tourism and this timely step by the authority indeed demands applause.
The social media and the other platforms will also promote the new campaign.