Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Rome Journal: Servizi per il territorio

They are the genial storm troopers who patrol mass transit in Rome. Wearing a black uniform on the back of which read “Servizi per il territorio” with Roma Capitale embroidered in red underneath this officer of transportation law stopped passengers without valid metro tickets. Romans apparently take their transportation seriously and those caught trying to sneak under the wire, will be brought to justice. As a 75 bus on its way to Termini passed the famed Colosseo stop, several passengers were showing their identification to a second officer who was dutifully recording their statistics on his smart phone, before stepping off the bus and disappearing into the rush hour crowd. There are soldiers carrying machine guns and automatic rifles all through the downtown area in front of major sites like the Teatro Marcello and the Vittorio Emmanuelle monument on the Piazza Venezia. And though the era when the Carabinieri created fear and loathing are long gone, there's still a residue of the old days when the separation between church and state was less palpable and the laws of the church, especially pertaining to sexual indiscretions, were upheld with similar dispatch.

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