Men: In All Kinds of Uniforms!
Well, girls, one of the most enticing facts about Rome is the incredibly good looking Italian men.
They are outgoing, sophisticated, well dressed, and Italian handsome! On top of that, it seemed to me that wherever I went, I would see men in Uniform. And we know, girls, that men in uniform are sexy!
I noted that there are three different kinds of Police Uniforms. Then, there are the Military Uniforms. Additionally, there are the Swiss Guards in Uniform at the Vatican City Gates as well as various Guards at important historical sites.
The Uniforms only add more mystic to the incredible Male Specie. I had always been told that Italian men, especially in Rome, were "fresh". So, I was expecting to see Roman men flirting with attractive foreign tourists, especially if she were a blond.
I did not observe that at all. That fact impressed me because instead of being obnoxious, the Roman men were true gentlemen. Thank goodness.
Please click the photograph to see the five different examples of men in uniform in Rome
Roma and Lazio
Despite what I wrote under the "Warning/Danger"-section watching a football game in Rome is still an incredible experience. If you're just able to cope with the ticket problems, the useless organisation and the stupid new security laws - you'll have a great time at Stadio Olimpico.
In Rome there are two clubs in the first division (Serie A), Roma and Lazio. Both have had their share of both victories and losses. Lazio won lo scudetto in 1999/2000 (when swede Sven-Göran Eriksson was their manager) and Roma won it the next year.
After that both clubs have had economical problems, huge ones, and both still even have. Lazio will pay back their tax debts during the next 23 years, while Roma has been close to be sold plenty of times during the last years. Now it seems though as if the owner family Sensi has decided to keep the club.
Roma's big son is Francesco Totti, the man the italians love to hate or hate to love. Or just love to love, if you're a Roma-supporter.
The Lazio substitute for him was Alessandro Nesta, but he took off to Milan in 2002, mostly due to the economical problems in the club. After that came Paolo di Canio, who is more crazy than Totti loves to fall to get easy free kicks... After last season he left the club and now plays for another Rome club in the lower divisions.
Roma is the team with the biggest support. They have around 40 000 season ticket holders and the supporters in the Curva Sud always gives the team a fantastic support.
Well, at least as long as their are winning. But then the support is great.
Roma supporters are probably those in the world who mostly changes after the result. If Roma is in a winning period, they can bring 10 000 people to an away game in Milan. If they have had a string of bad result they are hardly 100 supporters in Siena... The Lazio supporters, led by the infamous group Irriducibili, stands in the Curva Nord. The amount of supporters are less than Roma, and they have also a lot less season ticket holders.
Despite this the atmosphere at the Lazio games are mostly really really good, specially now since the curva has decided to start singing again.
During 3/4 of the season they have sat down silent, in protest against the Lazio president Claudio Lotito. They still don't support him, but now at least they sing for the club again.
There are unfortunately quite often crowd troubles in Rome, so the first thing you shouldn't wear is something in the same colour as the away team has.
Be as neutral as possible is always a good tip.
Tickets are no longer sold at the stadium on matchdays (thank you, stupid italian politicians...), so to get one you have to be in the city at least a day before the game is played. You can either buy a ticket in a Lottomatica-machine (which I still haven't been able to figure out what it is...) or in a Roma/Lazio store.
You need to bring your passport, as tickets in Italy nowadays are personal and with your name on.
At Via Farini, close to Termini, you'll find a Lazio store. And I'm quite sure there is a Roma shop close to the station too.
Ticket prices goes from 100 euro down to 15. My tip is, if you aren't used to seeing games in Italy, is to get a ticket at Tribuna Tevere (the long side of the stadium) or Tribuna Monte Mario. There you'll be as safe as possible, but still be able to take in the fantastic atmosphere.
Games against Milan, Inter and Juventus are the biggest, except for the derby between the two teams of course. Often sold out to all these games, so make sure to get your ticket far in advance!
upscale store in Rome
La Rinascente is an upscale department store in Rome where you can find really good quality merchandises (clothes, perfume, jewelry, etc). The prices are not cheap, but the quality is good. The store is worth to stop by even if you do not buy anything, just to get an idea of what they sell in Rome in an upscale department store and what the prices are. I guess the cheapest pair of leather gloves I saw there was 75 Euros, so do not expect to find a bargain.
One thing that I was surprised to see was people with dogs in the store. I do not recall too many stores in USA or any country I have traveled so far where you can take your dog with you inside. I wish I could take my dog with me when going shopping in a department store :)
A+. The hazelnut (nocciole) clusters were amazing! We went there 3 times while in town. Pizza is take out only, but worth the trip. It's located in Campo di' Fiori, between Piazza Navona and Piazza Argentina. Just a few minutes walk from our apartment on Via Argentina.
It was just a great location. The waiter and other people smiled at our young children and the waiter even kissed them. I liked that. We ate outside, and were covered with a roof of vines and leaves, it was great looking and kept the hot sun off of us. The food was good and the service was good too.