Notes from Rome

Having been in Rome for a day and a half, I feel compelled to make some observations:

The food

The food here is cheap, cheap, cheap. And delicious. You can get a pannini, with a 750ml bottle of beer plus a bottle of water for €11, which is about $8 AUD. A glass of wine alone costs nearly that much in Australia! And you get table service. Pizza (which I had last night for dinner) is sold by weight. My tea (which consisted of two slices of delicious pizza cost me) €3.

Communicating

I find it very easy to communicate here. I learned Italian (for a short time) while I was with the Italian. How quickly it has returned. And while most people speak English, there is nothing quite like saying: “Tavolo e una, per favore” when one is in Italy. And I “prego” practically every exchange now.

The natives

Italians, while beautifully dressed (even when being casual) are shite at giving directions. Call me a demanding tourist, but “over there” with a wave of the hand is not a direction. I now know how to say where exactly? (“dove essatemente”) and it is a phrase I invoke at every opportunity.

I have been watching out for clothing trends and I am pleased to report that Italian ladies are embracing jeggings and wedges. It thrills me no end that I am on trend with my own personal attire. In fact, will be wearing my jeggings out for dinner tonight. Pity I didn’t have room in my suitcase for a pair of wedges, because them I’d really fit in. Oh well.

One trend I do find surprising is that there are a lot of smokers. Young, old, male, female, just about everyone has a fag hanging out of their mouth. Clearly, the Italians haven’t heard that smoking is uncool and not stylish! This is an activity I won’t be pursuing, though!

The foreigners

There is a very diverse tourist population here. I have heard many accents: German, English, Australian, American, Indian, to name a few. Yesterday, at Piazza del Popolo, I was chatting to a lass from Shanghai (who was thrilled to know I had been there) and this morning, I was chatting to an older couple from Portland, Oregon (who were finding the “heat and humidity” unbearable. FYI it has been very pleasant weather: warm and mild, exactly like an Australian spring day).
People watching is an endless source of fascination.

I’m so glad I am travelling with a good camera, but it means that I’m not putting much effort into my iPhone photos. So apologies for the lack of photographic art I am producing – they are more of an indication of things than anything else. At some point, I’ll pop my Canon pix onto my tablet and post some decent ones.

I’m heading out soon to find Piazza Novono. Again. For the third time. My map reading is appalling, but better (it seems) than directions any Italian can give me!

Correction

I subtracted 20% instead of adding it for the exchange rate, so my lunch was about AUD$13, not $8. Oops! But it’s still value for money in my book. 🙂

3 Comments

  • Gary Lum September 25, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I wonder if Italy will ever embrace drab green plain packaging 🙂

    I like that with an iPad you can instagram high quality images quickly.

    It sounds like you’re getting out and about and seeing lots of stuff. I hope if you do see squid there will be side posts to squidileeshus 😉

    Reply
  • Susan Cooper September 25, 2012 at 5:40 am

    How fun. I am so glad the trip is going well and you have enjoying your self. I can’t wait to see the photographs you’re taking 🙂

    Reply
    • The Diane Lee Show September 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you, Susan! Will post pix when I download them from my camera.

      Reply

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