Have you ever been on a metro where you don’t have to hold on to anything because the sheer volume of sweaty, smelly bodies around you means that it’s impossible to breathe, let alone fall over?
I have. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people in my personal space at one time before. It is not an experience I want to repeat.
It was an experience that inspired this post. I am not yet an expert on Rome, but since I used to get the metro at least twice a day, I do feel that I am in a position to give advice to the Roman metro virgin.
7 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE METRO
1. The metro is not complicated. Consider, if you will:
The London Underground
The Roman Metro
Simple, right? This does mean, however, that the lines only cross in one place: Termini. This is also Rome’s main station, with hundreds of national and international trains arriving and departing every day. Good luck to she who has to change at Termini during rush hour (aka ME).
2. Don’t expect ‘the nearest stop’ to wherever you want to go to actually be near anything. The coverage of the Centro Storico in particular is pitiful.
3. Don’t expect Line C to open any time soon, or ever. It was originally due to be finished in 2000. Enough said.*
*edit: since I wrote this, part of line C has actually opened. Never say never.
4. If the train is crowded (which it will be) and you’re getting off at the next stop, you must start to make your way towards the doors as soon as possible. You must also loudly ask everyone around you if they’re getting off at the next stop too, not because you’re interested in their lives but because you must let it be known that you are getting off and they need to get out of your way.
5. Do not expect people to let you get off the metro before they start getting on. This is an English thing, so you can expect much loud tutting from English tourists.
6. Do not expect the train to stop moving before the doors open. No time for that, since the trains are always late anyway.
7. The metro is sassy.
Good luck, tourists. I salute you.
Until next time,