Italy's Bird Protection League charity said there has been a delay in the Rome city council's funding for annual efforts to keep the starlings away from people and property, leading to areas of the city, including Campo and along the River Tiber, being covered in the birds' feces, ABC News reported Wednesday.
Some residents advised walkers to carry umbrellas and wear fishermen's boots to keep from being sullied by the waste while English-language blog RomeStyle advised those who come into contact with starling feces to take it in stride.
"If you do get pooped on, just tell everyone it's good luck and carry on," the blog said. "It's kind of a rite of passage."
Officials estimate about 5 million starlings travel to Rome during the annual October-January migration, and the delayed funds are usually put toward city workers using loudspeakers to broadcast falcon calls to scare the birds away from public areas.