(Photo: Fiat500 by jovike). According to an analysis made by Genitori Antismog (Parents Against Smog), Northern Italy is more polluted than Germany and Poland. During the first five months of the year, Milan broke 80 times the particle pollution limits set by European Union and World Health Organization (iht.com).
Granted that heating strongly contributes to pollute the air, we need to focus on cars too. The National Institute for Statistics (Istat), said that every day 75,5% of the population reaches the office by car. Italians prefer to spend between 40 to 60 minutes per day at the wheel than using buses, bicycling or simply walking (repubblica.it).
In Turin, the car industry town where Fiat was born, the municipality has recently decided to apply road rules in the two city graveyards, where every day 300 to 500 authorized vehicles circulate and may produce car-accidents and traffic jams (lastampa.it).
Why so? We're probably accustomed to live like driving corpses: "'Lo nostro scender convien esser tardo, / sì che s'ausi un poco in prima il senso / al tristo fiato; e poi no i fia riguardo.'" [We must delay our downward journey here / So that our sense may gradually grow used / To the foul gas-fumes; then we will not mind it.]" [(Dante Alighieri, Inferno, XI, 10-12, translation by James Finn Cotter).