One Italian Town's Mayor Has Temporarily Banned Wood-Fired Ovens
Italy is home to some of the world’s best pizza. Sadly, it’s also home to rising smog levels. Recently, the mayor of San Vitaliano, a small town outside Naples, took a step to change that by issuing a temporary ban on the use of wood-fired ovens in local bakeries and restaurants.
According to Quartz, the three-month long ban will be enforced by periodic police check-ups. If chefs and bakers want to continue serving their famous traditional pizzas and breads, they’ll have to outfit their ovens with special filters. Otherwise, they’ll face a hefty fine of up to 1,032 euros (about $1,130).
Naturally, the town’s food-loving locals are skeptical about the ban's potential benefits, protesting that neighboring Naples—which is larger, but boasts better air quality—has far more pizzerias than they do. The smog must stem from another source, they say. Still, it's hard to argue that San Vitaliano's pollution problem isn't concerning. In 2015, the town reportedly exceeded the threshold for emissions 114 times. Meanwhile, the notoriously dirty Milan only passed it 86 times, according to the BBC.
Recently, the BBC also reported that Milan temporarily banned motorized vehicles for six hours a day in response to growing environmental concerns. Rome followed a similar measure, forbidding owners of cars with odd and even-numbered license plates from driving on alternating days. However, none of these measures hit Italians in the place that matters the most—their stomachs.