Friday, May 28, 2010

Roman transport gets a make over

Work has been underway to improve Rome's public transport system for a while now, but only now are we starting to see some real action taking place.

The metro (underground system) is under going a huge make over and many new lines are being adding to areas of the city not yet connected.

The Major of Rome, Alemanno recently spoke about the start of work on Line D, which will run from Ojetti to Agricoltura with stops including Piazza di Spagna (linked with Line A), EUR Magliana (Linked with Line B) and Piazza Venezia (Linked with Line C).

Termini, the main station in Rome, is currently having work done to improve safety and control better the levels of 'people traffic'. A new gallery has been built for passengers changing between Line A and Line B, Lifts and mobile staircases have been installed as is a new anti-fire system. There will also be new lighting systems and a general clean up of the station where over 200 thousand passengers pass through daily. Work should be finished for December 2012 (or at least that's the date they're giving now... these things tend to drag out longer in reality).

The fact that Rome is an historical city and full of ancient ruins means plans often need to be changed/adapted in order to preserve the historical value of the sites. This makes building new underground train systems a little difficult.

Should all the plans to better connect the city become reality, visiting Rome will be much easier, quicker and safer. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

3 things to watch out for in Rome

Unfortunately, Rome, like many other large cities, has it's down sides too. Being aware of certain 'troubles' can help prevent problems though.

Pickpockets

Especially when on public transport or in crowded tourist areas. In a lot of cases those doing the pickpocketing are children or pregnant woman. Always put your wallet in a safe place and make sure you bag and pockets are well guided.

Traffic

Italian drivers are manic. Cars will weave in and out of each other much like the motorino do. The official rules of the road are often overlooked so it's best to be aware and look in ALL directions before crossing the street.

Fines

In Rome you can be fined for various things. Here's a few to be aware of:

- transport tickets. You must buy a ticket to travel on public transport. That ticket MUST be validated using the machines or you risk being fined €100.
- Eating in piazzas. Some piazzas are also monuments and as such you can be fined for eating and drinking in them. An example of this is Piazza di Spagna.
- Bathing in the fountains. With the summer heat it's tempting to take a quick dip in the many fountains but be warned, you risk a fine if you venture into some e.g. the large fountain in Piazza del Repubblica.

Use common sense, have respect and you should be ok.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New look for As The Romans Do

As you can see, I've been giving a brand new look to the site and adding some new features.

There's the obvious new graphics and layout but also a few little extras:
  • 'LIKE' button. Now you can share your favourite posts directly on facebook and let everyone know how much you like the site
  • Post views. Now you can see how many people have been reading the posts here. Unfortunately the count starts from today and as such older visitors don't show up on the counter though.
  • Share it buttons. You can now share the site on various social media networks with just one click.
I will be continuing to update the site with other new features in the near future.

Hope you like it and remember that you're comments are welcome on all posts.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coloseum by night

See the Coloseum as you've never seen it before!

From mid-June until mid-September, the Coloseum will be open after dark. Visitors will be able to enter from 21:00 until 24:00 in addition to the normal daytime opening hours. Night access will be allowed two nights a week (Tuesday and Saturday).



From August visitors will be able to access all four levels (currently only two are open to the public).

Until now visitors from all over the world had to 'content' themselves with admiring only the first two floor of this symbol of ancient Rome.

Other new features are planned for the venue in the near future, including moving all non-parts of the monuments out of the Coloseum (e.g. exhibition area etc...). A new bookshop and bar are also planned to be built near the monument.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Coloseum falls to pieces

Ok, that sounds very dramatic. This is not the end...well at least not yet...of one of the world's oldest treasures.



What actually happened was that a few small pieces fell out during the night between Sunday and Monday of this week. The damage was apparently caused by climate conditions and the pieces were from an area that is currently having restoration work done on it.

Here's the news report:

http://it.notizie.yahoo.com/10/20100509/video/ven-colosseo-si-stacca-pezzo-intonaco-b35d1b5.html

Monday, May 10, 2010

La notte dei musei

If you're in Rome on Saturday 15th May, you're in for a treat!

It's La notte dei musei - The night of museums- where you get to enter FREE OF CHARGE into a wide variety of the museums and galleries throughout the city.

A great excuse to go and check out some real treasures!

Included are:



You can find out more details about it at http://www.museiincomuneroma.it/mostre_ed_eventi/eventi/la_notte_dei_musei

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