Saturday, January 30, 2016

Rome - Day 2 - Rome in the Rain

Trajan's Forum
We spent the second day (more like half the second day as getting out of be was not easy) sightseeing. Lucky for us, the tram line that ran through our street ended a short walk from the Coliseum. The guidebooks have a lot of warnings about pickpockets in public transportation and after riding the tram on a weekday I can understand why. Sardines in a can have more breathing room. Our family did not have any issues pickpockets but the books do make you a little paranoid.

The best way to describe traffic in Rome is organize chaos. During our flight into Rome, one of the "Romans" on board was telling another passenger that they should not drive in Rome as Rome has its own undocumented rules. I'm not sure that they actually have any rules. I did not encounter a lot of traffic lights which made crossing the streets was an interesting experience, more so at roundabouts. In one of the crossings we watched a policeman step into the street without even looking at the oncoming traffic and magically all traffic stopped as he moved through the congested area. Our family just ran behind him...
The week before our arrival in Rome was the tragic terrorist attack in France followed by the bomb threat for the Vatican and tourist locations in Rome. Needless to say, security was high. Police and military personnel were found near all tourist and major public transit locations with their guns in hand. While photographing the image above, the same police car drove past me about 6 times slowing down as they got close and watching carefully was I was doing.
Temple of Mars
All the area around the Coliseum is filled with wonderful ruins and historic sites. You can easily spend two days exploring and taking in these sites. Its amazing how much has survived for so many centuries.
Trajan's Forum
It rained all day and there is little refuge in ruins so at the end of the day we were a little soggy.

Lessons from the second day:
  • Be kind to your feet and wear comfortable shoes
  • It requires a leap of faith to cross the congested streets in Rome
  • You get to know your fellow commuters in the public transportation,
  • There is no such thing as too many gelato stores. There are gelato stores next to each other across the street from more stores.

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