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Rome gets bad press from abroad

Series of damning articles in US and UK.

Several stories reporting the demise of Rome have appeared in leading US and UK newspapers and media outlets in recent days.

The stories outline the problems facing the capital, including the Mafia Capitale corruption case, the public transport delays, the ongoing immigration crisis, and the passenger chaos at Fiumicino airport as a result of the recent fire – all topics covered by Wanted in Rome on a weekly basis.

Describing the capital as "dirty and disorganised", a feature article by global news agency Reuters states: "Its glory faded, decaying modern Rome needs a miracle", while The Telegraph refers to a city in “chronic decline”, leading with the headline: "Rome is on the verge of collapse and needs urgent repair, leaders warn."

US news agency Bloomberg posted a video link entitled "Why Rome Ranks at European Bottom for Quality of Life", a reference to the city's bottom ranking out of 28 EU capitals for the efficiency of city services, according to a 2013 European Commission survey.

The Bloomberg video opens with the commentator stating: "The Eternal City is facing a crisis – its administration is plagued by corruption scandals, increasing debt and crumbling infrastructure."

Despite Rome's present difficulties, however, it should be remembered that there are positive things happening – many of which are also reported by Wanted in Rome.

The capital has recently opened six new stations on the Metro C line; Rome has launched an Olympic bid for 2024; the city continues to promote street art as a way of rejuvenating neglected suburbs; plans for a brand new football stadium are at an advanced stage; and the city administration, under the embattled mayor Ignazio Marino, finally banned mobile snack bars from important historic sites in the centre.

Looking to the future, it remains to be seen if the city will manage to get to grips with all its problems in time for the upcoming Jubilee Year, and the influx of 25 million pilgrims expected to descend on the capital.

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia