Verona has known warring factions a few times – from real life to Shakespeare – but the latest hits us right in the belly.
The city of Verona, Italy, has enacted a ban on the opening of any new restaurants that offer a majority of “ethnic” or “deep-fried” menu items.
“Thanks to this provision there will be no more openings of establishments that sell food prepared in a way that could impact the decorum of our city,” said Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi in the Telegraph. This mayor was elected as an independent after breaking from the far-right Northern League party, known to be anti-immigrant. “This protects not only our historic and architectural patrimony of the city centre, but also the tradition of typical culture of the Verona territory.”
Verona may be legendary due to its association to Shakespeare’s most famous couple, Romeo & Juliet, but it’s also a historical city in its own right. In fact, it has UNESCO World Heritage status.
This isn’t the first time ethnic food have been the source of controversy in Italian cities. In 2009, several Italian cities banned kebab shops, setting off a “Yes to Polenta, No to Couscous” movement against ethnic foods.