Tourists have been throwing away their money in Rome for eons, quite literally, by tossing coins in the Trevi Fountain, and figuratively, by buying things like overpriced gelato.
But come April, they'll be able to get a lot more bang for their euros, when the Eternal City will legalize its first-ever red light district.
Authorities in the Italian capital -- which also contains the Pope's house -- have just approved a local council’s proposal for the area in the EUR business district to be officially designated as a red light district. Health and social workers will govern the area in an effort to clean up the streets and encourage protected sex. Prostitutes found working outside the zone could also be fined as much as 500 euros.
"EUR is already the city's red light district with more than 20 streets under siege day and night,” local Cristina Lattanzi told La Repubblica. "There are streets for transvestites, streets for very young girls, streets for male prostitution. Us residents need a bit of peace."
And the city’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, is on board. And why wouldn't he be? We're talking about a country whose recent Prime Minister cavorted in Bunga Bunga parties on the reg. Though, of course, the proposal has rubbed some politicians and members of the Catholic Church the wrong way. But pretty much any way you rub the Catholic Church is wrong, FWIW.
The newly christened red light district (intentional verb, folks) will legislate the activity of between 70,000 to 100,000 women selling sex to an estimated 2.5 million customers, according to Business Insider. It’s also hoped that the designated area will serve as a model for three districts in the city.
Because if there's any sort of place in need of real role models, it's red light districts.