"Rome is on the verge of collapse," Giancarlo Cremonesi, the president of the Rome Chamber of Commerce, told Reuters.
"It is unacceptable that a major city which calls itself developed can find itself in such a state of decay."
Trash bins above overflow near the Arch of Constantine.
A survey by the European Commission two years ago placed Rome last out of 28 European Union capitals in a ranking for the efficiency of city services.
Rubbish in the streets, bad transport and graffiti harm tourism. Each year the city attracts around 10 million visitors but the rate of repeat visits is among the lowest in Europe.