Rome shelters homeless from freezing conditions

Rome offers shelter to homeless people in city's metro stations.

As night temperatures in Rome drop below 0°, the capital has introduced a piano freddo, or cold plan, in preparation for the "eventuality of snow, ice and severe cold waves."

Central to the plan is the provision of beds for the city's homeless, with 1,533 places being made available "in various forms and methods" around the capital.

In addition to traditional shelters and hostels, the city has opened its metro stations at Piramide and Flaminio at night, making them available to homeless people.

The move follows the death of a 50-year-old homeless man, who died on a bench in Piazza Lorenzo Lotto, in the Ardeatino area, on 2 January. It is believed that the man, named Stanislao from Poland, died from an illness aggravated by the cold conditions.

With the cold spell expected to continue over the weekend of La Befana, Rome's pubic transport provider ATAC says that Piramide and Flaminio stations will remain open "as long as needed."