Wednesday, 14 July 2010
la dolce vita
"Would you like the air-conditioning switched on?" asked the taxi driver in Italian.
I thought I'd heard a 'whoosh' sound as the car door had opened and the pent up heat hit me like a stun grenade. It was 33C outside but I think the driver was storing heat for the winter.
"Prego!" I uttered, realising I wouldn't have enough Italian to last me into the centre of Roma.
The driver floored it and entered the traffic system at Formula 1 speeds. I think he was trying for a personal best as he swept me along the Autostrada, then joggling through roundabouts, skittering across cobblestones and eventually past famous landmarks. The Coliseum, The Roman Forum, The Trevi Fountain, Piazza Repubblica and eventually to a posh hotel.
Probably a world record for sight-seeing during a taxi ride, and I've little idea how everything I glimpsed linked together. I realise that although I've been to Rome several times, I only have an episodic knowledge of it rather than any real sense of the geography.
Then to a florid room with its own rather excessive chandelier but I was more preoccupied to fire up the wifi and deal with the charts and diagrams I needed for tomorrow's meeting.