Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ancient Rome Sightseeing: A Cobblestone for the Road, Shall We?

It would seem obvious that just about every cobblestone in ancient Rome is part of its patrimony, but it does bear repeating as more and more Rome tourists help themselves to a loose cobble stone or piece of mosaic they have found while wandering around sightseeing in Rome and decide its a souvenir to take home.

Ancient Romans used volcanic stone to make the cobbles for the roads that led away from the city and they date back 2,000 years. On Sunday, police in Rome put on display a vast collection of the cobblestones and artefacts that they have seized from passenger luggage in the first six months of this year. And it was quite a collection.

"They then put it in their luggage and take it home with them as a souvenir of their holiday – we have also found large milestones made from marble in suitcases that have been taken from the Appian Way."

Although the items have no real monetary value, Mr Del Greco said it was technically still theft and they are "taking away part of Rome's culture and heritage".

Mr Del Greco added that those caught were left "highly embarrassed" but were not arrested, instead they were cautioned and allowed to return home and their ancient souvenirs returned.

Umberto Broccoli, superintendent of culture for Rome city council, said: "I should warn all tourists that the city's rich heritage should not be touched. What these people do by stealing these items is show their ignorance."

"I can understand the legend and splendour that is Rome but that does not mean bits of it should be stolen by all means tourists should take as many pictures as they like but they should not help themselves to cobblestones or other items even if they appear to be discarded. If they want a souvenir of their visit then they should buy something from a shop."

So the next time you are in Rome enjoy the city, take lots of photos, but leave Rome's stones where they are. Buon viaggio!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Where to Buy a Train Ticket for Italian Train

With Rome police reporting today the confiscation of 28 million euros of fraudulent train tickets it makes sense to remind Italy tourists where to buy a train ticket ticket for Italian train service.

The tickets were on their way from China to Italy to travel companies to use with tourists or to sell on the street.

You should always buy a train ticket from a certified Italian travel agency. This can be done in the United States from your travel agent before you leave. or in Italy you may find official travel agencies with offices around various cities including Rome, Florence, and Venice.

In Italy you may also buy a train ticket at a local train station from a vending machine or from a live person at the kiosk.  

Whatever you do, do not buy a train ticket from someone on the street. And always get a receipt if you buy your Italian train ticket from a travel agency. This way you have proof you believed you purchased an authentic Italy train ticket.

For more about riding trains in Italy check out this video.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Spring in Rome

Spring is in full bloom here in Rome. The weather is already summery the families have arrived for summer vacation and all around the Rome tours have begun.

This week Jennifer Aniston was spotted sightseeing in Rome. Rome is always a favorite place for lovers, falling and being in love. With the flowers and trees in full bloom, Borghese Gardens overflowing with people and chirping birds it is now wonder.

With Madonna and Radiohead Rome concerts complete you may want to check out Lang Lang the pianist who is playing in Rome June 19, 21, and 22.