Wanted in Rome » News http://www.wantedinrome.com Accommodation in Rome, jobs vacant Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:05:51 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.7 Controlling Rome’s traffic during the Jubilee year http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/controlling-romes-traffic-during-the-jubilee-year/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/controlling-romes-traffic-during-the-jubilee-year/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:43:46 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202394 How to get pilgrims to and from St Peter’s.

Cleaning up the city is one project for the Holy Jubilee Year that opens on 8 December. A much more difficult one is how to cope with the traffic. This is the main headache that waits the city’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, when he finally returns from holiday later this week.

It is one of the few areas left to Marino under the new command structure decided during his absence, which puts much of the control of the city under Rome’s prefect Franco Gabrielli.

One suggested plan for traffic is to hike the toll for pilgrim coaches from the present €200 to €1,000 a day. This could have the double merit of making money for the city and discouraging coaches from coming into the centre of Rome. But the howls of protests from the travel companies are already coming in.

Once into the city what happens then? The most probable scenario is what already happens now – that coaches will drop their passengers wherever they can along the Lungotevere embankments, and then move off to reserved parking spaces.

The closest is the so-called Vatican car park in the Janiculum, specially made for the last Holy Year in 2000. There is also the newly opened car park in nearby Piazza Cavour. There are spaces along Via Gregorio VII and others further away, along Lungotevere Flaminio, close to Viale delle Belle Arti. But these are hardly enough even now so other solutions will have to be found further out.

One of the city’s hopes is that many of the estimated 20 million pilgrims will come by air or train, hence the plan to make Stazione Termini the main hub for arrivals and departures. But then? How do the pilgrims arrive at St Peter’s? All on the 64 bus?

Trastevere and Ostiense stations, both of which are linked to Fiumicino international airport, are also key locations and already have good connections to the historic centre by tram and express bus.

Once into the centre another hope is that pilgrims will do what pilgrims have always done – walk. Various old pilgrim ways have been suggested: Via Giulia, Via del Governo Vecchio, Via del Banco di S. Spirito, Via dei Pellegrini, Via dei Coronari. These picturesque little streets cross the historic centre, are easily accessible from the embankments and all of them have inviting shops and restaurants.

The most recent suggestion is that Corso Rinascimento (see photo) in front of the senate – between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon – should be re-opened to traffic. This project also includes the semi-pedestrianisation of the adjoining Corso Vittorio Emanuele and its closure to all but pilgrim transport.

But those who know the area know that Corso Rinascimento is already unable to cope with its existing limited traffic of buses and senators’ cars. Corso Vittorio Emanuele on the other hand is the only wide street across the historic centre. Closing this will cause backups all across town.

Marino has one advantage. Directing the traffic does not need much money – just a good organisational brain. Maybe he will get some new ideas from his meeting with New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, before he returns home.

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The secrets hidden in Italian kitchens http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/the-secrets-hidden-in-italian-kitchens/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/the-secrets-hidden-in-italian-kitchens/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 07:17:32 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202386 Most restaurant customers are unaware of the human cost of their meals.

Rome. An evening breeze gently caresses your face after a suffocating day among the monuments. The street cobbles have dissipated the day’s heat and now shine under the glow of dim lights. Every bar and restaurant is buzzing with people. “Buonasera,” says a smiling waiter from a wooden terrace. You recognise the restaurant from a review that praised its “delicious regional delicacies” prepared with “carefully selected ingredients.” Why not give it a try?

The waiter guides you to a small table in the corner. At the back of the room, seated at joined tables, a group of British retirees recounts the events of the day. In front of you, a French family is discussing the menu: while the parents consider having starters, the children prefer jumping straight to the main course. Next to your table, an American couple orders pizza.

The waiter returns and hands over the menu. You ask him what he recommends for starters. 

Spaghetti con pomodori di S. Marzano,” he says.

A dish with tomatoes sounds good. After all, you are in Italy and the tomato is almost a national symbol, isn’t it? You ask where this type of tomato grows.

“The S. Marzano are from Foggia,” he explains. “They have been hand-picked.”

While you are waiting for your food, you study the cheerful map of Italy that hangs beside you. You eye the south: Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata, Campania and Puglia. You spot the city of Foggia.

According to a Danish report, 18,000 of the 400,000 immigrants who are working illegally in Italy’s agriculture head for Foggia every summer. After the tomato harvest, they pick water-melons or move to Sicily to pick grapes. Most of them pass the winter in Calabria picking citrus fruits.1

 

Many immigrants in southern Italy pass the winter picking oranges and other citrus fruits.
Many immigrants in southern Italy pass the winter picking oranges and other citrus fruits.

 

The restaurant breathes a bucolic atmosphere: high arches evoke a barn, niches in the bare walls display copper bowls and plates, and demijohn bottles and country-style tablecloths decorate rustic wooden tables.

The immigrant workers live crammed in derelict and abandoned buildings without electricity, running water or sanitation.

The dish is exquisite. The tomato slices are tickling your palate and the pasta mixes well with the juicy S. Marzano.

When Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) visited the workers across the southern Italian regions of Calabria, Puglia, Campania, Basilicata and Sicily in 2004, they diagnosed 94.4 per cent as being chronically ill.2 The workers were suffering from respiratory infections, skin diseases, intestinal parasites and tuberculosis. On top of this, all the workers were undernourished. They earned up to €4 for every crate of 350kg they filled with tomatoes. Yet they had to pay middlemen five cents for every such crate, €5 for transportation per day and €50 a month in rent. The men who were picking food from 06.00-18.00 could afford but one meal a day.

A waitress takes your empty plate. You have a look at the menu: will you try the carciofi alla giudia or rather the zucchine ripiene di carne, both “recipes prepared with local ingredients”? The local ingredients are a well-guarded secret.

In Rome’s hinterland, known as the Agro Pontino, a community of 12,000 Indian Sikhs (Italy has the largest community of Sikhs in the EU after the UK) picks artichokes and courgettes. They have paid employers upfront €14,000 each for sponsoring an entry visa. Once in Italy, however, they do not receive a residence permit. Turned into illegal immigrants, they find themselves at the mercy of their employer and have to endure delayed or non-payment of wages. They work 10 to 12 hours a day. In order to keep up with the work pace, many of them turn to amphetamines or even hard drugs. Substance abuse, however, is taboo in the Sikh religion and is disrupting the community.

Officially, the Agro Pontino counts 10,000 workers for 11,000 companies, a figure that is too absurdly low to be true. A surplus of undocumented workers keeps downward pressure on wages. “The Italian government is well aware of what the employers do,” said a Sikh worker in an interview with Amnesty International, and explained: “We are a subsidy.”

All the fruit and vegetables on the menu have passed through the Centro Agroalimentare Roma in Guidonia, which was opened about ten years ago, replacing the old Mercati Generali in Ostiense. It is now Italy’s largest and Europe’s third-largest wholesale market. In this 140-hectare complex not far from Tivoli, Egyptian boys aged 11-17 work 10 hours a day for €20. Their families pay human traffickers up to €10,000 to take the boys to Italy. Upon arrival, the boys ask for asylum and are sheltered in subsidised host families. It takes them 18 years to pay off their debt.

 

Migrant tomato pickers work long hours for little pay and often live in harsh conditions.
Migrant tomato pickers work long hours for little pay and often live in harsh conditions.

 

You go to the bathroom. At one of the tables, a tourist uses her smartphone to take a picture of her plate –“my favourite food! #Italiandinner #Italianrestaurant.” Passing the kitchen, you peep through the half-open door: four Indo-Asian men or north Africans are preparing authentic Roman specialties.

When you get back at your table, the American couple is paying the bill. The man says to the waiter: “This doesn’t taste the same back home, you know. Here, everything just tastes better.”

Already four out of every 10 pizzaioli in Italy are immigrants. In 2013, 29.7 per cent of kitchen staff in Lazio’s restaurants were non-EU immigrants – Italian waiters are there to convince customers that they are experiencing the real thing.

“Any dessert, sir?” asks the waiter and hands you the menu. The restaurant is famous for its desserts, so you have read. You try their sorbetto: “Made with juice from three types of oranges, this sorbet wonderfully balances sweetness and smoothness. It has a refreshing aroma and is served in the orange rind.”

When the waiter brings your dessert, you ask for the bill. It is getting late. Time to go home. In Termini station you will pass immigrants sleeping rough. Many of the Africans that are living on the streets of Rome or squatting in buildings in the outskirts of town have fled the Italian countryside. Some of them used to pick oranges in Rosarno, Calabria. In 2010, the town of Rosarno hosted about 5,000 immigrant workers. After locals shot at them the Africans rebelled – against employers who, on pay day, tip off the police to the workers’ whereabouts; against the disappearance of co-workers who criticised the working conditions; against forced sexual favours; against drive-by shootings and manhunts. The locals then hit back. After two days and nights of violence, the authorities transferred Rosarno’s immigrant workers to detention centres.

The waiter arrives with the bill. It is more than the entire kitchen staff makes in a day. On the late-night bus, you will be the only westerner amid exhausted kitchen staff returning to the suburbs.

Today an immigrant picker earns about a third of what his Italian peer earned 30 years ago but at the same time the price of tomatoes has tripled. Italy is now the world’s largest exporter of canned tomatoes. By 2011 EU subsidies (which reached €6.1 billion in 2013) had turned 211 Italian farmers into millionaires, according to the farmsubsidy.openspending.org website.3

In 2012 the Fillea-CGIL trade union accused producers of tomatoes and water melons “made in Italy” of extortion and human trafficking. Food retailers in UK, Norway, Denmark and Germany have at last begun to scrutinise the business ethics of Italian suppliers.

The waiter swipes your credit card through the card reader.

“How was your meal, sir?”

“Very tasty,” you say.

“Yes,” says the waiter. “Our kitchen is based on simplicity, and treats each ingredient with respect.”

Mike Dilien

FOOTNOTES

1. From “Behind the Canned Tomatoes: Labour exploitation in the production of canned tomatoes sold in Danish supermarkets“. Published by Danwatch, a non-profit research centre. Danwatch received funds from Amnesty International for this investigation.

2. Published by MSF in “The Fruits of Hypocrisy” 

3. The site is maintained by a non-profit organisation in the UK and the Danish International Centre for Analytical Reporting.

This article was published in the August edition of Wanted in Rome magazine.

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C. Finley interview http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/c-finley-interview/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/c-finley-interview/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 06:48:18 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202382 American artist C. Finley is based between the US and Rome, and a detail of her work Fingaz 4 Daze featured on the cover of the August edition of Wanted in Rome magazine.

Your work has been described as “stylistically promiscuous” and ranges from fine art to installation to environmental activism. How do these different elements engage with each other and do you favour one over the others?

“Painting is my fulcrum, I love the solitude of the studio but I also need to engage with people in collaborative projects which are fun to create and are social. They have an impact in the world in a different way. One such project was last year’s Whitney Houston Biennial, in New York, an initiative to highlight women artists. I curated 85 female artists from a varied range of geographic and cultural backgrounds, disciplines, methodologies and generations.”

 

Fingaz 4 Daze
Fingaz 4 Daze

 

You are known internationally for your vivid, geometric paintings and intuitive understanding of colour – what inspires these works and can you describe the painting/design process?

“My current practice is first to find an image that speaks to me. Then I find a geometric compliment, such as a mandala or sacred geometry. I then recreate the image on the canvas and draw the geometry on top of it. Finally I either choose at random or intuit the colours I then paint with.”

Your Wallpapered Dumpsters have made news in Los Angeles and Rome, in particular your collaboration with the Retake Roma movement. Can you tell us what prompted this unique project?

“I worked in the film industry in Los Angeles as a set decorator and scenic painter. I collected wallpaper from various shoots. I was trying to figure out how to use this material when I was asked to participate in an installation at the port of Los Angeles. I worked in a 12-m container for an entire week. The containers were all earth-toned so I wanted to disrupt this monotonality by wallpapering one with a baroque pattern. Then a few weeks later a friend let me wallpaper his studio dumpster. That’s how it began. I believe the project receives press because if a viewer sees a dumpster as a work of art, it raises consciousness. Everybody likes a good story.”

 

C. Finley and one of her Wallpapered Dumpsters. Photo by Tanja M. Laden.
C. Finley and Wallpapered Dumpster. Photo Tanja M. Laden.

 

You live half the year in Rome. How does the city influence your work?

“I am in Rome to be away from the international art scene, for me Rome is a beautiful place where I can go into my studio without distractions. Rome inspires me, by being neighbours with Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, among others, so I feel challenged to create meaningful, great work.”

What has been a recent highlight of your career?

The Divine Distractions, a solo exhibition at the Superchief Gallery in L.A., was such an incredible experience. The show featured vibrant, large-scale paintings of my signature elements: wild colours, sensuality and geometry that emanate positive energy and celebrate divine interventions.

What projects are you working on now and will you be exhibiting in Rome in the near future?

I would love to find a giant space in Rome and create a version of The Divine Distractions exhibition. I plan on painting my heart out in Rome all summer.

Andy Devane

Published in the August edition of Wanted in Rome magazine. For more information on C. Finley and her work, see website.

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Rome prepares for Holy Jubilee http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/rome-prepares-for-holy-jubilee/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/rome-prepares-for-holy-jubilee/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:19:25 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202277 City starts public works.

The first public works in preparation for the Holy Year of Mercy are scheduled to start on 7 September around Stazione Termini.

The work around the station includes upgrading the surface on the roads, better sign posting, extra parking for airport buses and improved flow of traffic.

The city is using €50 million from central government funding to undertake the first works, Decisions on how to use another €30 million will be taken during the next few weeks.

There will also be improvement to the Lungotevere embankments leading to St Peter’s, resulting in delays for traffic between now and December.

The areas around S. Pietro and Ostiense stations will be upgraded, as will the gardens in Piazza Vittorio and the bridges from Ponte Milvio to Castel S. Angelo.

The plans were confirmed days after the city’s prefect Franco Gabrielli was given sweeping powers to supervise aspects of the city’s regulations, the accounts and contracts for crucial services before the opening of the Jubilee Year.

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Italian government intervenes to assist Rome mayor http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/italian-government-intervenes-to-assist-rome-mayor/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/italian-government-intervenes-to-assist-rome-mayor/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:34:45 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202239 Sweeping powers granted to Rome’s prefect.

Rome prefect Franco Gabrielli has been granted sweeping powers to help the city’s embattled mayor Ignazio Marino, following a decree approved by the Italian government on 27 August.

A range of powers will be transferred to Gabrielli from Marino, who remains on holiday. Marino has said that he is satisfied with the measures.

Gabrielli will function as a co-ordinator and it is hoped that in this way it will be possible to shorten the period for carrying out the works that are necessary for the special Holy Year that starts in December. Rome will be governed in much the same way as Milan during the run-up to Expo Milano 2015.

The move stops short of putting the capital under direct control of a central administrator, unlike the local council at the city’s coastal district Ostia which was dissolved on 27 August over concerns of Mafia infiltration.

Gabrielli and Marino will effectively be governing the capital together, with the prefect given powers to supervise some aspects of the city’s regulations, the accounts and contracts for crucial services in the remaining three months before the opening of the Vatican’s Jubilee Year.

 

L-R, Rome prefect Franco Gabrielli, Italy’s interior minister Angelino Alfano, and Rome mayor Ignazio Marino.

 

The order by Italy’s interior minister Angelino Alfano follows a recent report by Gabrielli, who found evidence of major criminal infiltration in city hall but did not recommend the dissolution of Marino’s council. Gabrielli’s report led to the resignation of the deputy mayor, Luigi Nieri, the eighth member to leave the city council since Marino took office more than two years ago.

Alfano said that under the new terms Gabrielli will assist the mayor in planning and overseeing contracts for specific areas such as parks, rubbish collection, the environment, housing, immigration and camps for the Roma people.

The move comes in light of the so-called Mafia Capitale case which is investigating more than 100 public officials and business figures on suspicion of crimes including bid-rigging, racketeering, aggravated fraud, issuing false invoices, and tax evasion.

It also follows the controversy surrounding the ostentatious funeral of Rome crime boss Vittorio Casamonica on 20 August in the city’s Cinecittà district.

Marino has repeated that the corruption of Rome’s city council was already well-established by the time he succeeded his right-wing predecessor Gianni Alemanno, the most high-profile figure under investigation in the Mafia Capitale case.

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Rome dedicates piazza to Martin Luther http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/rome-dedicates-piazza-to-martin-luther/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/rome-dedicates-piazza-to-martin-luther/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:35:22 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202151 Square in Colle Oppio park to be named after Reformation leader.

Rome has approved plans to dedicate a piazza to Martin Luther, the 16th-century German theologian who rebelled against the Catholic church and began the Protestant Reformation in 1517.

On 16 September a plaque reading “Piazza Martin Lutero – teologo tedesco (1483-1546)” will be installed at a square along Viale Fortunato Mizzi, in the Colle Oppio park near the Domus Aurea monument.

The initiative comes ahead of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, and follows a request begun five years ago by the Seventh Day Adventist council in Rome.

The project was not opposed by the Vatican, according to the Catholic World News.

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100 short impressions after a year in Italy. http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/100-short-impressions-after-a-year-in-italy/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/100-short-impressions-after-a-year-in-italy/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:05:06 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202106 1. They wear old man pajamas that normal people only wear on Christmas morning
2. Super scared of feet; house shoes, blue things on feet in showers at swimming because of the “mushrooms in the ground”
3. Wifi isn’t available often
4. At the pool boys and girls change/get naked in front of each other
5. Girls don’t wear swimsuit tops
6. They call bathing suits costumes
7. Rare to have a TV guide/subtitles option
8. Eat at the same time every day
9. Only eat italian food
10. Cookies are served for breakfast
11. Shops close just cause they feel like it
12. Everything goes on strike all the time
13. Water cups are the size of shot glasses
14. Open container law doesn’t exist
15. They drive crazy
16. They don’t eat the peels of anything
17. The penises are uncircumsized
18. They are terrified of the rain, and schools shut down when there’s a prediction of rain.
19. The only dressing option is olive oil
20. You can’t pay with an Italian debit card online
21. They are super crazy about using electricity
22. If you use too many appliances at once the power shuts off
23. They wear the same outfit 2 days in a row
24. Bidet in all bathrooms
25. In many bathrooms the toilet is just a hole in the ground
26. Boys live with their mom till they get married
27. Salad is the last course of the meal
28. They eat super late
29. They make one lane roads Into two lane
30. On the train, you have to guess which stop is yours
31. They all use whatsapp to text
32. They text using only voice recordings
33. All food groups are eaten separately, never more than one kind of food on a plate
34. They don’t use towels after their showers, they just go straight into robes
35. You have a twin size bed until you get married
36. They don’t have dryers they hang all their clothes to dry
37. Water is more expensive during the day so families only use the dishwasher and the washing machine at night.
38. In Italian there’s no word for toes
39. Light switches are often on the outside of rooms
40. All prescriptions come in boxes
41. Coffee shops are called bars
42. Bars are called cafés
43. People can smoke cigarettes inside
44. Everyone blow dries their hair
45. Undershirts are always worn
46. Dogs can shit on the street and no one ever cleans it up
46. Dogs can go anywhere, they can even sit on people’s laps at restaurants
47. The pizzas never come pre-cut
48. The elevators are so tiny and almost never automatic
49. Restaurants don’t open until 7
50. The eggs aren’t refrigerated at the grocery store
51. Unisex bathroom at bars
52. Condom vending machines are all over the streets
53. 4g isn’t available in italy
54. Fruit is always served after dinner
55. On the buses – there are 3 doors. You can only enter on the front or the back and you can only exit through the middle.
56. You take a number wherever you go because Italians don’t know how to make a single file line
57. Trains are never on time
58. You re-up your phone and buy stamps at the tabacchi shops
59. Everyone has a “fade”
60. You use a foot pedal to control the water in the sink at many bars and restaurants
61. Paper towels/dryers are rare in the bathrooms
62. They almost never drink out of cans, they pour their drinks from cans into cups
63. Water isn’t free in italy
64. People pregame in mini marts, the people who work there will open bottles of wine and pour them in plastic cups which you can then take into the street to continue pregaming
65. At a restaurant, when you ask what kinds of beers are on tap, the response is usually “big and small.”
66. Nobody speaks English
67. Churches offer swimming lessons
68. Americans have a rep of being fat but Italians always eat a full pizza to themselves. If you ask to split a pizza at a restaurant, the people who work there get angry.
69. People say “salute” during cheers and when people sneeze.
70. They keep their pajamas under their pillow
71. They spank their kids
72. Italian high schools last 5 years
73. There are no sports in Italian high schools, no school spirit
74. You don’t switch classes throughout the day, the teachers switch instead
75. Many exams, even in college, even math exams, are oral
76. Ordering a cappuccino after dinner is very offensive
77. There are nuns everywhere but Italians think if you see a nun outside of church it’s bad luck.
78. Grandparents usually live with the family
79. A sweet potato is called a potato Americano, and they don’t eat them. They put them in jars till they sprout plants because it’s “funny.”
80. Kids shower once a week
81. The principal at school cannot send emails to families because it’s not fair for families that don’t have email
82. No wifi connection allowed at the kids school because of the electro magnetic waves
83. Almost all Italian girls names end with an A, and almost Italian guys name ends with an O. The ones that don’t end with E.
84. Only people in the front seat wear seat belt, and they think wearing a seat belt in the back is “more dangerous.”
85. They say “pronto” on the phone instead of “ciao”
86. When you get a manicure, they finish an entire hand before starting the other.
87. Boys all put grease in their hair
88. They bundle up for 70 degree weather
89. You always use a tablecloth for dinner
90. Street people walk around everywhere selling roses, umbrellas and light up necklaces.
91. Credit cards are not widely accepted
92. They calls their friends “uncle”
93. All their cars here are stick shift
94. There are no houses, only apartments
95. They only have plastic Christmas trees
96. Garage sales are illegal in Italy
97. You order a coffee, you’re given an espresso.
98. At a restaurant, it’s rude to ask to take your leftovers to go.
99. Because most people live in apartments, kids think santa comes through the window, not the chimney.
100. We showed this list to many Italian people, and they agree.

By “Or just 5 au pairs”

 

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Mafia funeral in Rome draws protests http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/mafia-funeral-in-rome-draws-protests/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/mafia-funeral-in-rome-draws-protests/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:12:39 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=202082 Sit-in set for 3 September.

A demonstration to protest the ostentatious funeral of the mafia boss, Vittorio Casamonica, is being called for 3 September.

The heads of Rome’s 15 municipal districts have said that they will support the sit-in at the church of Don Bosco where the funeral of the head of the notorious Casamonica family was held in Piazza Don Bosco on 20 August, when most of the city was deserted for the Ferragosto holiday.

The church of Don Bosco is off Via Tuscolana in the Cinecittà area of Rome.

The lavish, film-set funeral, with black horse-drawn carriage, rose petals dropped from a helicopter and crowds of mourners, has further reinforced the image of Italy’s capital as a city without any proper leadership or control.

Rome’s prefect, Franco Gabrielli, has called a meeting of the forces of law and order for Monday 24 August. He has already requested clarification from the police, the carabinieri and the city government about the event.

The city’s mayor Ignazio Marino is still officially on holiday.

 

 

Posters call for protest against mafia funeral
Posters call for protest against mafia funeral

 

In a visit to Naples in the spring Pope Francis came out strongly against the mafia and official Church policy is against lavish funerals for mafia bosses.

The priest at the church Don Bosco is reported as saying that he had no control of what happened outside his church. The bishop in charge of that part of the city has said that he knew nothing about the funeral, that he had not been warned by the police and that if he had known he would have stopped the show.

In an article condemning the spectacular aspects of the funeral the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano has carried a comment from the archbishop of Catanzaro-Squillaci, Vincenzo Bertolone, that while the religious rites can not be denied mafia faithful, the funeral itself must be simple.

Archbishop Bertolone is the postulant for the canonisation of Pino Puglisi, the priest who was murdered by the mafia in Palermo in 1993.

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Rome plans for Holy Jubilee http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/rome-plans-for-holy-jubilee/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/rome-plans-for-holy-jubilee/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 09:54:47 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=201889 Only three months before opening of the special Holy Year.

Announcing the city’s plans for the coming Jubilee year Rome’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, has outlined details and costs of some of the projects to make life easier for the 20 million or so pilgrims expected to visit Rome during the Holy Year of Mercy, which Pope Francis will open on 8 December.

The public works mentioned so far include patching and resurfacing roads, widening pavements, providing more green areas, improving public transport links between stations – in particular tram connections between the city’s railway stations (Termini, Ostiense, Trastevere and St Peter’s) – and new sign posting.

Four special pilgrim routes will be laid out with easier access for the disabled, more benches and public washrooms. The areas around the main basilicas, St Peter’s, St John Lateran, St Paul’s outside the Walls and the Holy Cross in Jerusalem will all be given face-lifts.

The mayor has described the plans as ricucitura urbana (mending the city) and insists that the initial €200 million budget (€50 million has already been approved with another €150 million expected at the end of August) will also make the quality of life better for residents as well as pilgrims – but only once the road and construction works are finished.

 

See details of plans.

 

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Mafia threats on Italian journalists increasing http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/mafia-threats-on-italian-journalists-increasing/ http://www.wantedinrome.com/news/mafia-threats-on-italian-journalists-increasing/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 16:35:27 +0000 http://www.wantedworldwide.net/?post_type=news&p=201823 20 journalists protected by armed escorts.

According to a report just published by Italy’s anti-mafia commission threats and attacks on journalists are on the rise. There were 2,060 acts of intimidation against journalists between 2006 and 2014; 421 of them in the first 10 months of 2014.

The findings were gathered from interviews with 34 experts and journalists between July 2014-2015.

At present 20 journalists are protected by police escorts and 11 have been killed. Sicily and Calabria are the most dangerous regions. Most of the threats go unpunished, according to the report, as it is difficult to bring a conviction. The mafia uses not only violence and threats but also law suits for slander and defamation to silence journalists.

The report, which was the first of its kind on the mafia and the media, also highlights the bad working conditions for investigative journalists, their low pay scales and the fact that many are freelancers, unprotected by any form of official contract.

The vote on the report by the parliamentary anti-mafia commission, chaired by Rosy Bindi, was unanimous.

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