'Groundhog Day' for migrants in Rome cul-de-sac

A migrant sits in the street of Via Cupa outside the former Baobab migrants reception centre next to the Tiburtina train station in RomeEvery night the same scene unfolds in Via Cupa near Rome’s Tiburtina station: one by one, migrants take a dirty and battered mattress from a pile and place it against the wall, turning the small dark street into a star-lit dormitory. “When the landings (of migrant boats to Italy) resumed in the spring, we gradually saw a tent pop up here, then two, then three,” said Andrea Costa, a volunteer with the Baobab Experience NGO, which until last year ran a shelter on Via Cupa. As discussions with the city council over an alternative spot dragged on, the migrants simply settled out in the open and the cul-de-sac now boasts sleeping bags, pots and pans and even a table-football table.

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