RomeMarch 16, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
I got to Rome a couple of days ago and the good news is the people here are nice and helpful. My hotel is great and with the exception of having spacious rooms, offers pretty much everything you could want. Rome is to Italy something like what New York is to us, so I should not anticipate there would be spacious rooms.
Most of what I have done this far has been to go on walking tours. I did see the inside of the Pantheon and a couple of interesting churches. There's plenty of art and history to be seen here and I would say there's more here for the individual interested in history than anything.
I am finding it's more difficult to find one's way around here because of all the buildings and the fact that the roads go in all different directions with no grid system. Also there are only 2 metro lines which means that the sights aren't all accessible by the metro but rather a large bus network which is also a challenge to navigate. For this reason I have largely been walking and walking and walking. I'd like to say Google maps has been a huge help but even it seems to be challenged to direct a clear-cut walking path. Plus it tends to eat up phone battery time.
Tourism is alive and well in Rome. Unfortunately that means lots of "souvenir" shops lining the streets all selling pretty much the same junk. There's also an abundance of hustlers selling selfie sticks, bus tours and other stuff they are hassling you to buy. I just completely ignore their existence and find myself left alone. Unfortunately I see tons of tourists that get stop and hassled because they fall for answering their questions. I have not seen many real artists selling things which sort of surprises me. There are several individuals selling "watercolor" paintings but they are actually prints that people are being duped into buying. Either that or their are multiple artists painting the EXACT same scenes, in the exact same style and colors around Rome- LOL.
The other thing you see plenty of in Rome is clothing shops. I haven't checked any prices as I'm not interested but if you were there is plenty of great fashion to be found lining the streets.
There are some street performers here & there. A couple of very good ones. It's always interesting to me how many people will stand around and enjoy them, take pictures, clap, etc. but never donate any money as a show of appreciation. If everyone who enjoyed them even offered up as little as a quarter it would make a big difference in the income realized for such performances. I don't get why people can't do that for the ones they enjoy.
I am glad I did my research and purchased tickets in advance for all these sights. The lines at places like the Colosseum are ENORMOUS. I have heard people discussing the fact that they spend 1/2 their day waiting in line to get into a sight. Definitely not ones idea of fun on a vacation.
After today you will probably not hear from me very often during the next two weeks as they are super packed but I will be checking emails.Read more