Monday, April 23, 2012

Week Fifty-One: My thoughts on Rome


Urgh! I spent at least an hour every day just waiting in traffic on the bus. Rome is... Look, don't drive in Rome unless it's a moped or a motorcycle. There's zippo parking for anything larger than that, bother drivers and pedestrians gleefully engage in Frogger at every opportunity, and the mopeds will break every single traffic rule in existence.

Most of the vehicles on the road are mopeds by the way. They are the scariest of them all, I assure you. Other drivers, both buses and otherwise are constantly honking at the mopeds, and each other.

Romans are nuts.

So yeah, that leaves public transport. The metro is quick, excellent, and puts you off near most of the major attractions. Line A is cleaner than Line B, but both are good routes. The trains on both are fairly clean, but since Line B trains stop for the night above ground, they tend to be a bit more colorfully decorated than Line A trains, if you know what I mean.

Some buses, like the H bus, may not be listed as stopping at that bus stop, but they do. This one will drop you off near the Capitol, and from there the Colosseum, forum, and palatine aren't far off.

The signs at each stop will let you know what buses stop there, and tell you what stops the bus makes. Make sure you are heading in the right direction however. There may be a red box highlighting the stop you are currently at, and if not, it will tell you on the top of the sign, so you can figure it out.

Also, make certain you take the correct exit from the metro. One of the stations has eight different exits onto the street, but the Colosseum station only has the one, so it depends on where the stop is.

Your hotel can help you figure out the best path to where you want ot go, and the bus to take to get there, but paying attention to get the right spot in the unfamiliar city can be tricky. It rarely drops you off right at the attraction after all.

Don't misplace yourself as badly as I did!

I'm pretty certain when God was handing out the sense of direction, I must have been standing in the wrong line. I played Where's Waldo starring me as Waldo most of the trip. I never was good at that game.


Love it. I love it! Rome has great graffiti, even the ones that are just elaborate names. They seem to let the good or entertaining graffiti alone, and remove the bad graffiti. Get good enough and you can get jobs decorating the shutters of Roman shops. My favorite graffiti was at the ice cream place on the corner.

The graffiti there is everywhere but the tourist areas by the way. Those seem to be the only places that they keep clean of that bit of 'art.'

Nuns (and priests)

Rome is full of nuns and priests. This makes sense, given the Vatican is in the area, and the sheer number of churches there.

All of the priests are in black and have the priest collar. Some have funny hats; some where robe or slacks, but otherwise, it's pretty standard all over.

The nuns on the other hand...

There are way more nuns than priests, and they come in an absolute rainbow of colors. The cut of the cloth is basically the same, and most of the nuns are almost completely monochromatic, down ot their umbrellas. They tend to travel in twos, three, and fours, but almost never alone. I found the color of their habits the most curious thing though!

Dark blue, bright blue, dark, light and medium grey, white, brown, and so on! I thought I saw a nun in red, but I have been informed it was probably a cardinal. (Who looked like a nun?) Either that or a very brightly dressed woman.

I have been informed the color relates to their order, but I am mostly entertained by the sheer variety.

One Final Byte: Nuns are the happiest tourists of them all.

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