City authorities have confirmed that some of Rome’s busiest streets will soon be replaced with asphalt
The cobblestone streets of Rome are a significant part of the cities history. However, while artistically beautiful to look at, they cannot withstand the growing traffic beating of so many cars, trucks and buses. Some of the paving stones often become dislodged and uneven, creating a safety hazard to cyclists and scooter riders.The upkeep is simply becoming a huge financial burden.
Rome’s Mayor, Virginia Raggi, said they are going to be removed from nearly 70 busy avenues in the capital. The good news is that they will not go to waste. They are to be re-laid in more than 110 quieter, less trafficked streets and alleyways in the city centre, in many cases replacing asphalt surfaces. Places such as pedestrian-oriented shopping streets like Via Condotti near the Spanish Steps where they will be laid out to preserve the city’s historic character. “For every cobblestone that we remove from one road, we will be re-laying them in another,” Roberto Botta, from Rome city council, said.
The old cobblestones, known as “sampietrini” (sampietrini translates as little stones of St. Peter’s) were originally used in St. Peter’s Square.
So while 2000 years of ancient Roman history is facing the inevitable fate of mankind – at least it will be preserved to serve purpose and give continued joy in more suitable locations for todays times.
Read more about the Ancient Appian Way of Rome and its cobblestone streets: A Magical Place to Experience the Sense of the Roman Empire