Saturday, 25 July 2009

taxi drivers in Rome

Yesterday we took a taxi to go to our appointment at the eye doctor. It was an area of Rome, that is well known but we had never been there. The Janiculum hill where the gardens of the Villa Doria Pamphilij are located in the Trastevere, in other words the other side of the Tiber River where the Vatican State is. So the cab arrives, we always call the same company and while you wait for confirmation that your cab is coming they play as background music Over the rainbow. What amazes me about taxi drivers in Rome is that no matter how obscure the street address is they know it. Now not all of them are completely familiar with all the numerous streets of this city and some do use a GPS to get around, but they will get you to your destination. Each cab also has a name printed on the door and a number, like ZARA 40 or Livorno 23, this way if anything should happen the taxi company knows when and where you were picked up and where you were left off at what time etc.... Taxis are white and big and spacious, so 3 to 4 passengers can ride easily without feeling like sardines.

The distance we covered yesterday was about 7 Km in Rome from the North to the South of the city. I had never heard of the street FONTEIANA and the office was in front of the Basilica of Saint Pancras where the Carmelites have their main office.
Because this is the beginning of summer time vacation, Rome is starting to feel empty, little traffic and few people around, many shops have now close for 5 to 6 weeks while everyone is on vacation. Remember in Europe, Europeans enjoy on average 4 to 8 weeks of vacation annually, beats the silly North American version of 2 weeks tops.
The driver heard me tell him where we wanted to go and off we where, no fuss and we arrived at our destination in about 15 minutes. Usually during a normal time of year, it can take up to 45 minutes to get this far on the other side of town.

What we did not realize is how beautiful the area is and the views of Rome from the Janiculum are impressive. There is also a feel on that side of the river of being in the countryside, you are not in Rome in some fashion. The ride over and back was very nice, Rome has views and more views, scenic Piazzas and monuments, fountains, ruins, great parks all evocative of its history and the families who shaped the city. We will have to return to the Janiculum and the Villa Doria Pamphilij.


  1. I imgine one could spend a lifetime in Rome,and never really get to take in all of the history,and scenic beauty.
    Still,it's well worth trying.

  2. indeed it is well worth seeing or trying to see it all.