When in Rome… where are the Romans?

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July 21, 2010 by jessperriam

Hi. My name is Jess Perriam. And I solemnly swear that I will never, ever be part of a tour that includes being in a group, following someone carrying a stick with a flag, flower or ribbons on top.

Rome is great. Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to tick things off the to-do list. Vatican City. Tick. St Peters. Tick. Sistine Chapel. Tick. Spanish Steps. Tick. Trevi Fountain. Tick. Colosseum. Tick.

But the only thing I really know about Roman life is that the people on the Roma Metro Linea B to Rebbibia get rather cranky around 6pm. And you would be when you feel violated from all directions by your 250 fellow passengers sharing your un-air conditioned carriage. For the record, they look downright surly.

Yes, friends. I have seen more 16-year-old American girls on vacation than I have real Romans. And that just shits me. They’re everywhere!

You can’t turn around, you can’t sit down to have lunch without being assaulted by fellow tourists. They’re plugged in, tuned out and constantly, constantly snapping away, getting in the way.

I honestly don’t know where the locals hang out, what Rome is really all about apart from, well, tourism. Any Romans out there, feel free to give us a yell and tell us what lies at the very heart of your city.

My problem is I’m rushing through Italy. My problem is I’ve spent the last month in countries which are in the low season (or permanent low season as the Albanian case may be). I’m used to personal space, a lack of intrusion and most importantly, a sense of place.

Rome, I’ll be back, maybe when it’s a little less congested.

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