City installs new metal dectectors

Florence increases security measures in response to recent terrorism

Editorial Staff
August 4, 2005

The usually reserved Interior Minister, Giuseppe Pisanu, announced last week that Italy is at real risk regarding terrorist attacks, and that an extended level of red alert must be maintained.  As a result, security measures have been revamped throughout Italy, and in Florence and Tuscany, concerted efforts were begun to secure those sites that are more likely to be targeted.


In Florence itself, the Galleria degli Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Maria del Fiore, and both train stations, Santa Maria Novella and Campo di Marte, are considered possible targets for terrorist attacks.


In response to Minister Pisanu’s concern over the July 7 terrorist attacks in London, and the July 23 attacks in Sharm el Sheik, the city of Florence has decided to increase security measures at its museums and train stations.


The Galleria dell’Accademia and Palazzo Pitti will now be equipped with metal detectors at their entrances. The Accademia will also install an x-ray tunnel, through which the one million visitors it attracts per year will be required to pass. The Galleria degli Uffizi, on the other hand, already installed metal detectors shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.


To further manage risk, all garbage bins in the central hall of the Santa Maria Novella train station have been removed.


Other cities and sites throughout the region have also been added to a possible target list, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the U.S. military base, Camp Darby, also in Pisa. La Spezia’s (Liguria) naval base, Livorno’s port, Viareggio’s crowded summer beaches, and Siena’s palio event, which draws hundreds of tourists to the small city, are also areas with increased security.


These local actions stem from measures that have been initiated at a national level (see National News, p. 6), with a new security packet passed by the senate last week.

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