Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

La Dolce Vita gets a little less sweet - the City closes down some via Veneto outdoor cafes.

"Alex," part of the Hotel Alexandra, on via Veneto near Piazza Barberini, advertises you can "live the 'Dolce Vita' life"
The Dolce Vita life on via Veneto is getting tough for some of these "outdoor" restaurants.  The City recently cracked down on what it termed "abusivo" or illegal cafes.  The Trevi police (yes, as in the Trevi Fountain) taped up some of the outdoor spaces. We couldn't figure out why some were still open and some - very obviously - were not.  Apparently those closed by the city had not obtained the proper permits to build and run their enterprises on the sidewalk, which most of them do.

The photo below is of one of the closed-down outside spaces on the "upper" part of via Veneto, nearer Corso d'Italia.  The 21st- century saga of this restaurant is a sad tale.  The cafe' to which the outdoor space belongs is Cafe' de Paris, the inspiration for Fellini's 1960 film.  Cafe' de Paris was supposedly run by mafia; the anti-mafia task force closed it down in 2009 and the court case is coming to fruition now.  In 2011 the government reopened the cafe'.  But apparently the mafia had the last word - the cafe' was destroyed by arson in 2014 and hasn't reopened.  The outside space has been inhabited since then, however.  It looks like a cell phone company set up shop there - perhaps without any permits at all.  Ah, Roma.

The restaurateurs - at least the true restauraeurs, not the cell phone companies -  have cried "foul" and stated the city should have at least negotiated with them.  And perhaps it will.  To be continued.


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