Bell tolls on ancient Italian tradition





A battle of the bells has broken out in Italy as churches face a wave of complaints from locals fed up with endless ringing.

The chimes that for centuries have marked the hours, half-hours and quarter-hours of Italian life are under threat from "noise pollution" orders now being enforced in several towns.

The complaints have alarmed officials at the powerful Italian Bishops Conference, who oversee the running of the nation's churches. They have hired lawyers to defend their right to ring, arguing that the sound of bells is an essential percussion to the rhythm of Italian life.



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