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Lights. Camera. Action. Rome revels in a perpetual golden hour of filmic possibility. Locals – and hordes of visitors – indulge the theatre of the city; American divorcees sob on the Spanish Steps, policemen in aviator sunglasses smoke cigarettes in the piazzas and traffic wardens in gold-brocaded uniforms stalk along the Corso. Even the rubbish collectors pose in overalls next to their trucks, lolling stylishly, stubby rollata in hand.

Romans can see why foreigners come here for quixotic highs. But their civic outlook is quite different. “Romantic…

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