If you are one of those people who loves Rome more then any place in the world then please do not read on (I used to be one of the Rome lovers...but now...well now I am not.)
So here goes my big moan about the Eternal City. I've only been back in Rome for a few days and all I can say is thank god I am leaving tomorrow!
Yeah..yeah...Rome is great and all that but as you all know I have done my time here - 2 years in fact so enough is enough.
I have been out of Rome for a while now and had forgotten just how dirty the air is. You cannot breathe in this city at all! I was walking around the Spanish Steps before to visit some hotels and was almost gagging from the pollution. (Ok so I may be exaggerating a teeny bit.)
And the traffic...I hate the traffic in Rome (and all Italian main cities!) The city is constantly one big mix of buses, cars and scooters all trying to push and shove to get one centimetre ahead of the other.
And the crazy people. There are SO many of them in Rome. I am sick of being accosted by the crazy people who seem to seek me out. I must have a beacon above my head saying "here I am! Come and bother me, I have nothing better to do." I was harassed 4 times yesterday - 5 if you count the drunk homeless man who nearly grabbed me. Ok so the drunk homeless man did not literally try to grab me, I think he was just so drunk that he nearly fell on me. Then there are these annoying people who always try to sell you socks on the street. Has anyone else ever seen them walking around or is only me? I got stopped again today by a sock selling man...they seem to be rather 'normal' looking people (not gypsies or dirty and homeless looking) and they walk around Rome (and other main cities I have found them) selling socks...They are so annoying and I always think it odd that they try to sell socks. A lot of illegal street pushers try to sell toys, tissues, almost dead flowers but socks...?
I am accosted almost every second it also seems by beggars of every description (with legs, without, with babies, without...) They love to take the bus that I happen to use and they smell so bad! So bad. But if only you could have seen their jewellery! One had these massive, heavy gold hoop earrings, a gold watch and two front gold teeth...
The book sellers annoy me too - outside of the main bookshops there are these people who try to sell you books or pamphlets or something. Has anyone else seen them? I don't know what they are all about as I don't want to stop and talk to them! I just say a quick 'no grazie' and keep walking.
The restaurants who try and 'entice' you into their establishment also bother me greatly. This morning I was walking down the street when this waiter blocks my path calling out "Signorina, cappucino? Corentto? Prego." Why does that bother me you ask..perhaps he was just being nice. Well I was EATING a cornetto! Leave me be. Really. Leave me be.
So it seems Rome really is the Eternal City and nothing ever changes. Bring on Sorrento I say! Bring it on.