As air pollution problems in Italy begin to grow, one town outside Naples has turned off its pizza ovens one by one. The mayor of San Vitaliano has temporarily banned most forms of pizza-making in an effort to fight the serious air pollution in the area. In fact, the town has some of the worst air quality in Italy, with locals describing the situation as “worse than Beijing.”
The mayor, in what some are calling a misguided act of desperation, has outlawed the use of wood-fired stoves in bakeries and pizzerias unless the owners install special air filters that will lessen the ovens’ impact on the environment.
Locals, unsurprisingly, are outraged at this new legal proclamation, pointing out that the nearby Naples made no move to ban pizza ovens and their smog is just as bad, or arguably worse than, the air pollution in San Vitaliano, which exceeded the threshold for emissions 114 times in 2015.
"Shocking, it's so ridiculous. They don't want us to make pizza?" Massimiliano Arrichiello, owner of the local pizzeria Taverna 191 told Italian newspaper Il Mattino."We make about 34 pizzas a day. How do they think we are responsible for the pollution problems around here?"
Any restaurant, bakery, or pizzeria found violating the new measure faces fines of up to 1,032 euros ($1,130 USD).