Thursday, August 04, 2011

Il Colosseo

I think it would be impossible for someone to think of Rome and not have it accompany a visualization of the Colosseum. Even though there still exist dozens of arenas like it, none are as big nor do they dominate the landscape the way this one does. It is a natural tourist magnet, but that’s the rub. It also attracts pick pockets, since tourists make easy targets and locals avoid the place. We make easy targets because most of us are not there long enough to press charges or go to trial. My husband was once surrounded by 4 or 5 Gypsy children who encircled him, swarming like bees to honey, and they got away with a bag of postcards.

If you go, remember to wear a money belt and don’t be careless with a purse or camera. Crawl around all you like, see the colonies of cats and have fun, just don’t loiter around or carry anything valuable in your pockets. Study your maps on the way there and don’t get distracted, be vigilant. My husband paid a very small price for his lesson in precaution, but others may not. Bus #64 to the Vatican is also notorious for pick pockets and has been for decades. On our visit to Malta, we noticed that locals all wore their backpacks in front. There’s a good lesson in that.

If you see any “Romans” wandering around, they are there to pose for photographs in order to earn a gratuity. Please respect their meager yet honest way of trying to earn some money.

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