New Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino has declared his plans to 'pedestrianize' historic parts of the city and curb car domination in a city where petrol costs on average €1.80 a litre.
Beginning with the road spanning the Forum to the Colosseum, the Mayor told the BBC on saturday that "We must chose whether we want cars or to value our monuments."
Previously a transplant surgeon, Marino came into office mid-June and, depsite Rome's car-dominance, has since been seen cycling to many meetings.
"Today is the beginning of a dream. I believe we have a responsibility to keep the richness of history for the entire human kind - it is more important than a shortcut,” said Marino.
"I don’t think any other city in the world ... would have turned the Colosseum, probably the most famous monument on the planet, into a roundabout.
“I say it with respect, but between the interest of someone who can’t stop in front of his newsagent in his car, and the protection of the Colosseum, I choose the latter."