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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sightseeing Rome via Hop On Hop Off Bus

Aloha Everyone,

Rome is chaotic, congested, noisy, irrational yet magnificent, beautiful and absolutely amazing. We LOVE and ADORE her!!! Rome has countless major attractions. On our first visit over four decades ago, J.J. and I stayed 10 days. The month was January, cold and rainy and often miserable. The two of us wore matching bright yellow parkas and trudged on wet, slippery streets determined to see every church, archeological site and museum.

Today, J.J. and I prefer a more leisurely pace.  We each purchased a 48 hours Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus tickets and paid €28 per person (approximately US$36.60). Using  a map from Rick Steves' book on Italy, our focus today was East and Ancient Rome including the Appian Way, Capitoline Hill, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Arco Constantino.  

Beauty of Rome endures, but the tourists who come to see her has vastly increased and changed. Hawkers selling items are noticeably foreign born -- Nigerians and Bangladeshi in particular. Their wares are gadgets to take selfie, bottled water, iPhone, iPad cases and some even audaciously place a hat on your head, if you have none, trying to extract €5 -7.

The Colosseum is the number one most visited site with 4 million tourists a year. Nearby Roman Forum makes the 5th place with 2.5 million tourists a year. J.J. and I avoided the crowd and walked on the Palatine Hill giving me a chance to do quick sketches of distinctive Umbrella Pines.  

We stopped at a charming cafe near the Colosseum for tiramisu and sparkling mineral water.

Here are some photographs of our day's adventures:

Aloha -- Cathi