When it comes to Rome, I have both good and bad news to report. I’ll start with the bad: Rome is in crisis. The city whose culture was shaped by Catholicism is in as much flux as the religion itself. Its famous relics of the past are in a state of disrepair, forcing the cash-strapped Italian government to turn to fashion houses for funds to repair their iconic monuments. The Trevi Fountain – which to my great dismay was closed when I visited earlier this year is getting a much needed makeover courtesy of Fendi. Bulgari is perhaps the most obvious about its sponsoring of the refurbishment of The Spanish Steps with its big banner obstructing any pictures tourists might take at the site. The Colosseum’s Tod’s-sponsored clean-up has rendered entire floors inaccessible to the public but it is at least not blighted with ads.
The good news? Rome remains one of our most loved and visited tourist destinations. And for good reason too.