It’s been almost 10 years since I visited Rome and while so much of the city felt familiar — the Forum, the Pantheon, the pizza — the experience was very different for one major reason: So. Many. Lines. And they weren’t quick lines either: The wait to get into St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum was more than an hour each. Part of the delay could be from the increased security. I conferred with my friends who I traveled around Rome with in 2007 and none of us remembered waiting to get into any of the sites or having to go through metal detectors. Or it might just be that more tourists flock to Rome in October, when the city still has lovely, mild weather compared to much of the rest of Europe (it’s already quite chilly in Geneva, for example). Or maybe Rome is getting more tourism as visitors stay away from other major European destinations out of fear of terrorism. Whatever the reason, prepare to be patient if you’re headed to Italy’s capital. At least you can grab some pizza or gelato to make your time in line go faster 🙂
We got home late last night from our six-day adventure through Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, and I’m still glowing (literally, in fact: I have a bit of a tan!) We had an absolutely wonderful time. I’ll spend the next week blogging and sharing photos of the highlights, so stay tuned. First up: Naples! But before I get started, here’s a view out the plane window during our flight to Italy. Bongiorno, Alps!
My friends who had already spent time in Naples warned me that it is a “gritty” city, but I was still unprepared for what that entailed: Continue reading