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AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — The largest city near Aviano has introduced an ordinance that bans groups of two or more people from loudly celebrating or loitering in specific areas.

Those found violating the new measure in Pordenone face fines ranging from 25 to 500 euros, according to Mariarosa Flaiban, the secretary to Mayor Sergio Bolzonello. Four specific areas are covered: Piazza Costantini, Piazzale Duca D’Aosta, Via Don Luigi Sturzo and Via Rovereto. All four are located in the center of the city, but it’s possible the ordinance could be amended if other trouble spots are identified.

The measure was adopted Monday and will last through the end of the year. Flaiban said Wednesday that all branches of Italian law enforcement will be enforcing the measure. Violators will be warned to stop, told to clean up after themselves and fined. If they don’t cooperate, they’ll be detained.

First Lt. Kimberly Schaerdel, public affairs chief for the 31st Fighter Wing, said the base plans to inform personnel of the new regulation once it gets all the details.

Pordenone is about 6.2 miles south of Aviano and home to hundreds of Americans who work at the base. The city also boasts numerous restaurants, clubs and bars frequented by Americans.

The ordinance also prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the designated places. Customers at bars or restaurants in those designated areas still are allowed to consume alcohol.

The commune adopted the rule after receiving multiple complaints — including one petition with 400 signatures — from those who live around public squares in the city, Flaiban said.

Americans have not been involved in any of the incidents prompting the measure, Flaiban said.

Most of the complaints have been sparked by incidents in the city’s historic center.

Flaiban said recent incidents include groups of young people buying large amounts of alcohol from local stores, drinking it in public parks or squares and becoming belligerent to local residents.

In some cases, they’ve blocked the entrances to apartment buildings or businesses, verbally attacked local residents or taken off their own clothes.

Valentina Lehman provided translation for this report.

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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