When in Rome be sure you are up to date on the historic district's no snacking zones. Otherwise, one seemingly innocent bite of that panino could earn you a fine ranging between €25 and €500.
The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, implemented the unpopular ordinance on October 1st, 2012; it prohibits public snacking in, on and near the capital's cherished monuments and the stone wall encompassing the Old City until December 31st, 2012.
While the mayor's intentions may have been in the right place, the new law has Romans outraged, and it's leaving tourists who aren't in the know baffled. On October 6, 2012 a Gastro Flash Mob of hundreds of people (with sandwiches in hand) stormed the piazza leading up towards Capitoline Hill to protest their outrage against the ordinance.
Law enforcement has been actively policing the public's eating habits in Rome's historical center by blowing whistles at offenders and issuing fines to those guilty of leisurely lunching. Here's an idea, don't risk having to pay a steep penalty for dining al fresco by the Trevi Fountain, rent a car in Rome and take your Caprese baguettes on the road. Enjoy with a glass of wine in Frascati's Piazza dell'Olmo.