While certainly not pervasive throughout Italy, in some of the larger cities less encumbered by shall we say strong moral adherence to the laws, rules, and regulations that govern the body politic, it is not uncommon to find that some citizens often take urban planning into their own hands. Literally.
While walking home in Monti along Via Panisperna from a dinner party that had gone on quite late, I happened to come upon two gentlemen in their late 70s about 30′ from the side street Via Urbana, shuffling, whistling, star-gazing, and generally trying a bit too hard to look inconspicuous.
As I approached Via Urbana and looked down it, I noticed another two doing the same in that direction… and then a couple of sprightly 80-somethings about 30′ further up Via Panisperna!
And sure enough, right at the intersection were three more elderly gents: one with two buckets of paint (blue and yellow), one with a yard stick, and the third on his knees with a fat paintbrush in hand studying his work.