By: Susan Gerle

While vacationing in Europe, we were warned by seasoned travellers to pay attention to the people around us at all times. Pickpockets will especially target women and it is necessary to be aware of what is happening. The main Termini (railway station) in Rome, Italy is an active area for pickpockets.

We had just arrived from Greece and we were trying to determine the best way to get to our hotel. Two of us watched the bags while the others went in search of information. It wasn’t long before we noticed a couple of men approaching us. We looked them directly in the eye and let them know we knew they were there and they backed off.

Shortly after that incident we were outside of the train station waiting for a taxi. A group of gypsies were standing near the entrance with a couple of the cutest black and white puppies any of us had ever seen. Automatic reaction?

“Oh, what a cute little puppy. I want to pet him!” (Our whole group were all suckers for dogs!) It wouldn’t have taken long for a good pickpocket to lift a wallet or purse while we were busy “oo”ing and “aw”ing. We managed to avoid the scam once again since we had been pre-warned.

We got settled in the Cristina Hotel, which is situated only 4 blocks from the train station. It had a fantastic old iron grate elevator. It took forever to get to our floor but it was worth the experience every time. Our room also came with a bidet in the bathroom that didn’t get much use! They aren’t very popular in Canada.

Rome, ItalyRome was an excellent place for using public transportation. One of the best deals we found was two days for the price of one on the Hop On, Hop Off Bus. It is often a good deal mid-week and doesn’t have to be booked ahead of time. There were three companies offering specials on double decker busses so we just shopped for the best deal. We took full advantage of the tour too, observing many places and deciding what we really wanted to get off and see. I chose the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain.

You really need at least a week to see and experience the most famous sites in order to really appreciate Rome. We crammed a lot into just three days but it was worth every exhausting minute! We were constantly vigilant too as to the people around us. As a result we had a great holiday with no bad incidences.

About the Author:

Susan Gerle enjoys all her travels and is looking forward to her next trip to Europe in September. The Cristina Hotel can be contacted at The hotel is an easy and safe ten minute walk from the termini.