Cars off the road in Italy

More than 130 cities in northern Italy, including Milan and Verona, banned car traffic for several hours on the last Sunday of February.

In Milan, the ban was for two consecutive Sundays. People walked, used public transport (whose frequency was increased) or opted for bicycles or roller skates. The length of the bans varied from region to region, but most ranged from six to 12 hours.

In a media statement, Milan city officials said they would decide whether to enact more one-day bans on a week-by-week basis, depending on pollution levels. Turin, the automobile capital of the country was among the metropolitan areas to join the ban. Lombardy banned traffic except for low-level polluting cars.

Other cities that adopted similar measures included Mestre and Treviso in the northeastern part of the country. In some cities, public transportation was free on the day.

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