Inside Italy: The Streets aren’t Paved with Gold

One of the things that drives me mad living in Rome is the dirty streets.  As most people live in apartments, they have to bring their rubbish down to the street bins.  I’m pretty sure they get emptied regularly but these pictures show what the bins and surrounding area look like on an average day.  I don’t know if it’s people not bothering to put their rubbish in the bins (the bin in the main photo was actually empty) or if the gypsies who root through the bins on a regular basis looking for things to sell empty the rubbish out but it’s really horrible.  I live in a ‘nice’ area of Rome, full of middle-class families, expensive shops and private schools.  So why is it totally acceptable to have streets full of crap like this?

While I’m on the subject of crap, here’s a couple of recent examples of dog poo that caught my eye.  In the first photo, someone has actually gone to the trouble of laying a plate down for their dog to poop into – and has then just left it on the pavement, rather than picking it up and putting it in the dog waste bin.  Maybe it’s supposed to be Street Art??  The next one has so impressed a passer-by that they felt compelled to leave a note of appreciation.  It roughly says ‘Compliments to the producer and master’…


37 thoughts on “Inside Italy: The Streets aren’t Paved with Gold”

  1. A friend of mine once said to me ‘whenever I come and visit you the one smell I associate with Rome is….rubbish’ (I was expecting her to say coffee or pizza bianca or some other romantic notion). Says it all really.


  2. Eeeek! Here in Toledo, we leave our rubbish outside in bags (the streets are too narrow to put up bins), but they are collected every night, and the streets are washed down regularly. And still, they smell of wee and the feral cats leave their deposits everywhere. Looks like you’ve got it far worse, though! In Germany, this situation would be unthinkable but for the most derelict of big city districts (and NOT inhabited by Germans).


    1. We’re just so used to everyone having wheelie bins in England and being responsible for our own rubbish, that it’s weird to see it dumped everywhere. I never see any cats here so when I smell wee I assume that it’s come from dogs (or people??) 😉


  3. Ha, looks familiar! The Latvians seem to be going through a phase of leaving their unwanted furniture on the streets at the moment… and don’t even get me started on the poo! 🙂


      1. Same in Ireland! Some man had even pinned notices to the trees around our local green area telling people to pick up after their dogs as it’s a danger to playing children. Nice when people give a crap – so to speak 😉


  4. Yep you have it pretty bad in your neighbourhood with the rubbish, for some reason our communal bins are very tidy (could be due to the amount of elderly that live around us, however, the dog poo is everywhere and just yesterday I was considering taking photos of all the poo I see on a daily basis…alas I need to let it go!


  5. It’s a dreaded thing to see (and step in), so I am always on high alert whenever we go into the city. And if I can bring a plastic bag to dispose of our dog poops, why can’t others do the same?

    Up here in the woods it isn’t so terrible. Well maybe only in the fall season when they herd the cows, sheep and goats down the mountain for the winter. I do not go on walks at all during that period!


  6. In Germany, there’s something called a “Sperrmüll” collection (bulk waste) a couple of times a year. The only prolem is people insist on putting things out that don’t belong in the Sperrmüll (like old electrical items and clothing), so the collectors take everything else and just leave the non-Sperrmüll stuff there. After Sperrmüll, the streets are always cluttered with rubbish for WEEKS until someone finally starts doing something about it.

    With ordinary waste, I think they can refuse to take stuff away if it’s not inside the actual bin, so people will pile it in even after the lid will no longer sgut… anything to make sure it’s not on the pavement next to the bin!


  7. Your pictures remind me of so many things! Going down south is even worse, unfortunately. And as for dog poop, in Milan the police have been giving out heavy fines for years already so that doesn’t happen that often. But in Rome…ah, Rome! I sympathize.


  8. We live near on of the entrances to a big area of parkland where people from far and wide come to walk their dogs, so there’s quite often some dog poo on the pavements (although not as much as there used to be), but the actual park entrance, which is a paved alleyway, is known by the locals as ‘dog poo alley’. Say no more. Annoying as it is to find piles of dog pop on the path, and in the park itself, it is more annyoying in some way when people do pick it up but leave the little bag containing it on the path – there are loads of ‘dog’ bins in the area.


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