Roma fa schifo: “Rome is gross.”1 Disgust seems to be the sentiment voiced by most who live in or visit the Eternal City these days, as Rome endures yet another prolonged garbage crisis. Precisely who to blame for the citywide problem remains the perennial question (the mayor? the private waste facilities? the mob?), but anyone who has been to Rome within the last few years cannot help but notice the mounds of smelly trash piled up on the narrow sidewalks of the even the city's toniest streets. Rome, of course, has never topped any list of cleanest cities (for one, Roman dog owners have always balked at the notion of cleaning up after their pets), but it has certainly never been quite this filthy. During a recent trip, I was shocked to encounter loads of garbage, including discarded clothing and shoes, strewn all around the usually relatively clean...

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