Tourists are Trashing Italian Churches

AP: Italy's churches draw millions of visitors each year, and anger is mounting over how some mistreat the nation's religious heritage. "The millions of Italians and foreigners who come every year to admire the architecture and art and -- many of them also to pray -- must run through a kind of obstacle course," said Monsignor Timothy Verdon, of the Duomo in Florence, at a news conference this week.

Responding to the requests that city authorities clean up the mess around the churches, Mayor Leonardo Domenici said Wednesday that Florence is no worse off than anywhere else in Italy. Catholic officials in other cities have taken their own measures to discourage littering and loitering.