/Il Pesce Puzza Dalla Testa

Il Pesce Puzza Dalla Testa

Scenes captured below my apartment and round my neighborhood on October 15

The Italian proverb Il pesce puzza dalla testa (the fish stinks from the head) means corruption starts at the top. Yesterday, Monti, the neighborhood in Rome where I have lived for 5 years, stunk from burning rubber, metal, and gasoline. It all started when a group of masked youths wearing helmets descended on an otherwise peaceful demonstration, smashed storefronts, and set one car ablaze (the one in front of it would later catch fire and be incinerated). How these people were allowed to enter the crowd, how thousands of Italian police were seemingly unprepared for them, how the chaos and violence could have lasted so long while being perpetrated by so few is completely baffling. Unless, of course, these were thugs hired by the government to sabotage the demonstration in order to delegitimize it. In which case it makes perfect sense. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, let’s remember that the city of Rome is the capital of Italy, the Regione Lazio, and the Provincia di Roma. And no one saw this coming? At the very least, the powers that be were asleep at the wheel, at the worst they were calling the shots. Either way, something smells fishy.

2017-02-17T15:25:03+00:00 October 16th, 2011|Categories: Culture, Rome & Lazio|9 Comments


  1. Christine October 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I’m afraid it is your “at the worst” scenario, which is what happens when the fish head seems more inspired by recently deposed heads of state than by his own people.

  2. Danielle October 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    What a day. We live along the first block of via appia nuova, lucky for us. Tear gas streamed in our windows, cars, trucks, and trash bins set ablaze…was a bit like being in baghdad I must say. Glad it’s over 🙁

  3. ciaochowlinda October 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Yikes – that sounds like a very unpleasant day in Monti.

  4. Bonnie October 17, 2011 at 3:03 am - Reply

    Thank you for your perspective. I watch from afar and depend on my friends/acquaintances/you in Rome.

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  6. CheezyK October 17, 2011 at 6:53 am - Reply

    Oh my, I am near speechless at how sad this makes me feel – there is something so much more ‘real’ about the situation when the streets look so familiar. One of the things that has come up time and time again in conversation, both with fellow travelers and in the few days that we’ve been home, is how close Italy is to becoming the next Greece (i.e. violently rioting against a corrupt government). To come across this when all I thought I was doing was catching up on the food and travel blogs I missed while away …
    My thoughts are with you and with the peaceful protesters who have to live with and through this.

  7. Diana October 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Katie this is so scary! Monti is for eating not rioting. What is this Spinaceto!? Please be safe m’lady.

  8. Mamma Parla October 18, 2011 at 6:03 am - Reply

    A very sad state of affairs…looks like a war zone. Relieved that you are safe!

  9. Carina /pocketvillage October 18, 2011 at 8:49 am - Reply

    I totally agree with Diana. It’s really scary and the saying “Il Pesce Puzza Dalla Testa” sounds very true considering the situation… Take care!

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