Rome — what a horrible place! Dirty and ill-kempt, the food lousy, the
subway filthy, hot and slow, the antiquities in sorry shape and without
anything in the way of location guides or descriptive plaques (try finding
the Temple of Cybele), the heat insufferable. The few locals who have not
decamped for the month of August are nice enough, but the place is addled
with pickpockets from Eastern Europe and North Africa. We actually had a
bag stolen our first hour in the city — nothing critical, just some clothes
and a camcorder. The camcorder had a tape in it with my son’s last music
recital on it, that’s the only thing I’ll miss. The police displayed
wellnigh uncontrollable lack of interest. I hate Rome.
Tomorrow to the Borghese & Vatican City. I may feel better then. I have
never actually seen the Bernini Apollo/Daphne. If it’s half as lovely as
thye reproductions, it will make up for losing Danny’s piano recital.
Danny, who is immensely knowledgable about antiquity as a result of having
played the Age of Empires computer game, was tickled pink to see “SPQR” on
the manhole covers.