As much as we hate to admit it, climate change is real and changing our environment. Just in the last few years, we've seen more natural disasters, more severe natural disasters and a kaleidoscope of changing temperatures and weather patterns. It's safe to say that adaptability is in our future.

A frustrating aspect of this global change that we don't always think about is how these changes are going to affect our favorite vacation destinations. Rising sea levels are already affecting resorts, cities by the water (Hi, Venice, you good?) and sunny areas are experiencing severe cold fronts.


One area, in particular, Rome, has been experiencing sinkholes that have caused innumerable damages to structures, severe inconveniences to travel and quite a few scares to locals and tourists alike. Here are just some of the ways that this recent epidemic has become a threat to tourism in Rome.

Sinkholes: Growing Epidemic

Rome, unfortunately, was built on shaky ground, to begin with. The city is currently standing on very soft sediment that is susceptible to the elements, particularly rain. The ancient aqueducts in the city are only exacerbating the issue. The constant barrage of water has washed away any grit and mineral deposits that would keep the soil solid. This issue leads to sinkholes.

Rome has been experiencing sinkholes for quite some time. According to, in the past hundred years, Rome has experienced around 30 sinkholes a year. However, since 2008, that number has tripled. Some of these sinkholes are so severe that they open within seconds and swallow everything in sight, including cars!

What is even more distressing is that these sinkholes are culminating around the older part of the city, which holds many of Rome's oldest artifacts and landmarks. One of these is the Appian Way, an ancient highway that has been somewhat reconfigured into a ring road in order to avoid the craters and sinkholes.

Evacuation Keeps You On Your Toes (And Not In A Good Way)

Imagine you're wandering around the Colosseum, minding your own business. Suddenly, an evacuation warning goes up and panic ensues because a sinkhole has just opened up nearby. That sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel, right? Well.... not quite.

Earlier in January, an apartment building on Via Marco Aurelio near the Colosseum needed to be evacuated when a sinkhole opened up in the road. Around 60 people were unable to return to their apartments after the road was closed. Although there were no reported casualties, it was a massive inconvenience and quite scary.

If you were renting one of those apartments during your trip, it's not likely that you would recommend Rome has a place to visit, especially since occurrences like these are frequent. It's also pretty unsettling to think about what would have happened had that sinkhole opened up right under the Colosseum...

Related: 10 Historical Places You Won't Be Able To Visit Ever Again

Traveling In The City Might Be A Problem

The aftermath of a sinkhole is a large crater left in the road, large enough that vehicles can easily become trapped in them. Needless to say, casualties are not off the table. According to Tobias Jones of The Guardian, the streets of Rome are starting to resemble "black Emmenthal cheese".

With all of these dangers and roadblocks, traveling around the city is becoming more and more perilous. This impacts, first and foremost, a tourist's sense of safety, as well as severely limits where they can travel in the city. And if walking everywhere isn't an option for whatever reasons, we'll then you're up the creek without a paddle (get it? Because of the rain?)

Talk About Raining On Your Parade!

And speaking of rain, this is only going to get worst. Known as bombe d'acqua ("bombs of water"), Rome has been receiving more than its fair share of extreme weather. In fact, central Italy has seen a 141% increase in irregular rainfall just in the past few years!

This increase in the rain has lead to flooding and, tragically, the cancellation of many soccer games. If you're Italian, this should tell you all you need to know about the severity of this crisis!

Not only will the rain lead to softer soil and more sinkholes, but rain is also just a damper on everyone's mood. As a tourist, you don't want to be confined to your living space because of the rain or have to risk getting soaked just so you can say that you got something done on your vacation!

As of 2018, a multi-million euro plan has been set in place to combat this threat and service the crumbling infrastructure Unfortunately, work has been slow to non-existent.

Next: Rome's Trevi Fountain Could Soon Be Off-Limits To Tourists. Here's Why