It’s a bad week for late-night snackers in Milan. The Italian city has announced plans to ban the sale of takeaway (that’s European for takeout) food and drinks after midnight. That includes pizza and gelato, AKA the best late-night drunk foods ever. The policy is supposedly meant to reduce excessive noise and would ban businesses from serving food and drink after 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and 1:30 a.m. on weekends.

I’ve never been to Italy, and I’m rarely awake after midnight, but I can’t think of a better reason to be up at such an hour than strolling the streets of Milan eating gelato and pizza. And many Italians agree.

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Amelia Hitchens

“What does the average Italian family do in the summer? They go for a stroll after dinner and get an ice-cream,” Marco Barbieri, secretary general for the Milan Confcommercio (Italian retailers association), told the Observer, adding that the policy goes “against common sense.”

It may seem unlikely that a family’s post-dinner stroll would take place after midnight, but Italians often don’t eat dinner until 10 p.m. in the summer, and people tend to take their time while dining, so it’s not unheard of. But this policy is meant to target late-night rabble-rousers, not gelato-loving families.

Officials claim the ban is needed to reign in Milan’s “wild nightlife” and preserve tranquility in the early morning hours. And yeah, not letting people order more alcohol makes sense. But is preventing people from satisfying their drunchies with some pizza and gelato really going to quiet them down? I find it doubtful. In fact, it's likely to make them louder.

If the ban goes into effect, it could be enforced as early as this May and would remain in place until the end of the tourist season in November. Luckily for late-night snackers, that’s a big if. A similar 2013 law was rolled back after weeks of protest by the “Occupy Gelato” movement, including sit-ins and flash mobs. Italians take gelato very seriously.

I can certainly sympathize with the need for noise reduction. I live on a college campus. But let’s be real, taking away people’s takeaway isn’t going to do anything. So if I were a Milanese lawmaker (a girl can dream), I’d let the people eat their gelato and pizza, and maybe invest in some earplugs.