It is a city that is filthy, cramped and constantly under pressure, the traffic is just insane. Everyone smokes anywhere they like and the same level of care for their national treasures is just not there. It almost like they really don't give a crap. On several occasions I could have picked up and walked away with part of or all of an antiquity. Objects that are thousands of years old, unguarded plonked on a plinth or a bit of furniture. Tourists don't give a crap either, I have seen people touching, fabric that is well over 2000 years old.... like seriously, firstly do you need too?! and secondly do you use that brain in your head? What do you think that will do to the fabric? 3000 year old marble statues being handled by people cause they just can't control themselves and have to touch it. The only place I have seen any care to protect their treasures is in the Vatican museum, and technically that is not Rome.
I have put off writing this blog post. I wanted to be sure I wasn't being unfair, just tired or something. But I think my assessment is justified. Yes there are some amazing things to see, but unless you want to go on guided tours (not really my style) or speak & read fluent Italian navigating Rome is difficult.
The public transport system sucks. There are large sections of the city unserviced and very little is in any other language than Italian. Tourist information centres are a joke, if you can find one that is, and often the staff have no idea what is happening in their area. They just hand out maps, pretty much.
Yesterday I had to walk pretty close to 15 km because there was some festival and no one knew where the government run archobus was stopping because of road closures. I would asked the bus co-ordinator for where it used to stop, the police, the tourist liaison person and the tourist information person where to go. Each one would point me in some direction telling me to go to such and such, I would get there and that information was wrong and I would be forwarded on somewhere else. The corner was when the tourist information person at the Colosseum didn't even know where the tourist bus run by the government, stopped.
I really haven't had a good time in Rome. In my experience the Romans are rude, arrogant and unhelpful. I have only met a handful of nice people since I have been here.
To be honest it isn't a place I would be in a hurry become back to.
Having said that some of the things I have seem are amazing! The Vatican museum blew my mind. It was the most comprehensive art/artifact collection I have seen, next to the Louvre that is. Seeing the ancient Roman buildings and artifacts has also been amazing. I have some amazing photographs.
The ancient Romans were truly ahead of their time. Their ability to get things done/made astounded me.
Today I am off to see ancient Rome. The Roman forum, Palatine Hill & the Colosseum. I have a tour (my only one for the entire trip) for the Colosseum to the dungeons and lower levels as it is the only way you can get access to them.
Hopefully today goes smoothly, well as well as can be expected.