Thursday, May 12, 2005

The inimitable Jerry Pournelle visits Roma, d'Italia

Current View: "Anyway, we're in R XIII which might or might not be unlucky, and tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Or Friday is Friday 13th anyway.
The streets are lively at 9 PM. Every possible parking place, some ingeniously illegal, is taken up. Most of the cars are small. There are also about 1.2 motorbikes and motorcycles per inhabitant, leaving the interesting question of who drives the cars since clearly there are more than enough motorbikes to go around. This district was not so lively, and certainly had far less traffic, in the 1980's. I haven't yet located the place we stayed then, largely because we walked from it to the Forum in those days, and now the traffic is so thick it is a life threatening experience to walk almost anywhere. I do recall they had abandoned the excavations at the Circus Maximus and I walked among the remains of the dig. The signs said the work was sponsored by Umberto, Rex, and Benito Mussolini, Duce. All those signs were gone last time we were here, as were the big signs crediting them with building the Da Vinci Airport. Of course the airport is enormously expanded from the 1980's too."

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