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A Week in Italy -- Part III

Author: RichardNika
Email: Corona70@aol.com (More Trip Reviews by RichardNika)
Date of Trip: April 2006

I made the mistake - do not do this! - of setting my briefcase down for only a few seconds and focusing my eyes elsewhere, and then I suddenly realized it had disappeared. At that same moment, several American men in the line began shouting,as did I, and I became aware of a young man who was racing away with it. I jumped up and began running after him, and he dropped it and fled.

I took my taxi to the Colloseum. Again, I got in free - the admission price is normally something like 13 or 15 Euros - but I decided to pay 3 Euros to join a guided group and also to bypass the line. I won't attempt to describe the Coliseum in detail here - everyone has seen pictures of it - but it is unique and massively impressive. The guide gave me an audio set so that I could hear her wherever I was, but her English was so heavily accented I could understand almost nothing that she said. It didn't matter - just looking around at the extraordinary panorama, the framework of the tens of thousands of seats and of the complicated floor, the hallways and galleries, and the pieces of columns and statuary littering the corridors, as if waiting to replace something else. As the sun sank in the sky, I watched the shadows gather about the elements of this extraordinary structure. I finally went back outside, and spent a few minutes watching it from there as well.

A sign said Termini and another Metro, so I bought a ticket and rode the train the two stops back. It was packed and as I stood amidst a crowd of boys, it seemed as though hands were searching for my wallet, which fortunately was secure in the money belt.

There's no avoiding the cost of the train to the airport. I found an upstairs lounge with rows of padded chairs with, thankfully, no armrests. I bought drinks from a canteen just before it closed, and I had plenty of food saved from the many included breakfasts. Someone had thoughtfully left a big stack of that day's London Sunday newspapers behind, so there was plenty of reading material.

My goodbye to Italy was when my jumbo Alitalia flight left Milan and Italian airspace and I feel into a much needed nap.

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