Rome’s pandemic recovery sparks a stand-off between cafes and ...


Rome’s pandemic recovery sparks a stand-off between cafes and cars

Outdoor dining is helping save Rome’s restaurants, but drivers don’t want to see it last

Flavia Rotondi and Alessandro Speciale

As Rome seeks to restart its economy from the coronavirus pandemic, authorities have inadvertently ignited a fierce battle for the city’s streets — or to be more precise, its curbs.

With indoor seating still restricted by measures to contain Covid-19, Rome’s administration in April allowed cafes and restaurants to set up outdoor seating in public areas for free. In practice, that’s meant occupying cramped parking space on the city streets, infuriating drivers in the process.

“I have to block dozens of posts every time a new terrace goes up,” said Valerio Ercolino, who manages a Facebook group for residents of the Trieste Salario suburb. “I try to keep the conversation constructive, but there is no synthesis. The anger just keeps building up.”..

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