Rampage by Dutch hooligans leads to blame-game in Rome

Lots of finger-pointing going here on after the shameful behavior by rampaging, drunk Dutch soccer hooligans, whose rioting in Rome’s famous Piazza di Spagna ended in irreparable damage to Bernini’s marble “Barcaccia”. The not-very popular mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, understandably upset by the inability of Italian police to isolate the offenders and stop their […]

Rome to have red light section?

Hard to believe, but the Rome city government is planning, for the first time ever, to create a red light district here in Rome, probably on one street in the EUR area of Rome which is already inundated by half-naked prostitutes selling their wares. The experiment, to begin in April of this year,  is being […]

All Holes Lead to Rome

This was the headline on a story in today’s Il Tempo, one of Rome’s two major dailies, but it’s an issue that’s been on the minds of many of us for some time now, particularly if your vehicle is, like mine, of the two-wheeled variety. Rome’s streets have been a mess for some time now, […]

City police brouhaha puts spotlight on an Italian malady – absenteeism

The Italian government and top authorities in Rome have vowed to take punitive action against the hundreds of city police –  83.5% of those on call –  who did not show up for work on New Year’s Eve. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen: in Italy, talk is cheap. But the […]

A country in crisis? Or maybe they are only window shopping?

This was the scene in Piazza di Spagna and Via dei Condotti on Sunday, January 3, when post-Christmas sales began in Rome.

More grandstanding by an unpopular mayor?

Yesterday, Rome’s unpopular “first citizen”, Ignazio Marino officially registered 16 gay marriages celebrated abroad by homosexual Rome residents. The mayor’s act will have no legal effect, because tomorrow, if not today, the prefect of Rome, the government’s representative in legal matters, is expected to nullify Marino’s act, that is to strike it off the books. […]

Another never-ending Roman story

Another never-ending Roman story: what do about the city’s cobblestones, known as sanpietrini because they were first used in the 1700s to pave Piazza S. Pietro. Some people love’em, some people – especially motorists and cyclists hate them   –  but any way you look at it, deciding what to do about them is a politically […]

Great news. A “voice” sings again.

Great news. The Alari (1686)- Priori (1884) organ in Rome’s marvelous San Pietro in Vincoli church  has got its voice back after 50 years of silence. A long and expensive restoration culminated yesterday (wish I’d known about it beforehand) in what appears to have been a marvelous concert. It’s not clear now how often the […]

Rome’s new (ugly) drinking fountains

Anyone who has already been to Rome is familiar with the traditional “nasone”, the four-feet tall, grey, lead column-shaped water fountains that were first placed in Rome in 1874 by the city government in order to provide drinking water to any thirsty citizen. Now the  260 “big noses”  inside the old city walls will have […]

Sistine Chapel to return to “daylight”

In 1980, the Vatican Museum decided to wall up the windows of the Sistine chapel to make sure that the daylight did not further damage the wonderful frescoes revealed to the world on October 31, 1512. Now, the Museum has found a way to bring daylight back into this marvelous hall, sort of. Some 7,000 […]