ROME (ROMA), THE ETERNAL CITY, ITALY

Trip Start May 28, 2007
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Trip End Dec 31, 2007


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Flag of Italy  ,
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

DAY ONE IN ITALY, ROME:

EVERYTHING WENT SMOOTHLY AND AS PLANNED.
HAD DINER WITH THE OTHER TOUR PARTICIPANTS - WHO ARE ALL FROM ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES  - ABOUT 40 OF US.

TOUR DIRECTOR HAS TOLD US THAT THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS COMING TO ITALY HAS BEEN DOUBLING  EVER 2 OR 3 YEARS FOR THE LAST 10 OR 12 YEARS AND THAT THINGS ARE GETTING TO BE VERY CHAOTIC IN THE TOURIST INDUSTRY.  THIS IS IN PART BECAUSE THE IRON CURTAIN CAME DOWN - AND THERE ARE MANY TOURISTS FROM THE OLD IRON CURTAIN COUNTRIES VISITING ITALY  -  IE. RUSSIA, UKRAINE, POLAND, ETC.

ALSO THE BABY BOOMERS ARE RETIRING AND SPENDING ALL OF (OR AT LEAST SOME OF THEIR) HARD EARNED MONEY ON TRAVELING AND SEEING THE WORLD.  -  AND ITALY SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE PLACES THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT TO SEE.

ROME HAS A VERY SMALL SUBWAY SYSTEM  - 2 LINES - BECAUSE WHENEVER THEY START DIGGING A NEW SUBWAY LINE THEY ALWAYS START HITTING SOME ANCIENT RUINS THAT ARE PROTECTED UNDER THE LAW, AND WHEN THEY START DIGGING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION THEY HIT SOME MORE ANCIENT RUINS THAT ARE PROTECTED UNDER THE LAW. - FOR THE SAME REASON THERE IS NO UNDERGROUND PARKING LOTS. - CARS ARE PARKED ALL OVER THE PLACE AND EVERYWHERE, BECAUSE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH PARKING FOR ALL OF THE CARS  -  SMART CARS ARE VERY POPULAR HERE  -  THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM AND IT IS EASY TO SEE WHY  -  VERY LIMITED PARKING AND THE PRICE OF GAS.

I HAVE NEVER BEEN A BIG FAN OF ITALIAN FOOD OR PASTA - BUT WE WILL SEE WHAT WE WILL SEE. -  I DO LIKE PIZZA, BUT THEY TELL ME THAT IT IS DIFFERENT OVER HERE  -  AGAIN I WILL SEE WHAT I WILL SEE.

WE ARE GOING TO SEE THE SISTINE CHAPEL (THE VATICAN) TOMORROW AND THEN ARE GOING TO POMPEII.

ITALIAN DAVE
VIVA LA ITALY

AND REMEMBER, BE GOOD TO YOURSELVES
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