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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Rome subway sorry for shock 'gypsy' announcements

Mayor slams incident and backs disciplinary action by ATAC.

Rome's municipal public transport company ATAC apologised on Friday for announcements warning commuters of "gypsies" on the city's subway system.

The incident was reported by journalist Francecsca Mannocchi who wrote on Twitter: "Metro A, Rome, now: from the loudspeakers of the carriages, the voice says "Beware of gypsies, beware of gypsies". Then it goes back to announcing the stops, "next stop Barberini, exit the right side".

In the post, Mannocchi also asked Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri if such behaviour was admissible.

After learning of the discriminatory announcements, ATAC took immediate action and identified the person responsible who it said would be subjected to "disciplinary" proceedings.

"The announcement was obviously not recorded" - ATAC stated on Twitter - "It was a personal initiative which the company deems unacceptable".

Gualtieri also replied promptly on Twitter, condemning the incident outright.

"It is inadmissible and unacceptable" - Gualtieri wrote - "ATAC did well in taking immediate action against those who were responsible for such an offensive and discriminatory act". 

Photo credit: Phuong D. Nguyen /

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