The roads of Rome already have a Wild West reputation, what with buses bursting into flames, motorists running red lights and scooters driving on the pavements.
But the situation has reached a new low after a bus driver tried to deliberately run over one of his passengers.
The altercation came when the man was refused permission to board with his two dogs in a street on the outskirts of the city.
In a mobile phone video shot by a local resident, he can be seen walking away from the bus while remonstrating with the driver.
A few seconds later, the driver revs up the vehicle and drives straight at the man at considerable speed.
The moment of impact is obscured by a wall, but the passenger was injured and had to be taken to hospital.
The driver, an employee of the city’s public transport authority, has been suspended and a police investigation has been opened. He is likely to face criminal charges.
The incident was being treated “with the utmost seriousness,” said Atac, the transport authority.
The driver admitted that he had lost his temper but claimed that the passenger had threatened and verbally abused him.
In a bizarrely similar incident in Paris, the driver of a double-decker bus has been charged with murder after an argument led to him crushing to death a motorist with his vehicle.
The incident took place on Wednesday on the Quai Voltaire, a road embankment on the opposite side of the River Seine from the Louvre.
A verbal clash between the driver of the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus and the car driver degenerated into a fight.
The bus driver then got back into his vehicle, drove towards the motorist and crushed him against another bus. He died at the scene.
In Rome, a chronic lack of maintenance and an ageing fleet means that buses have an unfortunate habit of bursting into flames.
The latest incident happened in the city centre a week ago, when an electric bus caught fire and all the passengers had to be evacuated.
Dozens of buses in the capital have gone up in smoke. Last May, a bus burst into flames in Via del Tritone, a shopping street which lies between the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, both popular tourist attractions.
Passengers managed to get off the bus before it was engulfed in flames and no one was hurt.
The fire was reportedly caused by a short-circuit. As the heat built up, windows exploded in front of crowds of onlookers.
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