Client | The New York Times
Text by Rachel Donadio
Italy’s A3 highway, begun in the 1960s and still not finished, starts outside Naples in the ancient hill town of Salerno and ends, rather unceremoniously, 300 miles farther south as a local street in downtown Reggio Calabria.
Along the way, it frequently narrows to two lanes, with an obstacle course of construction sites that have lingered for decades. Perilous, two-lane bridges span mountain ravines high above the sea, while unlit tunnels leak in the rain — and occasionally drop concrete and other building materials onto passing cars.
Nothing embodies the failures of the Italian state more neatly than the highway from Salerno to Reggio Calabria. Critics see it as the rotten fruit of a jobs-for-votes culture that, nurtured by the organized crime that is endemic in southern Italy, has systematically defrauded the state while failing its citizens, leaving Calabria geographically and economically isolated.
Full story: In Italy, Calabria is Drained by Corruption