Watching the Streets of Rome

Retreat Hannah

My first observation of Rome was that it was rubbish. However, it turned out that in my random wanderings I had managed to miss all of the cool parts of Rome. Rome is in fact fantastic. There are many beautiful views, fountains and buildings to be seen in Rome.

Rome, however, exhausted me. I walked a minimum of 18,000 and a maximum of 27,000 steps per day across my four days in Rome. I wondered why people had been talking about taking the metro on their travel blogs when everything is clearly within walking distance! But now I get it, being on your feet all day is tiring and there is actually quite a distance between some of the sights.

There is a massive military presence on the streets. I assumed due to terrorist threats and a quick Google search told me I was right. I don’t really get how having two soldiers with guns and one truck outside every tourist attraction helps but I’m not an expert on these things.

The thing that really struck me about Rome though, above anything else, was the number of people trying to make a living, or just living on the streets.

I walked past a homeless guy that was strewn across the pathway as if he’d passed out, or worse, was dead. He wasn’t begging, there was no hat left out, or handwritten sign with a plea. Hundreds of people walked past this guy, possible rightfully so, you can’t involve yourself in everyone’s business. However, the way he was lying just didn’t sit right with me. I doubled back and bought a bottle of water from a cafe. I went up to him, said ciao and offered him the water. He blinked his eyes open and accepted the water. He was covered in vomit and urine, but he wasn’t dead. I couldn’t have forgiven myself if I just walked past a dead man without thinking twice. After that I walked away. I didn’t know why else I could do. I don’t speak Italian, I don’t live here.

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