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Milan Is Trying to Cut Down Late-Night Noise and Overcrowding

Cities around the world have been trying to figure out how to deal with an influx of visitors creating more noise and mess in their locales. The latest to enter the ring: Milan.

The Italian mecca of fashion and design will implement an ordinance next week aimed at addressing late-night revelers who crowd the city’s streets, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Set to last until November 11, the law will cut back on the availability of food and drinks to go after midnight. It will also see outdoor seating at restaurants and bars shut down at 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and 1:30 a.m. on weekends.

“It’s a nightmare,” one resident told the Times about the late-night scene. “Living in Milan has become really difficult,” said another.

Along with the restrictions, the city will use 170,000 euros ($180,000) to help bar owners enlist private security to keep people from hanging out outside their businesses, The New York Times noted. And Milan is trying to update police contracts so that more officers can work nights and enforce the law.

Unsurprisingly, the rules have upset many business owners in the metropolis, as they feel like they’re being punished for their customers’ actions. Marco Barbieri, the secretary general for the Milan sect of an Italian retailers’ association, told the Times that his group would push back against the ordinance. He thinks some 30 percent of Milan’s 10,000 restaurants and bars will be affected by the restrictions. Others worry that it will stop people from doing the most Italian of things: going for a late-night gelato run.

Marco Granelli, the Milan council member in charge of public security, shut down such fears, though: “It’s clear that ice cream, pizza, or brioches don’t create overcrowding,” he told The New York Times.

While the new rules have an overt end goal, it’s unclear how they’ll actually play out. One bar manager said the crowds typically outnumber the police officers, so enforcement may be difficult. And a 20-something in Milan pointed out that young people are generally pretty good at finding their way around prohibitive laws.

The late-night streets of Milan may get a bit quieter then, but shutting them down completely won’t be too easy.

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