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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Arrivederci Roma

Your Italian correspondent is now back from Rome refreshed and broke.

Rome. Wow, what a city. Vibrant, noisy, but oh so full of cultural heritage. And bloody expensive. How an earth,  a glass of beer can cost 4 Euros is beyond me?

If you haven't been there, and you don't mind being reduced to pauper status then you should visit it even once in your life.


Pic: The Trevi Fountain.

If you think that the vuvuzela racket in the last  world cup was noisy, then you will be astounded by the racket produced by the million scooters passing per second, by day and by night. This is then followed every two minutes or so by the chiming of the Ice cream vans Ambulances, picking up the bodies of the scooter riders, culled by the taxis.

Pedestrian crossings are an interesting experience. In the UK you stand at one, and the traffic will stop and let you cross. In Rome if you just stand there, you will die of old age. The strategy is to take your life in your own hands and just walk across and trust in any God (Or just plain lady luck). Funnily enough it works well, although disconcerting at first.

Just in case my kids and and their partners are reading this after racking up my bar bill in my hotel to unimaginable levels. You have drunk your inheritance.


  1. Captain Haddock25 July 2010 at 20:25

    My all-time favourite world city .. been 5 times now ..

    Talking of cops & crossing roads .. did you by any chance get to witness the amazing "ballet" performed by the rotund, moustachioed traffic cop at the multi-road junction opposite the Victor Emmanuel Memorial ?

    Standing up there on his "bandstand" its the best free show in Rome ... ;)

  2. I'll have to go back and see that.

  3. Ah, the Trevi Fountain. I think that must rate as one of the top experiences in my life seeing that. First time I did we walked for over an hour because it's not easy to find. Then you hear water and walk a few steps further... At 2am it's magical. Last time I also visited late a night when it was slightly quieter. Still had that magic feeling.

    It's the noise of the traffic which gets to me. You can't walk down the main roads without needing earplugs. Then I'm not used to traffic noise like that here.

    As for the Colosseum. I believe they've now opened the 'dungeon' bit. They've been working on it for quite a few years and I read recently it had partially been opened to the public. Another excuse to return. :)

    Ah you need to find a cheaper hotel without a mini bar and an amiable night porter who's happy to give you a bottle of something in the middle of the night at a good price. ;)


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