Rome Travel Guide

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day Irony

May Day, the 1st day of May, is rapidly approaching. Italians love their holidays, and May Day, which in its modern form celebrates work, labor, unions, and socialism, is one of their favorites.

The problem, we found out last year, is that it can be hard to get around on May Day, hard to attend the concerts and celebrations and marches, because, well, nobody's working. And "nobody," to our surprise, includes the people who operate Rome's public transport system.

We were living in Monteverde Nuovo, a couple of blocks from the Gianicolense and the tram that runs down to Trastevere and then across the river. We don't have a car, and the scooter was indisposed. So like many others in the neighborhood, we counted on the tram or buses to get us into the Centro.

Guess not! We arrived at the tram stop at Piazza San Giovanni di Dio at about 1 in the afternoon. An hour later we were still there. No tram, no buses.

Maybe we were just stupid foreigners. Maybe, but there were plenty of forlorn Italians waiting for Godot, exchanging local myths about what had happened to the tram and when the next bus would arrive. We took this photograph of those with whom we shared the afternoon.


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