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The Crisis

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 | 12 comments

As the recession hits globally, Romans are taking to the streets, much like they’ve done with their talking statues, to express their opinion. This is the last photograph from my evening in Trastevere and both signs talk about two current issues in Italian politics. The sign on the left (though I can’t make out the last word) deals with the reduction in service by Alitalia at Milan’s Malpensa airport. Another commentator added that they’ll probably eventually leave Rome as well. The sign on the right talks about the newly introduced Social Card, which has caused some controversy here. Essentially it’s a card pre-loaded with €40 a month to help cover expenses and was originally designed to help the elderly, but is now being extended to lower income families. The sign writer says that in addition to the Social Card they should also give out sexual favors (of the oral kind, if you get my drift).

Times are tough here for a lot of people, as it is globally I imagine. Read a few more opinions about the Social Card, which has not gone over with as much enthusiasm as I’m sure the politicians had hoped.

Social Card for the Needy Condemned
Italian Debit Card is a Dud
A ‘Social Card’ for Families


  1. interesting commentary. I liked your photos and the model photos were excellent. The models in the green shot were amazing.

  2. Thanks Julie. Glad you like the photos. The shoot at the fashion show was great fun and I’m so grateful that one of the models noticed me standing there at the end and got all the girls to pose for me.

  3. Well the last world on the sign on the left is “‘n baffo” that means “a mustache” don’t know how to translate but in italian when you say that something doesn’t do a mustache “non fa un baffo” it means a lot of things the main sense is that it doesn’t affect the one saying this sentence in any way, for example in football “Quella squadra non ci fa un baffo” : “We are way stronger than that team” or “They don’t worry us at all”. In few world the thing that “non fa un baffo” is nothing compared to our situation/thing/strenght.

  4. thanks for the translation. I see those signs all the time and have not idea what they mean.

  5. 3mendo – Grande! Thank you so much for the translation. I know that baffo means mustache but I’d never heard that phrase. So basically they’re saying we (Romans) are better than Milan anyway?

    NYC – Glad to be of service! And thank 3mendo for kindly helping w the translation.

  6. I enjoy your style of photography; the streets of Rome at night.

    Interesting to learn the economic troubles are worldwide. Unemployment is increasing drastically every day.

  7. Hi Dusty – Yes, the entire world is definitely feeling the effects of the economy, at least in Europe for sure. I think Americans don’t realize how much our economy effects everyone else with all the international business interests, etc. Also, for a country like Italy which makes a huge amount of money on travel, the drop off in US travelers is hurting all sort of local business enormously.

  8. Here in the U.S. things are bad with job cuts. I lost my job in January along with 1/3 of the company I worked for. Sadly, our trip back to Italy will now be delayed. lets hope this improves soon, we’re anxious to revisit Piazza Navona and Castel San Angelo. The movie Angels and Demons premieres this May. I am sure this will spark more tourism to Rome.

  9. Dusty – Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for an upturn in things. Tourism is one side of the coin here, but another is lay offs or non-contract renewals. People work on contracts here (which is another whole can of worms) and so employers are simply not renewing contracts in order to save, at least that’s what I’ve been hearing from some friends who work in the business world here.

  10. Well dear Jessica a part that Romans aren’t just better than Milan… we’re way way way way way far better than them..

    Maybe you don’t know but Roma and Milano are rivals almost on anything. It’s a long story if one day we will meet i’ll tell you! eh eh

    I’m not sure anyway that that sign was stating our (true) supremacy over milano, i think that it says:

    “La Scala (that is a theatre in Milano) di Milano ci fa un baffo” like if they are saying that the comedies or dramas or tragedies put in place a “La Scala” are nothing compared to the Social Card, that many believe is useless and used to make a big propaganda show!

    This is how I understand it..

    Sorry for the long comment

  11. 3mendo – Ahh thank you so much for unfolding the mystery! Of course, I didn’t even think of La Scala the opera house. Oh, I am well aware of the Milan/Rome rivalry, in soccer and all aspects of life I suppose!

  12. Its interesting to read 3mendo’s comments. Keep writing, it gives us more understanding of what Italians are thinking.


  1. RomePhotoBlog | Work Will Make You Free - [...] those who feel that have no other place to express themselves it something that has been part of Rome…

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