A cold and snowy visit to Rome.
04.02.2012 - 07.02.2012 3 °C
Usually if a flight pulls away from a gate at anything other than the appointed time, its because you are running late. My flight down to Rome was one of those rare occasions where a plane pulled away early. The pilot and crew had gotten everyone on ahead of schedule so we could get away early. "Hopefully to miss the snow," explained the captain.
Snow? In Rome? That doesn't seem like travel as usual.
It wasn't. In fact, the snow that fell on Rome was the first snow since 1986. The radio was telling folks to stay off the road, and I saw more than my fair share of cars rattling down the cobblestone streets of central Rome with chains on their tires. It was a unique way to see Rome for the first time.
The snow had finished falling by the time we landed, so the pilots rush to get us off the ground was for nought and the snow didn't impact the flight at all. We were 20 minutes early, though, which would give me an extra 20 minutes of site seeing in Rome. All I had to do was get into town. That's where the snow hit me.
I was already in a poor mood from the wait in line for customs (we arrived just after a couple jumbos from China and India) when I arrived at the train station. The train into central Rome was delayed by 30 minutes, and once it finally got going dropped us only halfway towards central Rome, at Roma Ostiense station instead of at Roma Termini. I had to transfer to the metro, and then try and drag my roller suitcase 20 minutes through the snow covered pavement and cobbled streets of Rome.
Once settled into my hotel (right by the Trevi fountain), my mood improved. Despite the cold, snow and ice, the site seeing was good when bundled up against the cold. It did provide a few hitchs - for example, the Colosseum was closed due to the snow, there were a few streets shut down due to falling ice and I did slip on the ice, fall and jam my thumb. However, it did provide a unique view of many of the famous Roman sites I had seen many times in photos and on travel TV shows.
By the end of my four days, much of the snow had melted, however the cold was still there. The snow and cold provided a unique view of Rome, but I would like to see it in a more traditional setting - perhaps with some sun and warmth next time. Definitely will want to come back.
So on my last night, walked around the corner from my hotel to the Trevi fountain. I took off my gloves, shivered a touch from the cold air on my skin, and then dug into my pocket. I pulled out a Euro coin, turned my back to the fountain, and tossed it over my shoulder.
Rome, I'll be back.