Authorities have put up roadblocks around the Italian capital after two prisoners escaped jail by sawing through bars and using knotted bedsheets to climb over the wall.

The OSAPP prison union said Monday that Rome's Rebibbia prison from which the two Romanian men escaped no longer has armed surveillance of the perimeter, and noted that both prisoners had access to tools as part of a work detail.

A lawyer for one of the men appealed to his client to turn himself in. Cristiano Brunelli told Sky TG24 that his client had been convicted of robbery, and had become agitated recently when two and a half years were added to his sentence. The second escapee was serving a sentence for murder.

Guards sounded the alarm Sunday after spotting the abandoned sheets.