Onlookers surprised to see public city bus join funeral procession in Rome suburb.
It is not every day that a public bus joins in the funeral cortege of a private citizen but this is what happened in a Rome suburb on the morning of 4 May.
"Ciao bello mio, riposa in pace" read the message in the box that normally displays the bus number and destination, reports Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The unusual event occurred in the western Primavalle district of the capital after the funeral of a 43-year-old local man, who was reportedly a bus driver.
The bus was first parked outside the parish church on Via di Torrevecchia, before joining "dozens of roaring motorbikes" in the funeral cortege, the Corriere reports.
The vehicle, although marked with ATAC livery, belonged to the Roma TPL company which operates bus routes in the city suburbs.
After the funeral the procession reportedly made its way past the deceased's home, in an area known by locals as 'the Bronx.'
“It's a tradition around here. It always happens, we go with the hearse under the dead man's house," a lady told the Corriere, before acknowledging that it was "indeed unusual" to see a city bus in the procession.
Locals were divided over whether a public bus should have been used for private purposes, with some quoted in the Corriere as saying it was "a nice gesture" and pointing out that there were "much worse things" to worry about.
Even the parish priest, Father Crispino Borgia, did not appear surprised when contacted by the Corriere: "Outside there were a lot of people, then I saw many motorbikes and I also noticed the bus with the message. However, I can assure you that it was a very composed funeral, the same as all the others."
Others were not so impressed with the incident. “It's a shameful thing" - said one local who asked to remain anonymous - "I'm sorry for the man but you can't use a bus that is supposed to be for public transport for something that is not public."
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Rome city bus joins funeral cortege with 'Rest in Peace' display
Via di Torrevecchia, Roma RM, Italy
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