I’m back blogging again after months of silence.
I’m back home in Keene, N.H after a trip overseas.
As some of you know from my prior blogs, I don’t limit myself to injury law topics, although I do try to weave them into the discussion.
I visited Rome, Italy and then cruised to Sicily ( o solo mio), Athens, Turkey, and Crete.
Here are some thoughts, some off the beaten track observations, some street side philosophy of a personal injury lawyer on holiday.
I will start at the end of the trip, and take you to a place called Civitevecchia, a port city outside Rome where our cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas, dropped us off. We took an old train to the Metro, which is the subway system, to the ancient City of Rome. It was August, and it was very hot and humid. We were tired and worn out, but wanted to see as much of Rome as we could before the trip home.
We visited the Forum, which is ancient Rome, the place of Romulus, Remus, and Caesar. It was were all the action was back then. And on this day there were thousands of visitors from every corner of the earth.
Hot, humid, and crowded. The walkways were made of cobblestone that had huge gaps and chips. Nothing was level, and it was no easy walk from site to site.
Absolutely nothing was handicapped acessible. There is no ADA, Americans with Disabilities, in Italy. There were no railings, and nothing to promote or regulate safety.
The bottom line: we did not witness one slip and fall. It all seemed to work just fine, and I mean you had folks of all shapes, sizes, creeds, colors, conditions, and what have you.
Just outside the Forum.. the ancient city.. was the famous Colloseum.
Originally called the Ampitheater of Emperor Flavian, and home of the gladiators, this place is about 2/3 rds in tact and is still incredibly impressive.
It was built block by block without mortar. It is held together by design and gravity, making use of structural arches all around the place.
It symbolized functionality and utilitarianism. It was practical, not beautiful. As it has been said, if the ancient Greeks were thinkers, the ancient Romans were doers.
At one time it could hold 50,000 spectators. And these days, a visit there had the feel of a Patriots vs Jets game, with event pricing, too.
$5 US for a bottle of iced cold water, sold by a vendor outside the Colosseum, tasted real good. The Euros don’t last very long in Rome, and don’t go very far.
Inside the Colosseum was a trip. Thousands of thousands of visitors climbed up and down ancient rock stairs. Nothing was level and there were no railings. They push, weave in and out on very uneven stairs without any order or any incident.
Nobody got hurt, reaffirming my belief that local building inspectors and code enforcement officials could be a little less restrictive in our country on what is required in building a set of stairs.
In Italy our group had some good food over the vacation.
We were unanimous in our belief that nowhere in Rome did we have pizza that came close to the pizza we get in Keene. None of the spots would make the top 10 in Keene. In Sicily, native land of the Godfather and the mafia, my friend could not find any Sicilian pizza.
He learned there was no such thing over there, but could have all the pasta and sardines he could stomach.
Outside the Vatican we ran into an eccentric lady from the US.
She lives in Rome and sought us out because we had the obvious look of being American, something that does in fact become obvious.
We figured her to be a nut.
I call her Sybil, after the ancient Roman fortune teller.
She felt called to warn us that we needed to buy plenty of food for the impending disaster in the US.
But while were in Rome we needed to visit a place that has the very best gellato ( terrific Italian ice cream).
Ok, so much for that encounter.
Two days later and many miles from that incident, Sybil just so happened to be sitting across from us on the Metro, the subway system, at the Gemelli stop.
She recognized us, as we did her.
That day the US stock market plunged 500 points and went into free fall. The US credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history.
And Sybil was right about the gellato place.
More to come.
Thanks for reading.
Charlie Donahue, injury lawyer