Verona bans new "ethnic restaurants" from opening

Mayor says it will "protect" the tradition of the city

Italy, Veneto, Verona, Piazza Delle Erbe and cityscape, elevated view

The Italian city of Verona is banning the opening of new restaurants that offer "ethnic" or deep-fried food to prevent the "decorum" of the popular tourist spot from disappearing.

Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi told Andrea Vogt for the Daily Telegraph: "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.

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"This protects not only our historic and architectural patrimony of the city centre, but also the tradition of typical culture of the Verona territory."

Kebab shops, Chinese restaurants and deep-fried takeaways popular in southern Italy will be banned.

But the ruling has been criticised by some who claim it discriminates against immigrants living in the country.

In December, the northern region of Lombardy amended legislation and approved a ban on the wearing of burqas and Islamic veils in hospitals and government buildings following European terror attacks.

It was the first time an Italian region had outlawed Islamic face coverings.

Lombardy governor Roberto Maroni, from the right-wing Northern League Party, told Il Fatto Quotidiano: "We have updated the law and now nobody with a covered face will be allowed to enter [public offices and hospitals]."

The move was criticised by the country's justice minister Andrea Orlando and leaders from other Italian regions said they would not be imitating the decision in Lombardy.

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