You are on the train to Rome. You are on the train to ROME. Did I just hear that? Are you serious? Are you going to Rome? THE Rome? Yes, yes you are. Are those children playing soccer next to large aqueducts as if it is no big deal? Yes, take a photo. Take another. Ok, now, put your camera down before you accidentally drop it out the window (or I throw it out), we have some business to take care of. Get all of the ridiculous clichéd statements about Rome out of your system. Say them now: “When in Rome”, “All roads lead to Rome”, etc. etc. You know you want to. Do it now, on the train, to avoid embarrassment.
The train is beginning to slow, you are approaching. Grab your bags, but this will take a while. Check your map a few times; do you remember the way to the Coliseum? It’s almost a straight shoot! Look now, before getting off the train. Ok, all ready? Make your way down the beautiful streets of Rome.
Is there a couple getting married at the Coliseum? Well that’s odd. Don’t worry about staying out of the way of their photographer, this was their choice, they knew tourists would be everywhere. This is your moment. Get your photo at the Coliseum, and make it count. You only have your first trip to Rome once.
Make your way over to the Forum. Or are you a smarty-pants who went to the Forum first for the shorter admission line? Have you visited a few churches? I hope you dressed properly. Bare shoulders and legs are not allowed.
If you are hungry, it is advisable to hold yourself over for a few more minutes as you walk at least a half-mile away from the main tourist attractions. They aren’t stupid, they are waiting for you with higher prices and fewer seats. Find side streets. Journey. If you find a cute place on a tiny side street, you can eat pizza and drink wine for less than 10 Euro.
Did you only plan a few hours for Rome? Take the subway back to the main station (Termini) and cry your way home. It’s ok, next weekend you can come back and plan ahead to spend the night.
PS, I promise I will update on a more regular basis! I spent all last week in Sanremo, Italy training for the best summer job ever: teaching English to children all over Italy! Internet has been scarce.