02/21/2017 02:53 EST | Updated 02/22/2018 00:12 EST

Rome mayor supports taxi drivers striking against Uber

ROME — A weeklong strike by taxi drivers that has crippled transport in Rome, Milan and Turin is heating up, with cabbies marching through the eternal city to protest legislation they say will favour Uber and other car-hire services.

The strike has stranded tourists at Italy's main airports and train stations, complicated commutes and raised alarm about the Wednesday start of Milan fashion week, when cabs are in demand to shuttle fashionistas from show to show.

Riot police were keeping the peace outside parliament Tuesday and later lined a protest route through downtown Rome. The drivers say the legislation would help Uber's "irregular" inroads into Italy's rigidly regulated taxi industry. Supporters say Italians want greater choice in ride-sharing options.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi lent her support by visiting the protest Tuesday.