Prostitution is legal in Italy but organised solicitation is banned [Elisa Oddone/Al Jazeera]
Milan, Prato, Rome and Venice, Italy – Wearing a knee-length winter coat, Xiaoyan* waits for her next client near the main train station in Venice. Clinging to her bag, she looks like any other bundled-up passer-by in the evening cold.
But the 45-year-old Chinese woman from the Zhejiang province, on the country’s eastern coast, has been working as a prostitute for the past three years.
She arrived in Italy in 2007 and, like many of her compatriots, initially found work in small clothes and footwear businesses.
Xiaoyan is gaunt but has a delicate appearance, with