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Italy 2014


January 6, 2015

1 day in Bologna and 5 days in Rome. I did not fall in love with that country :( The reasons why – listed below.

Litter, litter everywhere

Unfortunately, places where I had an occasion to be in Italy, were very littered. I wonder if things are different in the summer when more tourists come?

Souvenirs

It was cold and rainy but on the other hand in Poland it was snowing (and the temp was -10 Celsius). Cold in Italy was penetrating because of strong and icy wind. So I brought from Italy 1 pair of stockings, 1 pair of high socks, 2 pairs of gloves and 1 warm headband.

No air to breathe

Smokers were everywhere. And there were a lot of them. They are allowed to smoke at bus stops and train stops. Though we were safe among other tourists, apparently they have more healthy habits.

Italians do not speak English

Beyond special information points where people are paid for speaking English it was very difficult to find a person that speaks that language. Do not try it on the street. Do not try it with bus drivers. Even our Airbnb host did not speak English. A nightmare.

I had the impression Italians ignore you speaking English and force you to listen Italian, even if it is clear you do not understand the language. Very annoying thing in Italy in my opinion.

Fortunately, waiters were familiar with English and most restaurants in the center of Rome had an English menu. Thank you for that!

Sightseeing

I am a fan of old monuments. But I do not like monuments to be desecrated. By desecration, I mean mixing present-day life with ancient life/buildings. That’s why I wanted to cry badly the moment I saw Roman Forum and Colosseum in Rome (and Arena in Pula, Croatia for that matter). It is hard to imagine ancient days with car traffic around the building.

I am in general appalled about the falsification of temples into churches (how could they!) but I suppose we can not change it easily :(

Another sad thing – during winter many monuments are open up to 13.00 or 15.00. A good thing on the other hand in winter there is almost no waiting lines.

I was also disappointed with St. Peter’s Square. It was not like I remember it from any picture or movie. I imagined it to be a big, big round square but in reality it was not so huge. I did not realize at first I am at the center on that square and I could not believe it when it occurred to me. Has Parisian syndrome a similar taste?

Anything I liked?

Travel prices and travel speed

What I would want to be implemented in many cities in the world is Rome’s prices of public transport. For only 1,5 euro you can travel for 100 minutes in Rome and a suburb – by underground, bus, tram or urban railway. Amazing. This is definitely the thing I will miss.

A train from Bologna to Rome I was on board was very fast, about 240 km/h. The journey was so comfortable and light you could not feel traveling at all. You just do not feel the speed.

The food

Food was delicious. Not as good as in Greece, but memorable. Pizzas and a variety of pasta are just not the same as in Poland.

Summarizing, Italy would not be a place to live for me. Some positive things, but negatives are overwhelming.