|Overflowing garbage bins like this are a daily sight on residential streets in Rome. Garbage pickup seemed quixotic, but I'm sure it happened sometimes.|
I've written several posts about the many beauties and delights of Rome. In one, I described the care bakeries take to ensure even six cookies go out the door looking like a million dollars -- gift wrap, bow and all. But the downside is that the wrap -- along with everything else that goes into creating the bella figura (great impression) so prized in Rome -- tends to produce garbage.
The Romans do recycle. Or at least households have bags into which they are to carefully divide paper, glass, tin and plastics, then deposit them in the matching containers on the curb. How much recycling actually goes on -- well, who knows even in Vancouver? In Rome, there's not even a pretence with kitchen garbage, which goes into that wonderfully generic non-recyclable bin. Over the day, the bins fill up. And up and up and eventually out over the sidewalk, the mess swelling with the hours.
We were astonished at our first sight of this. But eventually it became part of the scene, like cars double-parked on a busy street or halfway up on the sidewalk. I don't recall seeing any messes like this on the downtown streets where the tourists roam. Like everywhere, I guess, Rome knows when to hide its dirty laundry.
|Car parking in Rome was as chaotic as the traffic. Wherever there was a spot, it seemed, it was okay to leave your car. I never saw a ticket warden.|
|Here we have the car and the garbage, just being Roman together.|
|Graffiti was common on the exteriors of residential buildings like this.|
|Buildings and walls like this one surrounding the Doria Pamphilj park get a colourful coating.|
|A longer view of that park wall. It took a lot of paint to cover every inch of it.|
|Behind the parked cars, more evidence of graffiti artists at work. The pull-down shutters of the shops are an inviting target.|