Rome is rotting.
This should come as no news to Romans, who have dealt all sorts of decay and inefficiency for decades (link in Italian). The city has witnessed regional scandals—public money was allegedly spent by politicians to organize decadent toga parties (link in Italian)—and been hit by a huge mafia collusion scandal in 2014 that left few untouched. The consequences of the corrupt system, dubbed Mafia Capitale (capital mafia), has been a mismanagement of the city, including the handling of garbage disposal (link in Italian).
On July 22, the New York Times published a story illustrating the city’s woes, chiefly represented by the featured image: Two men and a child walk past piles of garbage in the central neighborhood of Trastevere.
The piece, and the international attention it generated, has intensified the debate about the conditions of the city. The Twitter handle @romafaschifo (Roma is disgusting) and of #romafaschifo reveal Romans’ discontent over their city’s garbage problem.
However, Romans don’t appear to appreciate the commentary from abroad. On a Facebook page in support of the city’s mayor Ignazio Marino, who has been accused by his opposition to be responsible for the city’s degradation, users have been sharing pictures of garbage in New York (which is, in fairness, rather ubiquitous), and jokingly demanding the resignation of De Blasio.