Photo Credit: Photo by Artem Podrez
Che Peccato! E Scooters Are A Nuisance For Locals And Tourists In Rome
The Eternal City of Rome has been a popular tourist destination for years. It has experienced its fair share of wear and tear over the centuries, brought on by invasions and conflict. But it’s facing a new adversary in the modern age; the e-scooter, which is an ongoing source of frustration for locals and tourists.
Scooters are palatable to some travelers for a number of reasons, and not just in Italy. They provide an efficient way to enjoy sights when crunched for time. Scooters can access areas that vehicles cannot. They are more cost-effective than Lyft or Uber. And they are better for the environment.
But not everybody is enamored with what CNN calls “modern chariots.”
The scooters “have blocked sidewalks, unnerved drivers and killed.” Emergency rooms in Rome encounter “at least one scooter-related injury every three days.”
Similar to Citibike in New York, the scooters changed the face of public transport in Rome. They got popular in the height of COVID, especially with young people.
From the Vatican to the Spanish Steps, Rome is chock full of historic sites. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to enjoy them without needlessly causing damage.
In June, an American tourist thought it would be cute to throw her scooter down the Spanish Steps. Someone caught the shocking display on video and shared it on social media. Later, the police intervened and fined the tourist and her companion. The extent of the damage came out to about $27,000.
The month before, surveillance footage showed a Saudi Arabian man driving his Maserati down the stairs. This happened only a few years after Bulgari put $1.6 million dollars towards renovating the steps in 2015.
Completed in 1725, the Spanish Steps are a masterful example of Baroque architecture. They have inspired creative minds and invite people to relax, eat gelato and observe.
According to The New York Times, “the steps provide a sweeping backdrop for fashion shows and selfies. They have been featured in dozens of films, including Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.”
A word of advice: if you do use a scooter in Rome or anywhere else, please try to show respect for those around you. It costs nothing.