Did anyone else find Rome a horror?

Mar 12th, 2003, 11:37 AM
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I think Roma is the most elegant city in the world. I love the proud, arrogant nature of Romans. Roma is 2,700 years old; it stops for no one. My favorite visions of Roma are Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria," and de Sica's "The Bicycle Thief." To understand the nature of Roma, I think you should watch both of these films.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 11:47 AM
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You are all re-affirming my original suspicions - that we were crazy! When we came home and people asked us about our trip I hated telling people that we had a bad time in Rome. I felt terribly guilty for it and am glad to hear all your wonderful stories/memories. I'm convinced that I DO need to go back and that I could enjoy Rome.

As I try now, I can't come up with a single favorite memory. I am realizing that perhaps it was not as bad as I had let myself believe. A few favorites were; coming up to Trevi Fountain at night - wow, much grander than I had expected, seeing the shine on Pieta, realizing my neck hurt from the Sistine chapel, seeing the maze of Taxis on strike at the Vatican...

KAMG is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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Well, I will say that Rome for us was a bit of a challenge, and at least on our first visit we didn't plan as well as we should have to take full advantage of all Rome has to offer. For starters we didn't plan enough time there, and it seemed like everything we wanted to see was closed when we wanted to see it... I think it had more to do with our expectations, and lack of planning then anything else. By contrast I loved every other city I visited in Italy, Milan, Florence and Venice.. so I would be willing to give Rome another chance, only arrive more prepared, Rome is definatly not one of those "easy" cities, it's challenging and hectic, loud and lively... but not easy.. I would love to go back... the trouble is convincing my husband... *sigh..
Thyra is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 11:58 AM
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I studied Latin in High School and ever since I wanted to see Rome.I went in the Spring and was not disappointed.I saw the Coliseum,The Roman Forum,The Pantheon,St. Peters,top class art everywhere I went-sculpture and paintings that thrilled me.To me Rome is a magic place.In my mind I travelled back through the centuries and enjoyed seeing so much of an ancient civilisation.The traffic I hardly noticed but the beauty of Rome is still in my mind and I enjoy thinking about it.
Mar 12th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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I for one agree with you. My wife and I have turned to blaming ourself but really Iam glad we went but I don't see a return trip in the future. My standard rely is how can anyone not appreciate the sights and art of Rome. Go, but Rome is unlike Paris or London (IMO).
Mar 12th, 2003, 12:16 PM
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I've been to Rome twice. First time in 1977 on a European tour of capital cities. Second time Jan of 1999. Love Italy but Rome is just not my city. Cant' really explain why. I love the monuments and the food but somehow just didn't warm up to the city. I got around just fine and had no problems - except my first trip when a guy followed me all over the Vatican - I finally lost him by jumping on a bus. I liked Florence better, loved Venice, next trip will be Florence/Siena and San Gim.
Vicky is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 12:19 PM
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KAMG, I loved Rome which we saw as part of tour for 2 days and went back at end of tour for 3 days on our own. We did no public transportation which I think adds some unpleasantness to any trip. Our last 3 days we stayed at the Hotel Trevi and walked to the sites close enough to not wear us out. We stopped at some restaurants for lunch and dinner and made a day of it. Plus we didn't worry about if we happened to get lost and miss something.
I work with people that go to Myrtle Beach every year and think it is wonderful. I went once and would only go back if it was all free. Different Strokes!
cinquanta is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 12:26 PM
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I haven't been to Rome yet__my first trip will be this May! BUT, I could totally identify with your post.
When I was in my twenties my in-laws went to Italy and brought back a coffee -table book of Rome. It was the first time I realized the ruins were right in the middle of a modern city, and I, too, reacted very strongly. (and negatively) Since all pictures I had previously seen had excluded the modern city, I thought, like you, that ancient Rome was a seperate entity.
Now, however, I have had years to integrate this knowledge into my thinking. From an intial reaction of strong dissappointment, I am now appreciative of this juxtaposition. Rome's architecture displays a continuum of human history.
But, like you, if I had first learned this while actually there, I think I would just have felt my initial shock and dissappointment. It's a big mental leap from an image of silent, deserted ruins, to finding out that they're smack in the center of a loud, busy city.
lesliej is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 12:44 PM
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Not my favorite city or country. The groping, touching that I encounted does not appeal to me.

As I used to say to my kindergarten students " can't you please keep your hands to yourself".
Mar 12th, 2003, 01:07 PM
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Not only did I not find Rome to be a horror, but, after two visits there two years in a row, it has now edged out Paris as my favorite large European city.

No one *has* to love -- or even like -- Rome, but now that I've been there and have fallen in love with it, I find it interesting when people loathe it, and I'm sorry to hear that you found it to be a disappointment.

Re: "I had just expected wonderful mysterious remains of an ancient civilization and beautiful architecture, set somewhat off away from modern city life,..."

I'm curious why you expected the remains of past Roman civilizations to be set somewhat off away from modern Roman life. To me, one of the things that makes Rome so fascinating is how these remains are often integrated into modern city life. For just one example, I love the way the Pantheon looms, spectacularly, over the the beehive of activity in the Piazza della Rotonda.
capo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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We first visited Rome 2 years ago as part of a Mediterranean cruise so we only had a whirlwind one day tour that covered the Coliseum, the Forum and St. Peter's ( with even a stop for lunch ) and now we are planning to return on our own this May for a 10 day trip that will start in Rome and continue to Florence and Venice. I can't wait to go back and spend three days in Rome. Walking through the Coliseum and realizing just how ancient it was sent chills down my spine even though it is in the middle of such a busy place. There is so much more we want to see this trip like the Spanish Steps and all the fountains, the Piazza Navonna, etc.I'm getting excited just thinking about it. True, it is a large bustling city but I found it to have much more charm than any U.S. city and it is because of all that history.
lm is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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Sorry you had that experience.

Personally, I found Rome incredible, more so than Florence. Vibrant city life, romantic scenes abound, great museums, parks, walks, restaurants. Wonderful little districts and fantastic ruins, especially the Pantheon, Palpatine, the Forum!

I love Rome! Just love it.
Biscuit is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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I was in Rome 2 summers ago. It was my second visit - I had also gone as part of a tour in my high school band. The first time I went was in March. Under the shelter of a tour bus and a large group - I fell in love with Rome. The weather was great, the sights were amazing and I loved wandering around, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the city.
The second time I was in Rome - in July - it was a bad experience. It was hot, the traffic seemed life-threatening and and I was in a bad situation with 2 taxi cab drivers who tried to either take money or drive around for a long time for more fare. I still think Rome is a great city, but for me, I think I would want a more structured environment where I could wander, but still have some support for getting around, etc.
Plus, I wouldn't go back in July - too hot, too crowded and too much ROME!
Amanda75 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:04 PM
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In 1996 we made our first trip to Italy. We had planned, but I'm not much of a "big city" person, so didn't expect I would ever go back. Years before we had been to northern Europe and I had enjoyed the experience, but wouldn't repeat it. I found I LOVED Rome. We will be going on our 6th trip to the city in April. I don't know how you can't be captivated.
in_wyoming is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:23 PM
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No, we had a great time in Rome a couple of years ago--in June. We didn't encounter long lines anywhere, maybe because we are early risers and went to the most popular sights in the morning. Traffic didn't bother us as we walked most places.

Maybe it helped that our hotel was out of the way a bit--in Parioli. Perhaps this let us relax at the end of the day--we just walked through the residential neighborhoods in the area each evening until we found a restaurant that looked interesting, and we were usually the only tourists (as far as we could tell).

We enjoyed Rome a lot and would go back any time.

We didn't have the same experience in Florence--hated the city with its traffic and pollution and crowds, though we enjoyed the art. And our hotel was right in the middle of the action.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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I'm sure part of the reason I loved both of my visits to Rome was the fact that they were both in the spring -- one in late March and the other in mid-April -- when the weather was nearly perfect (for me.) I can't imagine ever going during one of the hot summer months.
capo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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Rome is one of the most colorful city in the world!!My little grandaughter was only seven when she came with me to Europe( since then she is my travel companion and we go there every year, she is 11 years old nowand she is looking to go to her Beloved Rome). Anyway the little girl fell in love with the city, every day was an adventure for her, she wanted to visit even the smallest churches. Her favourite place was Trevi Fountain,luckily our hotel was near by, because we stopped at the fountain 3 , 4 times a day. Before we left Rome she told me that despite that she was not born here, she felt that she was a Roman and her hearth was here. The magic ,the beauty, the charm of the city worked wonder on a little girl immagination.
kismetchimera is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:46 PM
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kismetchimera...you have a wondrous grandchild ! The first time I visited Rome was on a month long trip to Italy...I never left..all the other places paled , I did not want to leave. Another trip I decided I must see more , so I did but I wanted Rome.

The modern and the ancient side by side and co-exsisting , the tempo , the people, Rome is the cradle of civilzation.and everyone should feel their place and their home there.
avalon is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:56 PM
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Re: "Rome is the cradle of civilzation..."

Ah...so THAT explains all the Roman babes.
capo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 02:57 PM
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This is a very interesting thread for me to read tonight, since I am leaving tomorrow on a trip that will take me to Rome for five days. Glad to see that KAMG modified the "horror" thing in the course of the responses. I am curious to see whether I love Rome or not. At least I think I know what to expect.
Nikki is offline  

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