Spazzatura (garbage) in Italy

I know this is an unusual, and not very exciting topic, but I actually find it quite interesting…and another thing you learn when renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel. The only instructions they have left for me at the apartment are regarding trash, and not only do I have instructions, but 2 pages worth! And it’s understandable, because it is so complicated, you could never remember it on your own. Below are my trash instructions:



I know you probably can’t read them, not only because of the size, but the big glaring flash reflected in the photos (it’s dark in here, and it’s late) but I wanted to give you an idea of how extensive they are. Basically, there are 4 types of trash here, each with its own bag and deposit location and day.

Organic food waste, deposited M/W/F downstairs between 7-1:


Glass, plastic, aluminum deposited T/F at mobile collection sites between 7:30-10:30. Each hour has a different collection site.


Paper and cardboard W/S at mobile collection sites between 7:30-10:30.


And, finally, all other trash, which does not require a special bag(!!), on T/Th/S from 7-1 downstairs.

In order to accommodate the complicated system, the bottom drawer under the sink has the following containers, with glass, plastic, metal on the left, organic in the middle, and regular trash on the right. I have the paper/cardboard in another drawer. Note that the containers are tiny, because you are basically throwing some sort of trash away every day except Sunday.


We were successful in finding the mobile collection site for recycling today, and since we were out and about in the morning for a change, we went to Campo dei Fiori and got a pastry at the Forno and checked out the market. Then we headed back to the apartment, where I taught the boys how to play Gin. We play with our cards face-up to make it easier for them, but we play as if we don’t know what is in the other player’s hand. Then we went to Enoteca il Goccetto for lunch, which is a wine bar just down the street, and is often noted as one of the best wine bars in Rome. They didn’t have a lot of food, but I was able to get a meat and cheese plate and a caprese salad with my glass of wine, which I thought were delicious. Unfortunately, the boys were not so impressed, but did enjoy the breadsticks. In the evening, we had our gelato, went to Piazza Navona, and then to dinner. We went to Ristorante Montevecchio, which was very good. I had the grilled octopus to start, which was incredible, and some sort of fish, whose name I can’t recall. The boys had pasta, of course. At dinner we joked about how we always have to have our gelato before dinner, because tomorrow we could be hit by a bus motorino, which are the scooters that are so prevalent here. In fact, I’m shocked that Max hasn’t been hit by one already!

I won’t be updating tomorrow, as we a heading to Naples to meet Jeffrey (yea!), and then taking the hydrofoil to Capri to meet up with some friends (yea!).  I’ve never been to Capri, so I am really looking forward to visiting a new place and taking a break from the city.  A fun time with friends, an ocean view, and sea breeze is just what the doctor ordered!


2 thoughts on “Spazzatura (garbage) in Italy

  1. I say yea for the recycling in Italy. And, you love organization! You failed to mention how you were getting to Naples. Driving, taking the train, walking? Post pictures and we will still enjoy your trip.
    Love you all,

  2. Beth I love your blog. Pat shared it with me and I have been reading and remembering my adventure there almost 15 years ago. You should be on hero status with Max and Carter certainly by now. Finalist for worlds best mom. They are lucky kiddos. Keep writing. It’s such fun to hear about all things Rome. Gelato, museums, fountains and trash. I will never complain about trash again. Jean

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