Cleaning up Rome with WakeupRoma

WakeupRoma clean-up campaign promises to restore civic pride in Rome.

WakeupRoma, the largest voluntary clean-up campaign ever organised in Italy, is taking place on Saturday 12 March in four separate locations around Rome.

The #WakeupRoma initiative is designed to awaken a spirit of civic conscience in Romans whose city's decline made international headlines last year, according to organisers Retake Roma, a volunteer movement which tackles urban decay, and Luiss EnLabs, a body which helps to develop start-ups.

The mega "retake" is being held in four areas: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and Piazza di Porta Maggiore in the Esquilino district, Villa Paganini in the Nomentana neighbourhood, and Piazza Anco Marzio in Ostia.

By registering on the WakeupRoma website, volunteers can present themselves at the WakeupRoma stand at their chosen location between 09.00 and 10.00 on 12 March. Here they will receive the equipment necessary for their work which includes tidying up green areas, scraping illegal stickers and posters off walls, removing graffiti and cleaning/painting street furniture.

The campaign has attracted numerous high-profile sponsors and supporters, as well as receiving the endorsement of celebrities such as footballer Alessandro Florenzi and actor Carlo Verdone, and volunteers will work to a background of live music.

Retake Roma founder Rebecca Spitzmiller said that many residents have become so accustomed to the capital's degradation that they hardly notice the graffiti and rubbish. However, she says, getting involved in the campaign involves “immeditate results and very high satisfaction.”

For full details see website or Facebook page while for insights into the Retake Roma movement see Wanted in Rome feature article by Jonathan Balog.