Travel Tip: Getting to Rome

The train ride from Roma Fuimincino Airport has been bad for decades, but it's gotten worse recently, and now ranks among the worst things to be experienced by the sensual animal. Everything grates: it's filthy as a port-a-john, there's plastic everywhere and graffiti on that; all alert systems are red since it feels both crowded and dangerous. What's more, the A/C is broken, and has been on all five of my trips to Rome, and, somehow, psychotically, they've bolted all the windows shut. The temperature inside hovers around 100 and one thinks she can imagine the smell, but is still surprised experiencing it. And it's slow. And takes you through the worst part of town. And it's expensive: between 8 and 25 euro depending on which line you get in and whether the man working the desk thinks you look like prey. And th ensigns directing you to the "station" are held up with tape. You get the idea. Half of the visitors' Roman dreams are dashed in sweaty Satanic reality before one even crosses the Flaminian gate.

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