Since it’s been almost two years since my trip to Italy, it’s way past time to post my pictures. I was going to try and write clever posts to go along with everything but at this point, I’m thinking it would be better to just get the pictures up.
I few words about Rome. After living in Paris for six months, I kind of got used to European city = clean and pretty. That’s not Rome. Rome is old and dirty; it’s been there forever, and it’s still going to be there whether it’s black on the outside or not. France’s economy is better so they have more money to wash down the sidewalks every single day; plus the French would rather something look good than be functional. Romans don’t have anything to prove. It’s almost as if they’re saying we were the rulers of the world 2,000 years ago. Whatever.
True to the Italian mentality for business, there isn’t a whole lot of tourist help. People are friendly and many people speak English, but I guess I was used to Paris, which has signs and maps everywhere. It’s one of the only areas where the French are completely organized. Romans not so much. I kept looking for street signs but mostly there aren’t any. Of course Paris razed most of its older neighborhoods in the 19th century to make way for the grand boulevards. Rome has maintained its ancient streets, which, because they grew up over centuries instead of by urban planning, make no sense whatsoever. It’s charming in one way and frustrating in another because no street is straight and most of them are really short, only a couple of blocks. I observed that in Paris as well, but it’s even more prevalent in Rome. The streets are narrow and cobblestoned. You really can’t plan a route. You need to just head in a general direction and go where the streets lead. Sometimes it means you end up going in a completely different direction than you thought but it can lead to some really great discoveries.
I had to laugh when I overheard two American women looking at a very basic tourist map of Rome and saying that they needed to simplify the map because there were too many street names. Sorry, that’s Rome. Embrace it.