Rome and Milan have ordered no-car days next week to combat pollution, which has hit unhealthy levels for weeks mainly because no rain has fallen to wash away the smog.
A six-hour ban on cars this Monday and Tuesday was announced by Rome on Thursday, while Milan’s anti-pollution measure sees six-hour bans daily from Monday to Wednesday.
In Rome, home heating is blamed along with heavy traffic for the eye-stinging, throat-irritating air. Until air quality improves, thermostat settings in Rome’s homes and offices cannot exceed 18 degrees Celsius.
The total daily hours that furnaces can run is being reduced from 12 to eight, except for schools and hospitals. But many Romans ignore the rules and leave the heat on all day.
Warm, dry weather is worsening pollution.