AMA, the Rome city refuse collection service, has revealed that fewer Romans have left the city to go on holiday this year than last year. On the last Wednesday in July AMA collected 4,287 tons of rubbish in the city, 440 tons more than on the same day in 2003, indicating, AMA says, that 280,000 more Romans are staying at home, particularly in the more populated areas of the Prenestina, Tuscolana and Casilina.

The reason for this may be the increase in the cost of holidays. ISTAT, the national statistics agency, has released figures that show that the average cost of a holiday in Italy (travel, hotel, eating out and use of a bathing establishment) has increased by 9.7 per cent over the last twelve months. Many of the Romans who are staying at home for their summer holidays are commuting daily to the beaches near Rome.