As hundreds of thousands of refugees flee their war-torn home countries and come to Italy, the cultural face of Rome is changing. According to the International Organization for Migration, in 2015 immigrants made up almost 10 percent of Italy’s resident population. In addition to bringing different languages and traditions to the ancient city, refugees are also bringing something a little harder for some to swallow to the heart of Catholicism: Islam.
The Romans nicknamed their namesake town “the Eternal City” because they believed that it would live on forever, even after the rise and fall of different empires. Now Rome is learning that in order to survive, it has to embrace change.