Two parked cars were swallowed by a large sinkhole - 10 metres deep and 10 metres wide - which opened up in the Quadraro district of Rome in the early hours of Thursday.

Police and firefighters closed off the street, Via Sestio Menas, after the chasm opened up at around 01.00. There was nobody injured in the incident.

The vehicles, a Dacia and a Renault, were subsequently removed and the area remained cordoned off on Thursday morning.

It is far from the first time that such an event has occurred in Rome, with the city experiencing a sharp rise in the number of sinkholes in recent years according to the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research.