MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Diners hungry for Chinese carry-out or Middle Eastern kebabs in Italy could have their choices limited under a regional law proposed by the anti-immigrant Northern League on Thursday.
The League called for the Lombardy regional council to allow cities to bar from their historic centers businesses that are “incompatible with the historical context.”
“For example, fast food, Chinese restaurants, kebab, sex shops are types of commercial activity that clash heavily with a 1,000-year-old historic district, as is typical of Lombard reality,” Daniele Belotti, a regional councilor with the League, said in a statement.
The measure is aimed at maintaining the character of historic town and city centers, it said.
Lombardy is the stronghold of the Northern League, part of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative coalition, and Italy’s industrial heartland.
Other Italian regions, such as Tuscany, have laws that allow cities to limit business in their historic centers, Belotti said.
Like elsewhere in Europe, more and more Italians eat meals away from home and their traditional Mediterranean diet that includes pasta, fish, olive oil and red wine is losing ground.
Reporting by Milan newsroom, writing by Ian Simpson, editing by Janet Lawrence