Signs, Signals & Superstitions, Rome
I think the combined passions of being an artist (so loving different fonts), plus enjoying Latin, so learning about the history of the people of the time, is why I am fascinated by Roman numerals.
Arial and san serif fonts are far more used today, more moderna nd contemporary... but I still like Times New Roman (please not the name haha), and Garamond... two truetype fonts that are under rated in my view.
Yes, their serifs arnet popular anymore, but they are still classical and elegant and I try and incorporate them into my work where I can.
In publishing, not so much, but in my fine art work.
You find Roman numerals and lettering all over Rome. Beautiful! :)
No dodgy and cheap Council signage in Rome. No way!
Road and street signs are usually found on the 1st floor of the building at the end of the street. Most are in marble and are in Roman-style text....
When a 'U' is written as a 'V' etc.
Very characterful and just what one would expect in a city such as this! :)
I photographed quite a few of them!
T-shirts with the portrait of Ernesto "Che" Guevara (1928-67), an icon of the 1960s, are still well sold at peace rallies. For those who are not fully familiar with Italian matters the number 5 on some t-shirts is a reference to a TV channel owned by Mr. Berlusconi.
When Pope Benny is in Rome, he gives a public audience every Wednesday beginning at 10:30am (sometimes at 10am in summer). It takes place in the Paul VI Hall of Audiences, although sometimes St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square are used to accommodate a large attendance. Anyone is welcome, but you must first obtain a free ticket from the office of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, accessible from St. Peter's Square by the Bronze Door, where the colonnade on the right (as you face the basilica) begins. The office is open from Monday through Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Occasionally, if there's enough room, you can attend without a ticket.
At noon on Sunday, the pope speaks briefly from his study window and gives his blessing to the visitors and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
The modest entrance of Ditta Leone Limentani (embellished in the picture above by a cipollino column of Portico di Ottavia) leads to a large basement depot where, in a maze of shelves, Romans go to find a replacement of that dish or that glass that a maladroit guest broke at their last party.
I know everyone has said it before, but it's true - if you want to cross the road in Rome, you pretty much have to ignore the cars, and just step out. If you don't look at them, they will stop. I'd say it's best to peek out of the corner of your eye; if there's something coming at 70 miles an hour, it's probably best not to step out right in front of it! (there's usually so much traffic that there aren't many places the cars are that fast). Cars actually aren't so bad, it was the scooters that we found the most dangerous - as soon as you're out of their direct line, they'll whizz around behind you, missing you by inches.
Hey - I can't believe this - Its St Patrick's Day so, of course, I want to go out and celebrate at an Irish Pub. My nephew refuses because it is "Friday the 17th" and THAT IS BAD LUCK DAY in Italy!!! Da ya balieve it???
*Note this is classified as "Religious travel"
One cannot leave Rome without tossing a coin in the Trevi fountain.
The legend says that by tossing a coin in this fountain over your shoulder you will one day return to the eternal city.
Besides one cannot miss the atmosphere of people tossing coins, taking photos, buying roses or souvenirs of the fountain from the stalls or the shops nearby... especially when the fountain is lit at night.
So it could be nice to live here and not so far from Vatican. It means that I can safe my soul and have easy way to paradise in the future:D
non tutti possono vantare il propio nome in una via del centro di roma...io si....ragazza fortunata:)))))))))))
I am sure you know that the Vatican is its own state and has its own post office. I think a neat thing to do is mail postcards from the Vatican post office to my friends back home. The ones who are catholic seem to appreciate it and it makes a nice souvenir. As you can see the stamps are very colorful and all are printed with "Vatican City" on them.
In Rome you're never supposed to be too busy in order to not have time for a chat here or there.
cosí fan tutte - e tutti --- everybody does it
Especially when being visibly a tourist you will find this attitude among natives in customer service. They will have all the time to chat with each other, capable of leaving you waiting for... just as long as the conversation happens to take, no matter what.
And if you should have the impertinent habit of interrupting and claiming to be served, you might even achieve it, but this will be rewarded with an arrogant "tssseh" and a demonstrative look away.
A few weeks later, one of the girls in the previous Local Custom Tip came in to my office in Rome. She was in tears.
"What's the matter, Suzanne?" I asked (not her real name).
"I can't be myself here," she replied.
After some discussion, I figured out what she meant. As one of the three girls in the previous tips, Suzanne was open, honest, and, well, "what you see is what you get". She was totally unprepared for an urban environment full of all sorts of people, including hucksters and con men and wolves (the two-legged variety).
At home (a town in Texas), she was taught to smile at strangers, be friendly and outgoing, and, in general, exhibit the same personality in public as in private.
In Italy - as is true to a greater or lesser extent in all European cities - people have two faces: the public face that may be polite, but reserved, and the private face that is unreservedly friendly.
In Texas, when a male stranger asks a woman for the time, she is likely (if from a smaller town) to smile and answer the question. If she turns away after that and minds her own business, the man should, too. But in Italy, if the woman smiles at all(!), it's considered a come-on, even if she turns away. The man keeps pestering her, because by HIS rules, she come on to him, even though by HER rules, she was simply being polite, not asserting any interest.
This is very hard to teach people, but for many Americans, the biggest culture shock is learning that the unwritten rules of how strangers interact just aren't the same - and this leads to so much misunderstanding and mistrust...
The italian way of driving is world famous. The italian temperament too...
When you combine italian temperament with drivingthere is bound to be a lot of noise. Honking the horn is very normal and we suspect italians cardrivers try their horn first, because without it it is impossible to drive :-)
You honk your horn when people in front of you are not moving, even if they are stopping to give priority. And you honk in every situation you want them to know you are there... if you are approaching a road that has priority, but not a very good view, it is a custom to honk and hope for the best. We witnessned this when we were seeking shelter for heavy rain. The intersection was not very busy, but everybody who came from the road without priority honked and drove on. It didn´t go wrong once, but it was close several times....
This honking goes on day and night, and it is advisable to close the window of your hotelroom when you want to have a quiet night.
Generally, banks in Rome are open from Mondays to Fridays; from as early as 8:30am to 1:30pm and again from 3pm to 4pm.
There are many banks where you can withdraw cash from via their onsite or offsite ATM machines. Again, remember - it is cheaper to withdraw cash using your ATM card vs using your travelers' checks or withdrawing cash against your credit card (that is known as a "Cash Advance" and you are charged exhorbitant fees for this service).
Why is it cheaper to withdraw cash using an ATM card?
Simple. The interbank exchange rates used by the respective banks are lower (read: attractive). You'll be charged a little fee for using this service and yes, even if you hold a Barclays ATM card or any other lesser known bank ATM cards, you can still withdraw from any ATM machines here in Rome - provided it contains the following logos:
- The Exchange
If you work in a bank (any bank - in your country), you can withdraw cash without having to pay a fee.
If you're in a hurry and need to visit a big, reputable international bank, then I'll recommend my ex-company: Citibank/ Citigroup. They are located at: Via Abruzzi 2, Rome. I hope they have not changed their address!
Again, please bear in mind the "riposo" (siesta) timings.
To reiterate again, most stores are open all year round - from Mondays to Saturdays; from 9am to 1pm..... and again from 3:30pm or 4pm to 7:30pm or 8pm.
Most shops are closed on Sundays.
You will not be able to enter St.Peter's if your shorts are too short (preferably don't wear shorts at all - wear long pants) and your shirt does not have sleeves (i.e. your shoulders are showing). So dress appropriately when you arrive at St.Peter's. The guards are very strict about the dress code.
If you get denied entry, there are shops nearby that sells paper pants, temporary clothes, and scarves that you can buy to meet the dress code.