Saturday, December 9

Moaning tourists are blamed for silencing historic bell in Italian town as it made them ‘sleep-deprived’

Moaning tourists are blamed for silencing historic bell in Italian town as it made them ‘sleep-deprived’

  • Visitors to Pienza have complained so much that bells will not sound regularly

Tuscan locals have hit out at tourists who have allegedly silenced a historic clocktower because its tolling is preventing them from sleeping. 

Visitors to the town of Pienza have complained so much that the bells, which traditionally have been tolled every 30 minutes, will no longer ring between 10pm and 7am. 

Complaints mainly came from ‘sleep-deprived’ American tourists staying nearby to the clocktower who are suffering from jetlag.

‘We received complaints from several owners of B&Bs,’ Manolo Garosi, the mayor of Pienza, told the Telegraph .

‘They were mostly from the properties that are close to the main piazza and so near to the belltower.’ 

Locals in Pienza have hit out at tourists who have allegedly silenced the town's historic clocktower because its tolling is preventing them from sleeping

Locals in Pienza have hit out at tourists who have allegedly silenced the town’s historic clocktower because its tolling is preventing them from sleeping

The bell, which traditionally was tolled every 30 minutes, will no longer ring between 10pm and 7am

The bell, which traditionally was tolled every 30 minutes, will no longer ring between 10pm and 7am

Manolo Garosi, the mayor of Pienza, says that many towns have bells that ring every 30 minutes

Manolo Garosi, the mayor of Pienza, says that many towns have bells that ring every 30 minutes

The noise problem has been exacerbated further by the unbearable heatwave that swept across Italy last month. 

Many of the hotels and B&Bs in Pienza do not have air conditioning and so windows are left wide open to encourage air flow – making the bell’s ringing even louder for sleeping tourists. 

But locals are frustrated that tourists are complaining about a century-old tradition, which they say is in the town’s DNA.

‘We are not the only ones to do this. Other towns that have bell towers have done just the same thing,’ Mr Garosi said.

Some of the 2,000 locals are even saying that they have become so accustomed to the bell tolling every 30 minutes that they are struggling to sleep without it. 

Pienza, which is described as ‘the perfect Renaissance town’, is a picturesque tourist spot which holds UNESCO World Heritage site status. 

Used as the backdrop for Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, the town offers tourists knockout views of textbook Tuscan countryside from the Palazzo Piccolomini.

Pienza, which is described as 'the perfect Renaissance town', is a picturesque tourist spot in Tuscany

Pienza, which is described as ‘the perfect Renaissance town’, is a picturesque tourist spot in Tuscany

Feuds between tourists and locals is a time old problem for famous Italian holiday destinations. 

In June, a tourist came under fire for carving his and his girlfriend’s name into the 2,000-year-old Colosseum in Rome. 

The man can be seen scratching ‘Ivan + Hayley 23’ into one of the bricks before grinning at the camera. 

If caught he could face a massive fine which in the past has been up to £17,000. He could even face up to a year of jail time. 

A bystander filmed the tourist as he carved the names into the stone walls of the 1,937-year-old building using a set of keys

According to the English-speaking man who recorded the footage, the incident happened last Friday on June 23

A bystander filmed the tourist as he carved the names into the stone walls of the 1,937-year-old building using a set of keys

Meanwhile in Easter this year the tiny fishing village of Portofino launched new anti-tourist measures with €275 fines for loitering in selfie hotspots in an attempt to put an end to ‘anarchic chaos’.

The mayor of Portofino has introduced a no-loitering rule in two ‘red zones’ where visitors often take photographs and tourism groups crowd together, The Times reported.

The no-waiting zones were put into effect amid the Easter break tourism boom that saw around 1.7million holidaymakers visiting Italian city centres, a 12 per cent increase from last year. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *