The steps of Florence's main cathedral will be monitored daily, from 10am to 6pm, from a new group of employees of the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The Duomo's new ‘custodials' are charged with informing tourists on the rules to be followed during both indoor and outdoor visits to the Duomo, and making sure they are respected.
The custodians have always guarded the treasures of the Duomo, but they will now also be patroling outside the cathedral, to make sure that tourists act in appropriate ways. Officials at the Duomo extended custodians' jurisdiction after repeated acts of undecorous behaviour and vandalism, among them writings on the marble of the cathedral, drinking and eating on the stairs of the Duomo, tourists lying on the steps sunbathing, and littering on the steps and in piazza.
Urban blight and indecorous behaviours have been making headlines this summer, especially after a pair of allegedly drunk tourists were caught having sexual relations between parked scooters next to the Santa Croce basilica. Officials say they will crackdown on Florence's 'wild' nightlife.