Friday, 20 April 2012
'See Rome and Die' as the saying goes (it should be see Naples and die but got twisted over time). I won't talk too much about it as most people know so much already, but if it is at all possible I do recommend you to go visit some time if you haven't already. If you been already have you'll understand why I say this.
Visiting has changed over the years I've been going, there are more street vendors selling handbags and the like with their wares spread over the pavement, and more beggarwomen, the older ones having a little shake which miraculously clears up at home time, and the young girls tugging at your clothes, hands outstretched. But the sites are still there, more and more charging to see them as this is necessary to help keep them looked after. Italy has dire money problems and as much as they love their antiquities there's not much money left over to keep them safe.
Try not to go during the hottest months, August is like a sauna, and whatever you do don't go out at midday, there's another saying, 'Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun' and there's a reason for this - it's Too Hot!
But do go and enjoy, sit near a cool fountain and watch the world, wander around, a lot of the touristy sites are within walking distance from each other. Don't stress, if you don't see it all just be happy with what you have seen and enjoy the ambiance, the sights, sounds and smells of Rome itself. It's not just about the famous ancient places as there are ancient buildings and monuments everywhere, but also just know you are there in Rome and enjoy that in and for itself.
Rome is one of the most wonderful of cities, beautiful, can be exhausting, friendly, sometimes expensive, but always well worth it.