Overall, I enjoyed my time in Italy. In the north, I had a positive experience with our friend hosting us and neighbor teaching my wife to cook authentic Italian cuisine. Venice was neat to see however like Rome, I was happy to leave. Too many people crowded around overpriced traps.
In Rome, I saw many ancient remnants that affirmed that Romans once dominated the world with many feats and talents. What I was met with at this period were many immigrants working in the service industry, trying to scratch out a living, many chauvinistic men and tremendous vanity. Chivalry is nearly dead in Rome. It truly saddened me. Men would look up at elderly women as the women stood on the train or young men would ignore their surroundings by tuning out with ear buds jammed in ears and staring at phones or other electronic devices. A young man stood before me, looking me up and down then turned his back to me to primp his hair in the train window for nearly five minutes. I was warned about pick pocketers by the police so I was continually on guard. I watched as people stared at others’ belongings and areas where wallets would be kept. Often times, I made it clear with eye contact I had noticed what they were doing. Rome was trashy. Graffiti and litter were rampant. There appeared to be a lack of pride in the city. Possibly the residents were clinging to the past that Rome once was a great city while hoping the immigrants would do all the work? I don’t know. I was disappointed with Rome.
Oh, restrooms. Never mind toilet paper. Apparently it is not required here and toilets cost € 0.50 – €1 just for a hole to pee into. Soap and toilet paper were not to be found outside of restaurants or the hostel. I began to carry a roll of TP with us everywhere we went along with hand sanitizer.
I do however, recommend getting the Roma Pass as it did help with the transportation and allowed us into two free museums. Plus, Rome allows children free entry to many events and on many of the buses and trains.
Speaking of transport, the buses and trains were easy to use; often tardy.
Our hostel provided a great place to meet people, cook our own food which saved tremendous money and the owner did deliver with the air conditioning as he promised each of the guests. This cooled the rooms and helped cut down on mosquitos in the room. He was hard working and his staff helped with any questions we had.
Overall, it was a good learning opportunity though I doubt I will ever intentionally return to Rome.