In these ruins, you are bound to find beauty. In this city, you will be amongst many other outsiders, tourists, and vendors trying to force a selfie stick purchase upon you. Rome was the only city on my trip I intended to play tourist and made a goal to see the Colosseum. I had been warned to maybe avoid Rome, especially this time of year due to the crowds, but I did it anyway.
Rome seems to be a city of romance, but in the summer heat, it was everything but romantic. Rome was the only city I thought to myself, “You stupid American tourist; you just walked yourself straight into a trap,” after getting into what I thought was a cab, only to find no indication of it being a cab and a woman texting on her phone in the passenger seat. When I asked to get out, she assured me, “If you think we’re going to do something bad, we’re not.” Yeah, sure. The cab driver, who seemed friendly at first, now hustled me for money after causing him to lose “clients.” And after I finally got out of the cab, was called a bitch, which I replied with a thank you.
I found that public transportation shuts down early, which I couldn’t understand. After visiting major cities like Tokyo and New York, I guess I just sort of assumed subways ran all night in major cities. A bus that never came and a closed subway line was the reason why I ended up in that cab. I will say though, the cab driver I got after resorting back to the cab after a shuttle to the airport I finally settled on failed to start, was nice.
But Rome, oh Rome, you are not for me. How I love your ruins and your art. Imagining a whole empire once thrived within this city and its ruins that still remain after all these years, leaves a person in awe. However, exploring the ruins in the heat required survival skills that consisted of seeking water fountains and constantly refilling water bottles to avoid a heatstroke.
The art school drop-out and Arrested Development fan in me was so excited to see Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel. The art school drop-out me could spend all day marveling over all the art in Vatican City. Rome holds many beautiful things, yes, but Rome as a whole was just not for me.