Many of the stall-holders who make their living selling t-shirts and underwear to tourists visiting Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower may have to pack up as the town’s mayor announces a crackdown on bawdy and erotic souvenirs. Marco Filippeschi has described items such as underwear depicting the Leaning Tower as a penis and an apron which shows a naked David by Michelangelo as trash and not in keeping with the image that Pisa would like to exude.
The Catholic Church is also less than impressed with what it described as a disgraceful lack of respect. Anyone found selling such items could face as much as a €500 fine. Mayor Filippeschi said he was initiating the crackdown because he did not believe that families visiting the town should have to witness the offensive materials. He added that some items were virtually pornographic.
Pisa is not the only town in Italy to have become tough on such inappropriate behaviour. There is a beach near Venice where it is now forbidden to build sandcastles and the town of Lerici will no longer tolerate beach towels being hung on its balconies.
Visitors to the Naples town of Castellammare di Stabia face a fine of up to €300 if the authorities feel a skirt is too short, a pair of jeans too low-cut or a top reveals too much cleavage.
One stall holder near the Leaning Tower described what he sold as a bit of fun, adding that the tourists certainly seemed to enjoy his wares. He went on to say that he would like to know how he was supposed to make a living in the future.