Saint Sylvester’s night (la notte di San Silvestro) is time of fireworks (fuochi d’artificio) everywhere.
 It is believed they scare away the bad spirits and bring the good luck in the coming year.

During the New Year’s celebration we Italians throw everything we don’t want from the terrace or out of the apartment windows below. And we enjoy of watching the firecrackers (i petardi) explode one after another with sparks and load bangs. All this waiting the best “new year”!

Sono un rito simbolico e ancestrale che ha lo scopo di spaventare gli spiriti cattivi con i rumori alti – i botti – e allo stesso tempo rischiarare il cammino del nuovo anno. Le luci e i colori sono segni di buon auspicio e i fuochi d’artificio illuminano la notte. Oltre al rito dei fuochi d’artificio e dei petardi, gli italiani gettano anche oggetti vecchi dalla finestra. Si liberano, così, delle cose pesanti del passato per lasciare spazio alle novità del futuro.

But fireworks are dangerous and every year there are victims and injures. Also for animals, fireworks  are terrifying—and could be fatal. Many dogs and cats run away with fear from their deafening explosions.

Moreover fireworks pollute the environment leaving metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals and smoke in the air for hours and days .

In Italy, in the last years, local ordinances tend to ban fireworks but people buy them anyway and set them off on the streets of their towns, right in big and small cities alike. And can be stil a chaos with explosions everywhere.

As is typical for Italy, the laws vary from town to town and region to region. In general, no one under 18 can buy fireworks. They also are not allowed to be set off in public spaces, but it’s obvious that the police are lax in their enforcement of the laws. 

Ci sono città italiane che hanno vietato i botti di Capodanno.

The cities and towns in Italy which have implemented total or partial (normally no fireworks in the historic centres) fireworks bans so far are:

  • Venice
  • Bologna
  • Turin
  • Modena
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • Grosseto
  • Vicenza 
  • Bari
  • Brindisi
  • Cosenza
  • Brescia
  • Rovigo
  • La Spezia
  • Sarzana
  • Cesenatico
  • Lecco

These local councils are operating bans too: Boissano, Faenza, Castelletto Ticino, Dormelletto, Borgo Ticino, San Severo, San Giorgio su Legnano.

Fireworks have not been banned in the following Italian cities:

  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Naples – this is the Italian city which is enthusiastic about end of the year fireworks.
  • Catania
  • Milan

If in doubt, don’t set off fireworks.  If you do, be very careful because anyway fireworks will start going off all over the city or village you are in… and we’re not just talking about a few small firecrackers, either.

Fate attenzione e buon Capodanno!