Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day Twenty Three - Rome Burns

Obviously with all the demonstrations in Rome today was certainly going to be exciting. Usually demonstrations would mean staying out of the path and pretty much doing what you feel like but Romans are a passionate people and we were aware that there was a very good chance it was going to get violent. We also didn’t know the path of the demonstration so we decided that we would go out – see what we wanted to see but at the first sign of protestors we would move away to somewhere else. This was our plan.

First we walked up to see Trevi Fountain. On the way we sadly passed a huge shopping district where I helped assist the recovery of the Italian economy with some retail therapy. My sister will be the proud owner of some lovely Italian leather gloves done in a lovely sad of mint green and for mum I found a lovely wool scarf that is so soft you just want to bury you nose in it. Obviously I was feeling rather left out so I found myself yet another coat to console myself with … that is now three, I am sure I have enough.

We found the fountain incredibly crowded with hundreds of people crowded around. I was actually blown away but it, I don’t know if it’s the fact that I have seen it in movies or maybe just the romance behind it but for me, I could just stand there for hours staring at it. Hubby on the other hand didn’t like the crowds so after another ice-cream (I am taking this ice cream thing very seriously) we moved away from the area.

We thought to have lunch in Piazza Navone but when we got there, there was police and military at every entrance letting tourists in and keeping protestors out.

Again with the deal we moved onto a smaller Piazza – Campo Di Fiori that has a vegetable market in the centre and restaurants on the outside. It’s actually a pretty entertaining place with sellers screaming out for customers and people arguing over prices and quality of produce.

After a very late lunch we saw more military arrive and decided on a quiet retreat back to the hotel. This is where things go complicated … police blocked off the roads making getting back to our hotel rather a challenge. Eventually we did and stayed inside watching footage of cars burning, tear gas and water cannons. Its sad that it got violent and all we can hope is that no one got seriously hurt.

Tomorrow it’s off to Venice by train and you know how great we are with the train systems. Cross your fingers for us because I’m certain we will need it.

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