ROME. Authorities in Rome are taking action to tackle an infestation of rats around the Colosseum.

Tourists have posted videos on social media showing the rodents roaming close to the ancient amphitheatre.

The city’s head of refuse collection, Sabrina Alfonsi, said there had been an “extraordinary intervention” over the weekend by workers clearing rubbish and placing traps.

Ms Alfonsi said the rats were attracted to piles of litter left by tourists.

Recent heat-waves had compounded the problem, with large amounts of plastic bottles discarded around the monument, she added.

The situation was now under control, she said, but the operation will continue next week with workers cleaning up the green areas surrounding the Colosseum and the drains where the rats are common.

Officials say there are about seven million rats in Rome, about two-and-a-half for every city resident.

The city has also for a number of years been struggling to cope with quantities of waste, with bins often left to overflow and piles of rubbish dumped directly onto streets. BBC.

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