Tour Guide protesters dressed in black in front of the Pantheon, clapping hands and banging lids

Italian tour guides protest lack of economic support

Tour guides protested outside the Pantheon in Rome on Tuesday over what they see as a lack of government support for the tourism sector.

The guides demanded financial aid from the government through next year, when they said tourism will return to normal levels.

Guides dressed in black and shouted "without tourism Italy dies" with some saying they felt invisible

"We are the voice of the [Rome's] monuments, what we do is bring life to monuments, works of art, paintings, sculptures. We must show we are here, since right now we are invisible," protester Vincenzo Macchiarola said.

The protest included a flash mob in front of the Pantheon and a sit-in outside the Italian Parliament.

Italy has been phasing out its lockdown measures meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus over the past few weeks. Recently many stores, restaurants and museums began to reopen.

But the tourism industry has taken a large hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

"In the supply chain, we contribute 13% of Italy's GDP, which is worth effectively 82 billion euros," said tour guide Teodoro Balsamo.