Pouring rain and tailbacks greeted thousands of Romans over the weekend, as the summer break drew to a close. The years biggest homecoming saw hold-ups on most major arteries leading into the capital, including the Via Aurelia and the A12 Roma-Civitavecchia motorway, where queues stretched back 3 km. Motorway toll booths were key bottlenecks: Rome south, among others, saw a tailback of 2 km. Roadworks between Ponzano Romano and the Rome north barrier toll booth added to the congestion, while the inclement weather across the whole of north and central Italy no doubt worsened the traffic chaos in general. But the stress is set to continue, with consumer bodies predicting an autumn of discontent. Fuelled by the rocketing price of a barrel of oil, already nudging the $70 mark, petrol, gas and electricity prices are set to rise even further, with knock-on effects for retail prices. All told, these are set to cost the Italian family an extra 700 per year.
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