Eating ice cream in the street with friends on a hot summer night is one of Italy’s most affordable pleasures.
So it is little surprise that the Mayor of Milan has had to beat a hasty retreat after his administration appeared to be planning a clampdown on gelato sales after midnight.
The edict proposing a ban on sales of take-away food and drink in the districts best known for their nightlife was designed to reduce noise for residents. But with a crowd of furious ice cream sellers practically ready to storm the town hall, the centre-left Mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, was forced to release a statement saying the wording of the directive was at fault and there was no intention of prohibiting night-time sales of ice cream or any other food or drink.
“If there was a mistake on our part it’s already been corrected,” he said yesterday. “Milanesi and non-Milanesi can eat ice cream day and night anywhere they like. There was perhaps a mistake in the interpretation of the rules, or perhaps an error in the way things were written.”
As of Monday there remained some uncertainty as to what exactly was being banned.