Florence has a number of beautiful and historic cathedrals, and for years those cathedrals have attracted many tourists and religious guests, and many snacking tourists who get in the way and use the religious sites as picnic sites. The city has been trying to get people to stop eating on the cathedral steps, and now they're coming up with a new technique: They’re spraying the steps with water to encourage the picnics to go someplace else.
According to The Local, Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence, announced last week that the city would start washing the church steps at lunchtime in the hopes that the tourists will go someplace else to eat.
"From today, we'll be experimenting with a very simple measure: pouring water over the church steps to clean the spaces, and hopefully discourage people from eating, drinking and making a mess there," Nardella said. "If tourists want to sit there, they'll get wet."
The mayor later specified that the city would not actually be spraying people with water hoses. They’re just going to start to washing the cathedral steps during lunchtime, and since people can’t sit on the steps while they’re being cleaned, the city hopes the picnics will disperse.
Rome previously started imposing fines on people for eating in historic areas, but the mayor of Florence said this option was a little friendlier, but hopefully just as effective.