March 25th, Rome
I get the impression a lot of things in Rome will just take time. We waited for bags at the airport for a about 40 minutes. Our “checking-in” took about 40 minutes as well.
It must be spring break back in the US – there seemed to be a lot of english spoken on the train. I also get the impression that the city is pretty easy to get around with english. Even for someone with just enough itailian language to be dangerous, like myself. Initial impression of Rome’s suburbs: TV antennas. They seem to coat every building like cactus needles.
I turn thirty today. I’m not sure if Hostel life ever appealed to me, but it certainly doesn’t right now. I’m not sure if it is the actual facilities, or the people they attract. The folks in our location seem to be fine for the most part, but we only had to head to the laundromat down the street before someone showed up talking about stabbing pickpockets, and finishing with yelling and swearing at the laundry/internet place owner over a 1E minimum charge per half hour. On the other hand, the pizza place down the street is fantastic. Traditional pizza, sold by weight. Great stuff.
We wandered around today with our mouths open. My feet are sore, and my camera full – Rome really is pretty fantastic. I’ve seen plenty of pictures of the pantheon, but it still blew my mind. The piazzas, fountains, and sheer number of interesting buildings means you would have to be pretty jaded to not enjoy this city. Stopping for gelato every few hours, we hit most of the central city sites and walked along the river. I’ve really been enjoying the non-smoking in cafes and restaurants, you feel and smell so much cleaner.
Off to the Vatican or the ruins tomorrow…