Rome at last

Rome Travel Blog

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I was initially fascinated and slightly amused by the tiny Smart Cars lining the streets.

After the brief layover in London, I finally arrived at Fiumicino airport just outside of Rome. I took a train from the airport to Termini, the central station in Rome. My first impression of the city I was going to live in was that it was a chaotic mess. There were hundreds of people rushing around everywhere, passengers jumping on and off trains, gypsies asking me for money every third step, and pickpocketers lurking in every shadow eyeing my baggage like fresh meat.

After wandering around confused for a bit, I found my way to the metro station and, after 15 minutes of looking for a working ticket machine and 15 minutes of trying to figure out how to buy a metro ticket once I found a working one, I was soon sardined between 1500 other people on a 95 degree, rickety subway train.

It was fun walking around lost and not being able to read anything.
I could have gotten a taxi, and perhaps that would have been a better idea given that this was my first time in Rome and that I was lugging a large suitcase, but the taxi drivers at Termini are notorious for ripping people off and I was eager to explore the city by foot. I got off at the Ottaviano stop and wandered around lost for an hour or two, trying to figure out how to find my way to the Residence Candia, where our housing was. I had a map with me that I had purchased at AAA in the states, but instead of buying a boring-looking, useful map, I had purchased this cartoony one that seemed more fun. Now that I was actually trying to make use of the map in Rome, it was clear that the map makers had sacrificed proper map scale and labeling all the streets correctly for the artistic pursuit of rendering the Trevi Fountain and St. Peter's in full-color cartoon glory, so the map was all but useless.

Eventually I asked a kindly-looking old lady for directions, stitching together my question from the "common phrases" section of a tour book I had with me. I don't think I made much sense, but she pointed me in the correct general direction, and with a sense of relief I walked through the doors of the Residence Candia only to find out that we were supposed to actually meet at some other hotel on the other side of the city. I decided to take a taxi.

fulifect says:
enjoyed the blog, it's nice to hear other people's study abroad stories. and i feel better about myself knowing i wasn't the only person freaking out before leaving for milan :)
Posted on: Oct 30, 2007
DocTaotsu says:
Cool deal dude, hope your having fun... Drop me an email at got a few suggestions for your site if your interested.
Posted on: Nov 13, 2005
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I was initially fascinated and sli…
I was initially fascinated and sl…
It was fun walking around lost and…
It was fun walking around lost an…
Rome Hotels & Accommodations review
I spent four months living here while studying abroad in Rome, but it seems to also be available for shorter stays. It's located kind of far from the … read entire review
photo by: vulindlela