When in Rome, do as the Romans do
I must have led a charmed life up to this particular venture to Italy, because in all the other countries I visited, English was either one of the standard languages or, in the case of France, I spoke the ambient tongue. I suppose I expected that many, if not most, of the hoteliers and shop keepers and transport personnel in Italy would speak at least a modicum of English. I didn't invest in a phrase-book (although it turned out my companion had brought one along). What arrogance! I have only myself to blame for the multiple times when language barriers led to absurd or disappointing results. (It is hard to ask for directions when you can't articulate where you want to go -- and can't understand when someone tries to help out.)
Probably no one reading this tip would make such a foolish mistake, but just in case...either learn enough Italian to get by, or keep a phrase-book or English-Italian dictionary close at hand. I promise you'll have a more enjoyable visit.
(And as one VT'er says in a very funny motto which I will badly paraphrase, speaking English slowly and very loudly does NOT make it more comprehensible!)
Most Ostian apartment...
Most Ostian apartment buildings were like ancient condos, with all the tenants sharing facilities and expenses. One important facility shared by all was the communal forica, or latrine. The picture shows a large airy room, where a marble bench with twenty holes runs the length of all four walls. Unbelievable how much time the ancient Romans spent in public :-)
See my Ostia Antica travelogue for more information.
Let's use the vendingmachine
The tickets of a railroad ,if possible, it is good to purchase with a vending machine in Rome.
When I went to Orvieto from Rome ,I purchased with the vending machine. It was 12 euros,
but when I bought return at the window of the station of Orvieto, the price of it was 13 euros.
It seems that the vending machine can purchase somehow cheep in TRENITALIA.
At first, you choose,six kinds of languages, Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, and push a touch panel. Then "purchase or change of a ticket"sign comes out. You choose it, input the destination and a date.
Payment has three patterns of cash, the card of a bank, and a credit card.
Since operation is easy, I recommend purchasing your ticket by the vending machine
A nice spot on Piazza Navona...if a bit touristy
The guide books said that it was known for its chocolate studded tartufo (chocolate-chip ice cream), and so after a long day walking around we decided to give it a try.
The restaurant has a nice spot in the Piazza Navona. The food was okay..nothing spectaular...apart from the chocolate-chip tartufo. The bill was a bit pricey as well.
Proably better just to turn up for dessert!
The Roman Zoo
When you tired of walking endless streets of Rome, have an afternoon at the Zoo located in Villa Borghese.
Although it is not a huge one, it is well planned and quite a large variety of animals from Griffaes to Tarantulas.