Rome moves horse-drawn carriages off streets

Rome to restrict botticelle carriages to city parks.

Horse-drawn carriages, or botticelle, are to be banned from Rome's streets but will be allowed to operate in the city's parks following legislation approved by the municipal transport committee on 9 July.

The move, expected to be passed formally next week, is the result of a compromise put forward by the populist Movimento 5 Stelle, of the capital's mayor Virginia Raggi, between the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) and the right-wing Fratelli d'Italia - both of which favoured an out-right ban - and the far-right Lega whose members were not in favour of any change.

Raggi announced the news on her Facebook page with the message: "No more exhausted horses on the streets! Rome leader in safeguarding and protecting animals."

The legislation is seen as being one step away from banning the botticelle definitively, as promised by Raggi in her election campaign more than three years ago.

Last September Rome ruled not to grant any new licences for the botticelle, whose 32 current drivers were given the option to switch to a taxi license. 

18-year-old Birillo died at work in 2008.

Over the years there have been numerous clashes between carriage drivers and animal rights' activists who describe the city's streets as a "cruel" working environment for the horses, several of whom have collapsed and died under the strain of the summer heat.

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Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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