Rome +10 to -10

If you ever have to miss a flight, try to avoid doing it in the Rome Fiumicino Airport.  It’ll make you dig deep and test your fortitude.  However, if you want to see a lot of great western civilization history, Rome is awesome.

We hired tour guides to take Lori and I to see the Pope’s House, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Forum over three 1/2 day tours. From Emperors, to Popes, to Barbarians, to Kings, I’ll share a few of my strongest impressions.

Rome is old, twice as old as England.  Civilization has reinvented itself and built over itself at least four times.   My favorite place to feel Roman power was standing outside the Pantheon in front of its immense columns.  I am close to a pagan but gazing upon the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica was religious.  Imagining Roman commerce while standing in the Forum made the old stones come to life.  The Kings were short lived and thought Mussolini was a good idea so nothing from them. Having good tour guides and viewing city center is a +10. The airport is a -10.

Fiumicino is filled with airport employees and processes I have never before seen.  Airline Alitalia is on the verge of bankruptcy and I’m not surprised.  The excessive number of airport employees serves to increase bureaucracy instead of increasing service.  When we missed our flight, we got to rebook for $1800 on the next flight 4 hours later. And, we nearly missed the new flight despite steadily working through ticketing, security, passport control and numerous other checks without reason.  It’s bad enough to do it on your own but with a 4 and a 6 year old in tow who don’t speak english you have to dig deep.

As you may wonder about the youngsters, they were the purpose for the trip and the reason we traveled from Rome to England and back.  Read the next blog to find out more.

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