Villagers bang pots to protest silence

ROME, Italy The church bells in Mezzema, a village near La Spezia, northern Italy, were silenced earlier this month by the local parish priest. A tourist, it seems, had complained about the early morning gonging.

Some residents, though, were not happy. A dozen of them protested by banging pots and lids in the street.

Anna Daneri, who led the protest, said that early Wednesday morning, after a few pot-banging protest sessions, the church bells started chiming again. They ring every morning at 7 a.m. and a few more times throughout the day.

Daneri said the sound of the bells "keeps the elderly company," and is a tradition of the centuries-old village.

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