‘Rubbish’ is not a word you might associate with Rome but the Eternal City is looking decidedly dirty nowadays, with piles of trash stacking up on the streets as poor public services struggle to cope.
The glut of garbage is symbolic of the decline and decay of the once glorious Italian capital.
Mayor Ignazio Marino reshuffled his administration on Tuesday. He has pledged to clean up Rome both literally and metaphorically, with City hall paralysed by allegations of Mafia infiltration.
Not himself implicated in the corruption scandal, Marino told reporters: “From September there will be 300 more people to clean the streets.”
That should, Marino hopes, help clear the piles of trash on the pavements – a situation he describes as ‘indecent’.
Things are no better on public transport with chaos on Rome’s cramped, dingy metro service where drivers have staged a series of go-slows amid privatisation fears.
As for its rickety fleet of buses, unfortunate passenger and Rome citizen Enzo Siviero paints a grim picture.
“I waited for 40 minutes for a bus to come and it didn’t,” he said.
“Then five others – all with the same number – went past. So I am wondering if this is deliberate or just negligence.”
Bosses at the local transport firm have been fired by embattled Mayor Marino. But he still has to settle the dispute with the drivers.
And all this …in a city bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games.