Thursday, July 10th 2003

Europe's massive heatwave of 2003 was just beginning to kick off. I got a night train to Rome and slept badly in a stunningly hot and airless compartment.

I started the day tired, but I covered a lot of ground. I walked from the Coliseum, through the Forum, up to the top of the Capitoline Hill, past the absurdly huge memorial to Vittorio Emmanuele II, then down to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. It was a mistake to come to a very touristy capital city in the middle of summer, and the crowds were unpleasant. It really seemed a bit surreal at the Trevi Fountain. It's a nice enough fountain but it seemed weird to me that hundreds of people were piling off tour buses to see it.

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