Monday, 25 May 2009

Monday April 20th 2009 - Wednesday April 22nd 2009

Happy Village and Camping, Rome (ACSI2009-1560) N42.00342 E12.45313

Who thinks up these names?, this place is not only called Happy Village, but it also has a Happy bus to take you to the railway station so you can get the train into Rome.

The site has very good facilities including wifi connection. It is a bit cramped, but that is the norm we have found at the sites which are primarily used by people who want access to a major city.

The site is actually at a place called Prima Porta (a sort of Italian Jarrow), effectively a suburb of Rome. As I said above, there is a mini bus to take you to the station to get the train. It is a bit of a white knuckle drive, a bit like formula 1 in a Ford Transit mini bus, with stray traffic crossing the track randomly without signals. We arrive at the station in one piece and buy our day ticket for 4Euro each, this will take us to Rome and back, allow unlimited us of the metro in Rome for the day, and unlimited us of the bus/tram in Rome for the day (not a bad deal).

First we walk from the railway station to Vatican City, not too bad a walk (about 20 minutes). We do St Peters etc, it is very hot and very busy, but impressive in a sort of impress with power sort of way, rather than the quiet and dignified ambience of Assisi, plus the top man has not put in an appearance for us, rather disappointing when we have come all of this way and Kathleen at least is a fully paid up member.

Next we head off for the Colliseaum etc. The original plan is to get the metro, but no blame apportioned, the plan is not followed.

This is a big mistake, it is quite a distance and very hot. Tempers are frayed. Eventually we stop for lunch and have a passable pizza and a drop of red wine, tempers (temporarily cool). When we pay the bill, we find the is a 6Euro “cover” charge on top of the cost of the food and wine, apparently this is “normal” in Rome. Tempers warm again.

Eventually, we find the Colliseam, along with various enormous statues etc. It is all on a huge scale, and amazingly well preserved. It is hard to imagine that over 2000 years ago, without any mechanisation people good build on this scale, and of course that most of it would still be (more or less) standing 2000 years later. We get our dose of culture, and head for the metro station (which is conveniently right opposite the Colliseaum, how thoughtful of those Romans, best not to say too much about that).

We use the metro to travel to the Trevi Fountain, the last of “must see” tourist attractions for the day. It is indeed an amazing site, a massive fountain with numerous larger than life statues in white marble, the down side is it is very crowded.

Just time for a quick ice cream, and then back on the metro to the railway station.

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