Prostitutes congregating on a main road into the city of Milan will be fined €500 (£360) under a new local law if they fail to swap their standard issue miniskirts for the reflective jackets and trousers worn by road workers.
The area in and around the northern city is experiencing a boom in the world’s oldest profession thanks to the 2015 Expo World Fair, with an estimated 15,000 extra sex workers having made a beeline for the event, which has been dubbed “Sexpo” by locals.
On the main road out from Milan to Cremona the increase in the number of prostitutes is particularly noticeable and presents a road-safety problem, say the authorities in the outlying town of Spino d’Adda.
According to its deputy mayor Luciano Sinigaglia: “The sex workers should be treated as employees who work on road construction and forced to wear clothes that make them visible.” He said this meant sensible reflective clothing and no miniskirts.
Sex workers caught a second time without the right highway clothing will be hauled into the police station. “We are almost ready with the definitive draft of the document. I hope to have it [the ordinance] up and running by the start of September,” Mr Sinigaglia told Corriere Della Sera. But the newspaper noted that in addition to preoccupations with road safety, authorities in Spino d’Adda took a strong line in discouraging prostitution. Four years ago the town introduced a law that allowed clients of street-walkers to be fined up to €500.
Expo 2015 in Milan has been hailed as a success by its organisers. But, appropriately, given the event’s global aspirations, prostitutes who have converged on the city in the past few months are said to hail from a wide variety of countries including Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Nigeria and Morocco. The ability of a major international event to attract prostitutes was demonstrated by last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, when it was reported that hundreds or thousands of Latin American sex workers left Italian cities to return home for the duration of the tournament.