Milan tried to institute a post-midnight ban on ice cream last month. Part of a clampdown on late-night food and drink sales, Milan’s mayor perhaps feared that crowds outside Gelaterias – I’m struggling here – might go on sugar high rampages through the night. The rule proved too silly to stand, thankfully, but it's only the strangest of a host of attacks on nightlife in European cities to have cropped up recently.
Take Madrid, for example. Long home to one of Europe’s latest-running social scenes, its city center was declared a "low-noise zone" last September, and the city council have been refusing to issue bar and club licenses ever since. Coupled with sales tax increases on drinks, this has led to 60 to 100 nightclubs closing in Madrid since the rules were put in place. This hasn’t actually made the city quieter, however. In a country where the Botellón – people meeting up and drinking outdoors – is already a longstanding tradition, young people are simply buying drinks from street vendors and moving onto the streets, creating a situation that suits no one.
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Paris nightlife has likewise been struggling with extremely tight police control for some years, leading Le Monde to call the city the "European Capital of Boredom" back in 2009. Citing the regular rejection by police of one-night only club license applications and the censorious attitude of Parisian officialdom, a study by Paris City Hall itself, referenced in the Le Monde link above, found that staging club nights was far harder in Paris than in London, Berlin, Amsterdam or Barcelona.