I returned to Rome to find a new building had gone up within the shopping center they’re building in my neighborhood. Generally, I’m against such constructions (especially since…do we really need another shopping mall in Rome??), but I was nonetheless impressed. The shopping center itself has taken years to erect, and so, to find a whole spanking new building (nicely designed, I might add) where a huge pit had been just two months previously, well, I thought was pretty cool.
After all, given the recession, it could have gone the other way and ended up as yet one more eco-mostro cement skeleton littering the landscape.
Then, I saw they had roped off the nearby thoroughfare – presumably to cut down the rest of the trees City Officials seem to find so offensive. Instead, there they were, bulldozers. Ripping out the patchwork of tree trunks from those they felled the year before.
And, miracles of miracles, actually replacing those stumps with new trees!
Too bad these trees will not reach the heights of their predecessors (the city is sick of paying for damages when branches fall), but they’re a definite improvement to the mini-forum of 3 ft columns lining the roads.
But why they did not turn the corner and replace a few of the nearly petrified forest of tall stumps (they've been that way some 20-odd years) on every other nearby street is beyond me…
And, to top it all off, the ciliegio sulla torta...(drum roll, please)...While at a dinner party, I discovered that Minister Bersani (a while back) had succeeded in passing a law whereby the banks are no longer allowed to charge 80 or 100 euro or more for you to close your bank account!!!
For every expat on earth who ever fled Italy, refusing to close your accounts -- you can come out of hiding!! Close them with relish and never see another mountain of bills – errr, I mean bank statements – from Cassa di or Banca del ever again.
Yes, the decade is off to quite a nice start.