Rome Travel Guide

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why you don't have to go to Rome in the Spring

It's April, May, or early June, and airfares to Rome are high.  Too high.  You're worried you can't afford the trip.  Relax.  You don't have to be in Rome to know what's going on there.  Without opening a newspaper or checking online, you can be sure that the following will take place:

--Romans in one section of the city or another will complain about the "movida"--that is, late-night public partying by large groups of young people.  These complaints are especially likely to come from residents of San Lorenzo, Testaccio, Campo de' Fiori, Pigneto, and the area around Ponte Milvio.

--A young tourist will have used a tool of some sort to gouge a piece out of a public monument, carve an initial, or otherwise deface one of the city's treasures. 

Rome garbage is eternal. The photo was taken
in Tor Bella Monaca.
--Citizens will be outraged that once again the city has failed properly to collect garbage, allowing it to accumulate in large piles around city bins and elsewhere.  The mayor will issue a vague statement that he's working on the problem.  Mayors will come and go, but Rome's garbage is forever.


--Romans will be on holiday most of the time, or so it seems, celebrating every aspect of their long and complex history: unification, the Republic, the day when Rome was freed from German occupation, various canonizations, and so on.  When these holidays fall on a Thursday or Tuesday, the Friday after or the Monday before - or both a Friday and Monday - will also be holidays, resulting in a long weekend of play called a "ponte"--that is, a "bridge."  In common parlance, a "ponte" translates as "long weekend." 


--There will be complaints and newspaper stories about the high cost of going to the beach--mostly about renting a space and an umbrella.


--Romans will become sick of tourists, even before the peak of the season, loathing especially the big, ugly tour buses that clog the narrow streets, pollute the air, and park in large numbers where they shouldn't.  At the same time, and without a hint of irony, there will be gnashing of teeth over the decline of tourism in Rome. 

--Alitalia, the national airline, will be in the news, grappling with its decline.

Neighbors complained about this "abusivo" sidewalk sale near
San Giovanni in Laterano.
--Various forms of "abusivo"--basically, illegal--stuff will come under attack: abusivi street vendors, abusivi restaurant tables that extend into narrow streets, abusivi additions to the roofs of buildings, abusivi homes in the countryside, abusivi advertising panels, abusivo parking, especially by "i big"--that is, people who drive, or are driven in, expensive cars and think they're privileged. Not too long ago, at a meeting on via Nazionale, about a dozen bankers used the street for their Mercedes and BMWs, their cars jutting out at a right angle--into a critical thoroughfare where parking of any sort is absolutely prohibited.  Nothing, or almost nothing, will be done about any of this. 


"Prati, the abandoned city: 'a bazaar of street sellers invade streets
and sidewalks'"

--Lots will be written about corruption, at all levels.  This year, a postal employee who drove a delivery truck was found to be carrying mail not delivered for four years.


Anticipating a June 6 strike of thousands of government
workers
--The unions will go on strike, creating "caos" in the city.  The newspapers will describe the city as "in tilt."  It will, indeed, be hard to get around during these "scioperi"--strikes--that seem to occur several times a month.  It will be impossible to determine if those behind the strikes are really getting screwed, or if the unions are screwing everyone else.


So stay home.  You know what's going on.
Bill



According to the story, some large, abusivi advertising boards had already been torn down, and four thousand more
were going to be.  We recently noticed that a long string of cartelloni on the Gianicolo, at the side of Acqua Paolo,
had indeed been removed.    







 

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