Those living and working in the Santa Croce area are contrary to many of the major events that have been held in the city’s most popular piazza, especially concerts, which have in the past surpassed the legal noise level. Not only have residents and merchants asked the city government to suspend events and concerts in the piazza, the issue has now ended up in the civil courts.
Complaints about the noise and disruption of such events are not new. Protests began after the piazza was the site of the TRL Awards last April and continued after the George Michael concert in September: during both events, the noise levels exceeded decibel limits. Citizens have also charged that the City has held too many events in the piazza, more than the legal limit.
Joining concerned citizens is Father Antonio di Marcantonio, rector of the Santa Croce basilica, which faces the piazza. ‘Piazza Santa Croce belongs to Florentines: it has existed much longer than this administration and it is not the property of Palazzo Vecchio, which cannot do as it wishes with it without consulting local residents and citizens,’ says Father di Marcantonio.
‘Let’s see how the issue unfolds,’ responded vice mayor Dario Nardella. ‘We are convinced that what we are doing is right and we have respected the rules, and until a higher legal authority penalizes us, we will forge ahead. Otherwise, it’s obvious that we will respect the judgement of a higher authority.’