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Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

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Philadelphia...
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Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

Well, here we are... back home after two weeks in Rome (including a two day side trip to Orvieto) and we had a great time. We did many of the things we wanted though many others will have to wait 'til next time. We averaged a little over 9 miles a day walking and used the Metro, trains, buses and cabs. We celebrated my dear wife's birthday and our 20th anniversary... made new friends, received TWO pairs of paper pants... We bought souvenirs and gifts for folks back home and managed it all with carry on baggage.

Within this thread I'll talk about a lot of things we noticed about Rome on this trip (our 5th to the Eternal City)... some concerns and cares, but mostly about joy and beauty of this vibrant city.

Today I need to deal with client demands and jet lag, but over the next days, as pictures are sorted and I have time to post, I will share our trip with all of you who helped me plan it. Let me again thank you all for your help in making this trip to Rome very, very special!

:-)'

Philadelphia...
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11. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

BEGGARS, BUSKARS, VENDERS, WAITERS & STREET PERFORMERS!

One of things about going to Rome is that there are a whole lot of folks making a living from your vacation, and whether it’s a guy in a gladiator suit or an old lady selling cards of the Saints outside a church… it’s never boring!

The beggars, for instance, are a completely different type than the kind you meet in the states. In the U.S. the beggars tend to use the “hard luck story” to con you out of a few bucks… in Italy begging is refined, it is an art form! On previous trips the “suppurating wound” was a favorite device. Day after day you’d pass by folks on the street who really (I mean REALLY) should’ve been in a hospital… This time it was deformed and swollen feet and severe palsies that seemed to be the rage. Now some guys had small carts that they pushed themselves around on (the guy who put an old boot on his hand was very clever indeed) and some were just crumpled on the street as if they had landed there from the window above.

Now before you start to question my compassion and humanity let me tell you that I was moved… but mostly I was amazed by the level of performance. First class all the way! The trick is to catch them before they get into character… In Trastevere we saw a boy hobbling down the road ahead of his mother, his limp had a pronounced wobble and the other leg dragged. One arm was contorted at a horrible angle and he shook with an energy that looked like demonic possession. Suddenly his mother called to him, he turned, relaxed his body and ran back to mom as normal as any 12 year old you could imagine. I was amazed at the transformation but more than that at the tremendous amount of practice and training that gone into his profession.

The level of Busking was generally pretty good and we saw great street musicians in Trastevere in piazza Santa Maria and in Navona… there were a few exceptions though. I won’t name them all but there was one accordionist (his daughter passed the cup) who I just could not figure out. As best as I could tell he was playing a song in one key with his right hand while his left hand played bass lines and chords to a song in a completely different key… Brilliant or horrible?... you decide!

The street vendors were out in force as always. The perennial designer purse knock-off guys are so ubiquitous that I don’t even see them anymore. The latest toy sellers had obnoxious clacking toys, the sound of which greeted you as you enter any piazza. This years nighttime toy is the spinning plastic whirly wheel that lights up as it floats through the air. The venders catch them back on their launching sticks showing a talent earned by many long hours of practice (we bought 3)… :-)’

Of course I have to mention the waiters. They fall generally into 3 groups: the gracious and helpful who take pleasure in serving, the “indifferent”, and finally those who hate their job and, truth be told, don’t have a very high opinion of you either! The first guys I love and they get all my tip $$$, they probably see me coming a mile away! The second group, well, I’m a little indifferent about. The last group fascinates me though… these are the guys who can’t help but make faces of displeasure if they don’t like the combination of gelato you want in your cup… can anyone explain this to me?

Finally there’s my favorite street performer, he works Navona mostly. His costume is a yellow jacket borrowed from the wardrobe of Lonely Hearts Club Band. His act is hand puppets sewn onto the backs of gloves and he is adept and poignant. We’ve seen him on almost every trip and he seems to be doing well… this year he has a dvd for sale!

…more later!

Hagerstown, Maryland
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12. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

You are quite the awesome story teller EC. Keep it coming....

coxs creek, kentucky
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13. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

:-)

more please..............................

Rome, Italy
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14. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

You are such a wonderful story teller but first of all a great observer!

You remind me alot Beppe Severgnini; "An Italian in Italy" is a book that all the visitors might read before coming to the Belpaese!

Hugs Daniela

Dublin
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15. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

Allow me to join with the previous posters. You have an eye that sees more, you have a way with words. It is enjoyable reading your posts, thank you.

Rome, Italy
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16. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

more please.

coxs creek, kentucky
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17. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

he wants us all to beg, LOL !!! OK, EC, I am begging!!! You know I am not that patient !!! I only have 11 days to hear it all. At this rate you'll just be getting to the halfway point after I've already gone!! Maybe we are asking in the wrong language??

Per favore ???

United States
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18. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

Yes, I'm leaving in 2 days !!! and I want to hear about Orvieto. Are you still lounging about in your paper pants, dreaming in Italian? We want more of your delightful insights. Go EC.

TAB

coxs creek, kentucky
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19. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

TAB, I thought you only had one more day ????? What day do you actually leave?

Come on EC--you can do it !!!!

United States
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20. Re: Back from Rome Oct 2 - Oct 16

I leave on the morning of the 23rd. So I have today and tomorrow to get through and today is half over!

TAB