Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bon Voyage- Off to Italy


There are only a few times that I choose to write about myself in this blog and this is one of those times. Next week I will be off to Rome, Italy for a long over due vacation. My last visit to Italy was in July 2000 on a Contiki Tour in which I was among 29 other companions from different countries around the world. This time around I will be spending my time with someone special and will be able to experience the city and other areas in Italy in a different way. Over the next two weeks I will try to provide some comments about the gay life in Italy and other off the beat stuff.
Here are some basic facts about the city: courtesy of AOL Travel Info.
Of all Italy’s historic cities, it’s perhaps Rome which exerts the most compelling fascination. There’s more to see here than in any other city in the world, with the relics of over two thousand years of inhabitation packed into its sprawling urban area. You could spend a month here and still only scratch the surface. As a historic place, it is special enough; as a contemporary European capital, it is utterly unique.
Placed between Italy’s North and South, and heartily despised by both, Rome is perhaps the perfect capital for a country like Italy. Once the seat of a great empire, and later the home of the papacy, which ruled its dominions from here with a distant and autocratic hand, it’s still seen as a place somewhat apart from the rest of Italy, spending money made elsewhere on the corrupt and bloated government machine that runs the country. Romans, the thinking seems to go, are a lazy lot, not to be trusted and living very nicely off the fat of the rest of the land. Even Romans find it hard to disagree with this analysis: in a city of around four million, there are around 600,000 office-workers, compared to an industrial workforce of one sixth of that.

3 comments:

AnelliDiFumo said...

Counting down for you :-)

Sejo said...

Although I'm not Roman as I was born elsewhere and even if I do not like Rome and the Romans as a category, I'd like to spend a word or two for its defence.
If Rome is somewhat similar to the description, which BTW is inaccurate and very clich̩-ish, it does not depend on the laziness of its inhabitants who Рapart of a very strong ego Рare just Italians like others are. Being the center of two empires and again a capital city has made of itself the very heart of our own bureaucracy. The absence of industries is a tragedy started in the 80s, when most of the firms located in the so called Tiburtina Valley moved elsewhere or plainly closed down.
Then again, for a city which lives for its past and the money tourist pour to see unique locations and buy dresses and shoes downtown, you can't possibly need industries as hotels and restaurants. Furthermore, many of the civil servants – AOL Travel's «office workers» – come from all over the country. It's the same everywhere: Paris, London, Washington, Teheran, Santiago de Chile.
Hope you had fun here and liked the place. Ciao.

Avenue Road said...

Thanks for your comments