The first female mayor in Rome’s history, Virginia Raggi, is
faced with a dual challenge. First, she must try to solve the chronic
problems of a city mired in debt and struggling with an ongoing emergency
caused by chronic traffic problems and chaotic waste disposal.
Then the young mayor must experiment with new ways of exercising
power to establish the transparency required to restore the reputation of
a political class that has led Rome to become known as the “Mafia Capital,”
with its own “in-between world” made up of corrupt politicians,
business people, and criminals. Since assuming office, Raggi has faced a
political impasse, and her administration has suffered an embarrassing
string of resignations and judicial scandals that have brought into question
the city’s future prospects. Rome is now at a crossroads that may
lead to either a much-awaited renaissance or a definitive meltdown.