The Via Mameli female cleaners were very Italian, and by that I mean they were stylish at a job as potentially dirty as rolling in Roman dirt. and cigarette butts. Even as early as 7 am, they wore nicely pressed coveralls, full make-up and perfect hair, with the occasional cigarette. I thought they were cool. In fact, I thought the whole team was cool. I came to think of the via Mameli squad as My Team, my friends. We chatted on my early morning dog walks when I ostentatiously made sure to pick up after Bella. We chatted in the bar for our mid-morning cappuccini, when they left brooms that looked liked vintage Nimbus (see: Harry Potter) at the door. We chatted in the late morning over bummed cigarettes. They shouted “Ma dove vai??” when I was running to catch the tram and advised me on fashion at least once a week- usually umbrellas and untucked shirts. My team was fantastic, unstoppable and great as they swept, gossiped and smoked for the better part of the morning.
It must have have been Walter Veltroni who upped the ante on Roman street cleaners, evolving AMA into the chic, edgy clean-up group that now rocks my new neighborhood across the river. They are the most likely the same people who have always swept this neighborhood, but completely re-styled. The AMA diviso, Roma dark red and orange, is a fully accessorized pantsuit and boots which makes me wonder is it Versace? D & G? My sly obversations have noticed the seasonal accessories like the necessary spring romper and winter giubotto. My new team is also a mix of men and women, who still fit the necessary make-up/cigarettes/chitchat requirements. Even though I’ve been here six months, I’m a little shy to start up conversation. Though I think my opening line may be about the broom– they have been re-styled and modernized too. It’s a shame, I miss the old-fashion witch look.