Snack-truck and outfoor table wars are unending

Ask just about anyone (except for the owners of the snack-trucks featured in this article) and they will agree that the vans selling (mostly to tourists) sodas, water, hot dogs and sandwiches are eye-sores and have no business parking in places that block the view of this city’s beautiful ancient monuments. But so far the […]

People in glass houses….

This morning one of my favorite Roman sites (06blog) carried a complaining article about bad-mannered foreigners who do shocking things such as wetting their feet in a fountain gracing a museum. I, myself, wouldn’t do such a thing. After all, these are not swimming pools. But I found it rather ironic that anyone in a […]

Rome tourism surges: good for the economy (perhaps) not for residents (for sure)

The other day I left my apartment in Via della Scala to walk three blocks to get to Piazza Trilussa and  the Lungotevere (the river road) where I was meeting someone. I could hardly get down the street. I kid you not. There were enormous groups of young tourists, one group wearing straw hats and […]

Summer in Italy, never a dull moment (1)

Although they are desperately keen to attract tourists, most Italian cities manage not to forget their own residents when the summer season arrives. Take Rome. If you look on the cit’s official Estate Romana website you can see what’s on in the week to come and here’s a guide in English that those who […]

An occupied theatre. Too much tolerance?

This is one of those typical Italian things that it is hard to make head or tail of. A major theatre in Rome is “occupied” by a group of performers who, if I understand it correctly, were concerned that the theatre might be falling into the wrong hands (private owners) and in June, 2011 took […]

Si? No? Ni?

The tourists are certainly pleased that Rome’s beautiful Piazza di Spagna is now – as of yesterday – closed to traffic, the first step in what is supposed to be a near-total shutdown of the Tridente area – 15 streets included within the three roads leading away from Piazza del Popolo towards Via del Tritone.  […]

Momma. Forget the kisses thrown from the train!

So much for throwing Momma from the train, a kiss, a kiss. Say goodbye to that last-minute embrace. And forget about tipping some guy to help you with your heavy bags. Someday soon – but in Rome you never know what that means – access to the track platforms at Rome’s Stazione Termini will be […]

Rome’s public transport to be (more) bike-friendly

One of the recurring mysteries is why Italian companies continue to use slogans in English in a country where relatively few people know English and where only a very small number actually know it well. No harm done, of course, and “it is fashion” as the Romans say. So when you see the words “bike […]

Caffé della Pace fights for survival

The Caffè della Pace, one of the loveliest bar-cafés in the center of Rome, is fighting to avoid eviction from its premises and has collected thousands of signatures in support of its struggle. The 19th -century café two blocks from Piazza Navona is located in a building owned by the Pontifical Teutonic Institute of the […]

New ruins found in Portuense area

One of the reasons it is so hard to modernize Rome (the others are excess bureacracy, corruption, political deadlocks and plain old inefficiency) is because every time anyone digs below the surface, they come up with anicent ruins that are considered too important to ignore. During work being done on the Via Portuense leading out […]