Residents of the neighbourhood of Borgo, which lies just east of the Vatican City in Rome, have reacted furiously to suggestions by the Vatican authorities that their cobbled streets should be repaved with asphalt.

Cobbled streets in Borgo.

Cobbled streets in Borgo. Image by Andrea Skerlavaj / CC BY-SA 2.0

The residents, along with the Italian state, Rome city council and the archaeological department, want the sampietrini, as the cobbles are known, to stay where they are. The Vatican has complained that the three streets near St Peter’s Square are ‘full of holes’ and are demanding that they are resurfaced. Read more: