Ignazio Marino has only been the Mayor of Rome for 22 days, but the bike-riding, centre-left politician – who was previously a transplant surgeon – is already carving out a reputation for himself in the city. Rome’s media is focusing on the bike-riding aspect at the moment, and why not: so far, Marino has persisted in cycling everywhere, accompanied by a couple of traffic cops on electric bikes in a conspicuous act of non-consumption which so far has attracted incomprehension, derision, cynicism – but also plenty of applause. Rome’s vociferous community of cyclists helped get him into power and he has reiterated his commitment to improve conditions for bike-riders during his term in office.

This Friday, in keeping with his election campaign promise to at least partly pedestrianise Via dei Fori Imperiali by August, plans for the zoning of this key central area running from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum will be presented to the citizens of Rome. At 18.30, members of the public are encouraged to meet in the gardens of Largo Corrado Ricci, where the President of Municipio I, Sabrina Alfonsi, will unveil a four-phase programme to reduce the traffic next to the Roman Forum, giving pedestrians and cyclists a better chance of crossing the city. It will only be a partial pedestrianisation for now, but signals a moment of change for Rome which Marino promises is only a beginning.

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