Tuesday, August 3

Tante Belle Cose - July10 New Rules for Living in Italy

In the spirit of writing about the good things that go on each month's end, I will try (desperately, a bit like Dobby resisting to inform Harry Potter of impending danger "Bad Dobby, Bad Dobby!" to ignore the fact that Rome's tourist tax is taking effect. Not only that, the city's museums along with the State-run Colosseum&Forum will be levying an extra charge on the people who bring them income.
(Gulp: there I go again..."Dobby will have to shut his ears in the oven door for this." 

But in the lazy days of July, the City Officials were clearly running on double espressos and drumming out new laws to bring some order into our world - and much of it is to be applauded: 
  • Wild-card tables -- No more cafè society. Proprietors are to pay for the privilege of occupying the sidewalk (as if the passersby would get a windfall since they're the ones being inconvenienced) or they're shut down.  One day alone, 4 bars in Trastevere/Piazza Navona were closed for 10 days and fined.

  • Documents/i.d. cards -- It took 'til 2010, but they've finally figured out how to process papers in under 40 days.  By allowing city officials on one side of town to look into a database at your original docs in the State Archives and give you the i.d. card within 4 days. In 110 b.c., the process involved slaves going from building to building, but in modern times, you were slave to the process -- repeatedly waiting hours in infernal lines at each of the buildings in question. Now I know why it's called the Eternal City.

  • Skype lines -- The City is touting this as the new wave of the future, swapping out their land lines. Anyone who has ever used skype will know that the service is less than ideal -- just when we stopped the "line from falling", we can dust off that expression and put it back into use.  But, the switch, while not great for customer service will save the city millions.

  • Microcars -- And finally, even the state has gotten into the regulation act and are requiring seatbelts and anti-suped up models of the teeny-bopper cars.  Too bad, you still don't need a regular driver's license (and accompanying driver ed course) to drive 'em.
  • Movies -- Italy is starting a ratings system like in the US or UK [X, R, 12+ etc.]. While this is a good thing, the chorus of voices chimed in as to the sacrosanct practice of allowing young kids to still enjoy naked women in cages, S&M imagery, and all sorts of violence all day long on TV. 
Having just taken a number of trips up&down the Via Salaria, where the City had finally ousted the prostitutes and levied laws against stopping, I was treated (along with the 9 year old boy in my car) to a parade of almost-naked women lining the streets once again, and cars stopping right, left & center causing many of the fender benders that plague that path...One wonders, 'how long will the enforcement last before it all goes back as it was'.  

Get me away from this keyboard..."...Dobby has to iron his hands...")

Quotes and picture posted on www.fanpop.com