I keep reading in travel forums about how dirty Rome is. In fact, there are a lot of debates about which is dirtier – Rome or Florence. From the writing I suspect that most of these comments come from Americans.
So I have to ask? What were these travelers’ expectations? Did they really think that the streets would be cleaned with Purell every day? For those not familiar with Purell, it is a hand sanitizer that we American’s are obsessed with.
Rome and Florence are big cities that see thousands if not millions of visitors each year. It must take a Herculean effort to keep ahead of the trash these tourists throw away on an hourly basis much less a daily basis. And who is to blame if tourists throw their trash on the street rather than a trash can?
I visit Rome and Florence as often as I can and find them no dirtier than New York, Chicago, Atlanta or any other large US city. Florence with its dark buildings and narrow alley’s may give the appearance of being dirty and there is no question that the buildings in both cities suffer the effects of pollution.
I once took a trip to Newfoundland where the residents of some of the smaller communities threw their garbage out the back door. If the temperature had ever gotten above 50F the smell would have been overwhelming. And I suspect that Naples is a little ripe right now with the month’s long garbage strike. But you should never judge Italy by what happens in Naples, that would be a huge mistake on many levels.
Granted compared to Salt Lake City, Rome and Florence are dirty, but then again getting a drink of alcohol in Salt Lake City is like trying to buy an illegal drug.
I have to wonder – where do all these people who think Rome and Florence are so dirty live?