Old Hadrian can't seem to escape the city. The 2nd-century Roman emperor built a new villa and plush outbuildings in Tivoli to escape the noises and smells of Rome. But the city is about to open a new dump next door. There goes the neighborhood. Riding to the rescue is Prince Urbano Barberini, who's mustering forces to block the dump, which is supposed to open early next year in a local quarry, reports the Guardian. "This is like dumping rubbish next to the pyramids," the prince grumbled. "What if tourists have to time their visits according to which way the wind is blowing? And should people attending the concerts held at the ruins bring masks?"
Another supporter of the palaces, theater, temples, and libraries on the 250-acre complex complained: "You can't bury 2,000 years of history under tons of rubbish." Local dump opponents and farmers have been joined by environmentalists who are calling for increased recycling in Rome as the city's garbage begins to eat up the countryside. The region once promoted walks around the Hadrian complex as a scenic, healthy tourist activity. "Half of those pass straight through where the rubbish will be," complained Barberini. (Read more Hadrian's villa stories.)