Rome, love letter between fires and waste

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There are three things in particular that Rome has been talking about for some time: garbage, fires and taxi strikes. I have lived here for 20 years and these are cyclically the themes that run after each other in the capital, with some alternating pauses dedicated to the chasms that open up along the streets and the difficulty of using public transport. That’s why, Rome is a wound to the heart for many of its citizens, who have never stopped loving its eternal beauty but who have been repeating for years that “this city is abused”, “there are too many interests”, “those who manage it he doesn’t really love her. ”

Simona was born here 35 years ago, in the Centocelle district and has never moved from there. «Because Rome is home everywhere. It is she who chooses you and you cannot say no to her. ” All the Romans speak like this. Rome is their beloved, their life partner, the eternal magic. “When the fire broke out on 9 July I was at work in the San Giovanni area. My mom immediately called me to tell me to sleep with some friend, that it was better not to go home because the air was unbreathable and the firefighters were evacuating some buildings. I saw a photo of a church in my neighborhood that was almost run over by smoke. You impressed me, it looked like a painting ». The same day there also went up in flames “Professor’s stall”a historic bank of books located in piazzale Flaminio, following another fire that broke out in the scrub of an uncultivated land.

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The fire on July 9, 2022 in RomeStefano Montesi – Corbis / Getty Images

The fire of 9 July is only the last in chronological order to have covered the city in smoke, after having involved two car wreckers in the Palmiro Togliatti area (east Rome) and thus unleashing a heavy toxic cloud visible from every area of ​​Rome. Up to over ten kilometers away from where the flames started. “All emergency rooms have been alerted for respiratory symptoms,” said the regional councilor for health, Alessio D’Amato in the evening. “The City Hall did well to recommend keeping the windows closed and wearing a mask to avoid inhaling the fumes resulting from the fire.” Then, the comment of the mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri: “We await the outcome of the investigations on fires, but it is certain that the hand of man is behind it, through fault or willful misconduct. We are not intimidated, Rome must change. It will have all the facilities to dispose of its waste ». Less than a month ago the flames engulfed the Malagrotta waste treatment plantwith the consequent risk of toxic fumes and the immediate provision to close the kindergartens and summer camps within a radius of six kilometers for 24 hours.

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The toxic cloud, released by the fire of 9 July 2022, visible from different areas of RomeANDREAS SOLARO / Getty Images

A few days ago, walking out of a shop, I found myself in a shower of soot. I looked up at the sky and saw it descend like heavy black and gray snowflakes. I checked the news and read about yet another stake. Pineta Sacchetti area. I had never been so close. The air immediately became thin, all the outlines of the sky were gray, as on a November day, suddenly dark. I moved several kilometers to reach a second place e the soot had cleared but the air dried up the throat, making it charred. I immediately thought that I was lucky to have sent my son to the beach with his grandparents and also to have never stopped replenishing my supply of Ffp2 masks in my backpack. When I got home it was dinner time, the air still smelled of burning. I took the dog and the garbage and went out.

The fire on July 9, 2022 in RomeTIZIANA FABI / Getty Images

On the bin not far from my house there were: a broken double net, several open boxes with clothes dragged here and there, broken pizza boxes, bottles on the ground, shards of glass, some dismantled wardrobe doors, the remains of an umbrella , several dented chairs. And the asphalt was a stinking glue. As usual, my dog ​​started barking at the chief of the seagulls who manages the area of ​​our house. Those bins belong to him and so are the pigeon carcasses squashed between one bin and another. This is how my son developed a passion for paleontology, because he, in his five years of life, those bins has never seen them really clean.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

-Infires in Rome, the hypothesis of malicious origin

-Rome, fire at the former Malagrotta landfill. “Dioxin alarm”

Source: Vanity Fair

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