europe: rome

Monday, August 23, 1999

I spent the day touring the ancient part of Rome, starting with the Coliseum and working into the center city with the help of a tour guide.

Rome itself is the dirtiest city I’ve been in in Europe. Its subway cars are covered with graffiti and the street cleaners pitiful attempts at cleaning the streets are no more effective than cleaning a rug with a fork.

The sun today was brutal, with the temperatures climbing at least to the 80s if not higher. My suntan is moving along nicely, though, and I figure another couple of days exploring Rome and I’ll be ready to hit the beach.

The history and architecture of the ancient Roman sites were extremely interesting. The pictures painted in my mind of Rome at the height of its power with polytheistic temples rising and soaring over the legal and business buildings were quite inspiring. I’d like to do some further research about this epoch and use it as a basis for a novel. I’ll let the idea stew for a while and see what develops.