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Travel Blog Part 15 - Rome

Written on: Tuesday February 20th, 2007

A journal entry from: EURO5

Of course the second we step off the train into Roma Termini my friend looks at me and says "well, when in rome...". Probably should have expected that seeing as this guy's the biggest joker I'd ever known.

A word of advice to visitors of the eternal city - choose accomodation in the city centre, even if it means spending a little more money. We were on the outskirts of the city and transportation was just not pretty. Bus lines were down and the subway didn't go where we were staying so we probably spent almost as much time on transportation as actually checking out Rome itself. OK, thats a bit of an exaggeration but seriously, pony up for a prime location. Also interesting to mention that two of us caught pickpocketers in the act trying to rob us, both on the bus. First time it was about 5 or 6 people in on it - people saying to hold their baby while others push you to throw you off balance while one guy goes for your pockets. We were paranoid about it as soon as the baby was thrust into our arms so we caught the guy just before he got away with anything. That day was crazy, it seemed every where we turned we saw someone trying to pickpocket someone else. Even standing there waiting for the bus there were guys reaching into purses. It was a horrible first experience for such an amazing city. We had our fun though - we stuffed our pockets full of kleenex as bait for any would-be thieves. If only we had tiny little mouse traps....

Anyway, I found the colosseum the most awe-inspiring monument of Rome. I guess its sort of the typical Roman icon, but taking a tour of the place just made me realize how much history was involved in this architectural wonder. Visions of Gladiator, anybody? Do want to mention this super nice guy that organized pub crawls from the public square just across from the colosseum - we randomly ran into this guy 3 days in a row and everytime we had a question for him, and he was more than happy to help. Wish I remember this guys name...anyway, if you ever see a taller, skinnier black dude asking you if you wanna go on a pub crawl in Rome, he's you're go-to guy. This guy even celebrated Canada with us when we were there.

Quick note on the Vatican - you have to do the tour. Its like a 6 hour tour, so its long, but you absolutely have to do it. There's no way you can get to see as much as we did and learn as much as we did without an expert sneaking you to the front of the lines. Most hostels and hotels have info on tours like these.

travel community - Rome