Italian Cities Deal With Smog Pollution by Imposing Three-Day Car Ban

One town has even banned wood-burning pizza ovens.

The Italian city of Bologna enveloped in smog. Photo by Flickr user Spazillimiti

In a desperate attempt to combat a worsening smog problem, Italian cities have resorted to implementing car bans. Both Rome and Milan announced partial automobile bans, prohibiting the use of cars with odd-numbered license plates on Monday, and cars with even-numbered license plates on Tuesday. People who do not observe the ban will face fines.

“In these days of major emergency, we cannot remain indifferent,” the mayor of Milan said in a statement.

Italy’s pollution problem is being exacerbated by unseasonably dry weather, but the country has always suffered from the highest pollution rates in Europe. Last week, the town of San Vitaliano, one of the worst pollution offenders in the country, imposed a ban on wood-burning stoves, ovens, and fireplaces, forcing businesses and individuals to install filters on their equipment. Locals, however, find the ban absurd.