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June 22, 2005

5 days in the Eternal City

The Travel Channel

After a stressy couple of weeks with exams and moving Carina and I could finally relax on flight SK4713 to Rome! All was set for five hot days with plenty of sights and enjoyment in Italy, but there were almost too many sights to behold. Despite all the splendour it simply got boring to walk through room after room of artworks impressive beyond description, so we squeezed in a day at the beach as well :-)

And if anyone wonders why it is called the Eternal City, I think it must be because you need an eternal amount of patience to see all the sights and if you want to go anywhere using public transportation. Get the full story below.

Pictures and relevant links will be added later, so check back if you are interested!

Day 1: Colusseum, Foro Romano and the Spanish Steps

We landed at Fiumicino airport at ca 11:45, and had to stay there for a while as for some reason all the baggage from our plane took more than an hour to arrive at the delivery band. As we later gathered this is just how things are done in Italy, so if you lack patience for such delays you should consider travelling somewhere else.
At least we eventually got our baggage and got on the Airport Express train for Termini Station, from where we walked to Guy's Paradise, the hostel in which we were staying. We were staying in a hostel to save money and expected the standard to be similar to what we were used to from our travels in AustralAsia, but found the worst place we have ever seen. The rooms were tiny, the only common room was the 12m² reception which also doubled as party-area, breakfast and dinner-hall, internet-room and hallway for some of the rooms. In addition there were no locks on doors or closets and all of the staff consisted of backpacking Americans staying in Rome for a while, and because they did some maintenance in the kitchen ours was the only working bathroom/toilet, so everybody used it despite us having paid extra for having a 8-person dorm with private bathroom! Not exactly much of a paradise there...

Well we didn't want the dissapointment to ruin our vacation, so we just freshened up and hit the streets. First of all we wanted to see the Colusseum! A short walk down from the hostel, and one of the most impressive antique buildings I have seen towered up ahead of us. A stadium of gladiatorial games seating 50.000 spectators on tribunes that could be emptied in less than 20 minutes, all built with bricks and mortar. The view by itself is quite stunning, and walking up the ancient stairs were several inches of stone is worn off by the use of millions of feet throughout the ages, invokes an astounding feeling of awe for the depths of history and what remains of it.
After walking around the Colusseum a couple of times we headed past the Tito's Arch of Triumph on our way to Fora Romano and the Palatino Hill. These are the ruins of the original city centre of ancient Rome, where the ruling class of Rome lived and worked. This is also the site of the Circo Massimo racetrack and the Camidoglio square by Michelangelo. Nearby are todays government bulildings towering over the amazing Piazza Venezia.

After hours of walking around the ruins we then went up Via del Corso, part of the main shopping area in Rome, ending up at Piazza del Popolo, an old stadium and executioner ground now prided with one of the obelisks from Circo Massimo and the St. Maria Church. We were looking for a simple sweater for Carina as it was getting chilly which was near impossible to find as Roman shops only sell t-shirts and tops, but just before closing time we managed to find one anyway. From there we went to see the Spanish Steps and find somewhere to eat, and ended up in a wonderful resturant just up from Piazza Mignanelli (It's the innermost one, be advised that the resturant just before it is really bad.. so pick wisely!). Dinner marked the end of our first night as we after more than 6 hours of walking were dead tired, so we returned once again to our very dissapointing hostel, got even more dissapointed and decided to find somewhere else in the morning.

Day 2: Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Trastevere

Getting up early to find a new place to stay we first checked out the local Radisson, which unlike the ones in Scandiavia was more of a luxury resort way above our budget. With some help from the friendly Hotel-booking assistance at Termini Station we located a cozy B&B called Rodan just next to Trevi Fountain. Quite cheap, well located and with our own spacious room with an ensuite bathroom and airconditioning! We even got the money back despite paying in advance for the hostel, and was relocated before 11 a.m, which despite the dissapointment of our first night left us with almost a full day to enjoy!

Starting out we walked to the nearby Trevi Fountain, an amazingly sculptured building by Bernini featured in the movie "La Dolce Vita", and widely known as the most romantic place in Rome. Legend has it that if you throw a single coin into the fountain over your right shoulder with your left hand, you are destined to return to Rome again.
From there we continued down the narrow streets to the Pantheon. A temple turned church that is the largest masonry dome ever constructed. From the outside it is an immense structure, while inside is is simply amazing! Words and pictures cannot describe it, so I won't even try. Go and have a look for yourselves!

Onward we walked to the Piazza Navona for lunch, were we just got seated before a rainstorm as bad as those in Brisbane was thundering down upon us. It was so bad we even got wet under the shades and had to move inside, and then it even started to hail! Even after an hour we had to buy an umbrella to be able to leave without getting soaked, as the beautiful weather earlier in the morning had us leave ours at home. The great weather and soaring temperatures during the day also spurred us to get lots of Gelato from the Gelaterias you find everywhere in Italy. Their famous and delicous ice-cream in countless variants are the perfect snack for hot days!
After lunch we passed by Campo De' Fiori on our way over the river Tiber to Trastevere, Romes artistic suburb and the first settled area on the east bank of the river. We didn't find it as exciting as the guidebook-writers, so after walking around a bit we returned to our room and went out for dinner at the Chanti, an excellent resturant in Via in Arcioni just by the Trevi Fountain, famous for the Chanti range of wines.

Day 3: San Pietro Cathedral and Piazza del Popolo

First in the morning we tried to find out how to get to Terracina for some beachlife, but as the italians employed to help people at various information-desks were completely unwilling to provide even the simplest of facts, and everybody else was clueless noon passed before we got anywhere, so we decided to visit the Vatican instead. A short taxi-ride later we were walking across the Piazza San Pietro and into the famous Basilika by the same name. After a security check at the "border" to the only country in the world owned by a religion, we entered the most amazing bulding I have ever seen. Despite the amazement of viewing the Pantheon this was a thousand times more stunning! Hall after hall of grand domes and amazing statues, with every inch of the walls, floors and ceilings covered by intricate patterns, paintings and carvings. The main dome also by Michelangelo towers more than 120 meters above the floor and is indescribeable. After walking through the cathedral itself we climed 360 steps of steep and narrow staircases to a lookout point at the top of the dome itself for an amazing view of Rome, which was plain boring compared to the internal view of the dome itself, looking down upon the ant-sized people at the floor some one-hundred meters below us. Again words are simply not sufficient to describe the magnificence and scale of everything, so if you ever have a chance, GO THERE!

After a few hours of wonder and amazement we returned to our hostel to freshen up for dinner. First we planned to see a 4D movie of Rome's History called the "Time Elevator" advertised on the official city-maps, but it appeared to have gone out of business as it was closed when we found the entrance, so we just went straight on to get dinner instead. The old fashioned pizzeria called La Bafetto (Via del Governo Vecchio 14), supposed to be one of the few places italians will actually queue up to get a table, was recommended to us. As expected there was quite a queue even with us arriving early, but beeing only 2 people helped get us a table after just 30 minutes. It seems that the warning about queuing wasn't just talk as even then we skipped most of the line. To eat we started with a simple but good Caprese salad, an italian specialty with tomatoes and mozzarella chesse in oil. Afterwards we had a perfect italian pizza that was absolutely delicious, so if you are ever in Rome I highly reccommend that you eat there (just go early)!
Walking home we stopped by the Supperclub Rome. Sister to the quite famous Amsterdam Supperclub, and quite hard to find, we had to stop by since we were in the area. It is quite a special place that typically caters to an artistic and somewhat excentric audience, but still an experience to visit. I belive that to spend an evening there would be something quite out of the ordinary.

Day 4: The Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel

Again we planned to spend today at the beach, but as we discovered that the Sistine Chapel was located in the Vatican Museum that were to be closed on sundays, we had to change our plans and make this visit instead. We had not been able to do this yesterday as the museum closes quite early at 15:00, and we did not know of its existence or whereabouts until after this time.
So we headed back to the Vatican, and was greeted by a line of people going halfway around the city walls. Luckily we had time to buy some food and water for under the baking sun half a dozen people collapsed while waiting in line just during the hour and a half we waited to get inside. Once inside everything again was simply amazing. Room after room after room, all covered in paintings, carvings, statues and relics. It is along with the San Pietro Basilica supposed to be the most pompous display of wealth in the world, and I have no trouble believing that. There is actually so much of it that it gets boring! Even as we took the shortest route through the museum it took us a good 3 hours to walk through, and it was probably a dozen times we were convinced that this room was the Sistine Chapel, only to find a sign saying it was further along, so when we finally got there it was actually dissapointing. It was more or less just a large square room with Michelangelos paintings covering the walls and ceiling, with none of the other works of art seen elsewhere. Also we were getting tired and couldn't really care less about another room to marvelous to describe, as we had probably seen several acres of wonderous wealth already. It is hard to imagine that such a display could ever exist, and even harder to believe that it was created during the dark ages.

With aching feet from all the waiting and the long walks, we skipped the Castel San Angelo where the popes used to hide away during invasions, and returned to our room early. For dinner we went to the resturant next to the one visited on Day 1 close to the Spanish Steps, which was absolute crap in comparison. The waiters were slow and unwelcoming, and the food appeared to have been microwaved, so you really should avoid this place.

Day 5: Beachlife at Terracina

Trying again, we finally got out of Rome and was headed for Terracina. There of course was some more troubles as noone was interested in telling us anything of how, where and when you could get to a beach, but eventually we found ourselfs on a train headed for one of the better beaches to be found near Rome. The last bit had to be traveled by bus, but we finally got some hours in the sun, and thanks to the heatwave going over Europe this summer there was more than enough of it. With more than 30 degrees centigrade it was great to cool off in the ocean from time to time, but as usual with us Norwegians we couldn't avoid the usual sunburn.
I guess we are both spoiled from our years in Australia, because the beach was OK, but nothing special at all. Also there were quite too many people there, mostly Italians beeing their rude self kicking sand everywhere, but it was nice to calm down a day anyhow. Returning to Rome there again was problems with the transportation, this time not because nobody were interested in helping, but because not a single soul neither spoke much english nor knew anything about the buses. From a waiter we gathered that the town was so small that they did not know where or when the bus to Rome left, which honestly doesn't make any sense, but after a good hour of asking around and dechiphering sign-language we found the right spot and was eventually picked up by a delayed bus. We probably rode illegaly as well since they don't sell tickets on public transports in Italy, and nobody could explain where else they could be bought, except from a closed kiosk. But the bus-driver didn't seem to care if we had tickets or not so we got a ride to the trainstation anyway, and we had been smart enough to buy return-trip tickets for the train. A good advice from all of this is that you should really not be in a hurry if you want to go anywhere in Italy, and your expectations should not be much higher than if you were travelling in rural South-America, even at Termini Station in Rome. Not fitting for a major European country in my opinion, but I guess that just the Italian way.

To celebrate our last night in Rome we decided to go to a really good resturant and enjoy ourselves royally. However more dissapointment ensued when we found out that one after another of the resturants we tried were closed on sundays. In the end we located the Bierreria Viennese, a beer-house from Wien, where we had a genuine Transilvanian wooden platter, with plenty of meat, rice, vegetables and fries. After all the pizza and pasta the last couple of days it was great to have a good solid meal again, but we probably left a quarter of the food as there were *lots* of it. Naturally we had no room for dessert and had a cozy stroll home through the italian night, before packing our bags to leave in the morning.

The trip home:

Getting up and getting dressed, taking a taxi to Termini and the Airport Express back to Fiumicino. It was all quite eventless except the fact that nobody wanted us to pay with creditcard. Before leaving we stopped by a small grocery store to get some last minute souverniers and lunch, and both there and in the taxi they kept bugging us about cash and why we didn't have any before finally accepting our cards. Again I was puzzled of how backwards and old fashioned Italy appears, especially in matters taken for granted in most of the western world. More souverniers were bought at the airport taxfree-stores, where we found a 3-pack of Chanti-wine for just €15. Also we had to get a bottle of the Lemon Liquor specialty of Italy, and I really wanted to get some Prosciutto di Parma, a luxury ham, but the price was a bit too stiff for a student budget beeing €20 for a 200g box. It's just meat after all...

Back in Norway we enjoyed the more liveable temperatures of around 23°C, which was good as we had to start packing Carina's furniture to bring to our new apartment in Trondheim. Plenty of work but we're finally back and is finally getting settled, ready for working a full summer together in Trondheim for the first time. I don't think things could be any better now!

Missed Attractions

Rome has so much to offer so it is almost impossible to cover everything in just a few days. Also much of it is very similar so it would get boring trying to run around and see everything, and it all would then just becomes a blur.

    However, of the things I would have liked a chance to see are the following:
  • Villa Borghese and the Borghese Museum
  • The papal toombs of the Vatican (Sacro Grotte Vaticane)
  • Castel Sant' Angelo
  • Isola Tibernia and the Ponte Cestio
  • Via Appia Antica with the Catacombs and the San Sebastino Museum.


My dear,
it's nice to hear that you consider Italy worst than South American countries... this because they don't accept your credit cards or because local people does not speak english.....
By the way during my trip in Norway in 2001 was impossible to use my Visa Electron that was currently used everywhere else in Europe since 1998! But it's only a detail...
Be careful when you say that italians do not speak english, try to go in Spain, France, Germany or east Europe.... even in Norway people is not so friendly with english specially in the north part.
Just to remember that the Mediterraneum is a SEA not an OCEAN....... but may be they don't teach this in Norway at school ;)
Finally three suggestions:
When you've made the free ride on a bus because you could not find a place where to buy a ticket, you could have bought and paid the ticket when you arrived back to Rome it would let you to fell more honest! ;)
When planning an holiday in Rome you should know that it's not possible to see everything in few days, that mean you will be tired and not able to enjoy your holiday....
Finally don't buy things in the airports, never! It costs double, akso kids know this!!!
You could have bought your Prosciutto very cheap in a local supermarket in Rome. Be smarter next time ;)

Finally if Rome was expensive city.... we want to talk of Oslo??? or Norway in general???

You are welcome back in Italy, the only thing.... try to do not be so rude, my dear norwegian.

Posted by: claudio at November 7, 2005 12:43 PM

It appears that you have not understood my entry completely.

You take offense that I compare Italy to South-America, but you misunderstand and belive it is because of credit-cards and low-english fluency. You shouldn't criticise what you don't understand properly, because the comparison was for transportation only! It wasn't even that they didn't accept my creditcards, It was only that they preferred cash and made a big deal out of it. Elsewhere merchants tend to accept the form of payment that the customer offers without asking for something else.

About Visa Electron-cards I had one of those myself from 1995 - 1999 and it works perfectly in Norway. Perhaps you tried using it on offline terminals where it is not supported anywhere you go?

If you have read the rest of my site you will see that I have visited both Spain, France, Germany and parts of Eastern Europe as well, and nowhere was the lacking knowledge of english even close to what I experienced in Terracina. But you seem to belive that I think no Italians speak english, which again is wrong and contrary to what I have written. In the city of Rome we didn't have any more problems beeing understood than in any other countries I've visited.
Then you complain about people not speaking english in the northern part of Norway, well I am from the northern part myself and while fluence varies like any other skill, most people understand it. In my experience Norwegians are one of the peoples that are most respected for speaking english fluently by people that use english as a first languge, for instance in Australia or the United States. However based on the grammar and content in your comment I can understand that you might have problems understanding spoken english as you obviously don't know english very well yourself.

So you think you are better at english than me, and try to correct me on my use of "ocean" when we went swimming in the Mediterranean Sea? If you check you will see that "ocean" is a common term for all of the sea-water on earth. Thus when I said that we went swimming in the ocean this means only that we were swimming in some unspecified part of any of the waters of the world, which the Mediterranean obviously is included in. That it was specifically in the Mediterranean Sea can be deduced by our location ofTerracina at the time and was not stated specifically.

The bus we took wasn't to Rome, it was to a train-station from where we took the train to Rome. There was no place to buy tickets on either end of the busline, so we couldn't buy it when we departed the bus even if we had wanted to! Luckily we did have return-tickets on the train that we had bought in advance. Again, if you had understood what I was writing you would have noticed that we travelled by train back to Rome, and not by bus...

I am very well aware that it is not possible to see everything that Rome has to offer in only a few days. Could you point out where in my text I imply that I didn't? I am merely stating that if we had more time in Rome there are a range of sights that I would have liked to visit in addition to those we did.

That things should never be bought at airports because they are more expensive might be true in Italy, but this is aboslutely not true for the rest of the world. Many countries, including Norway, have special tax-free sales at the airports which make many specialty goods a lot cheaper there than in a normal store. It appears however that your knowledge is on the level of uninformed kids, so I guess you are excused. We did want to buy proscuttio in a supermarket, but as mentioned above there is too much to do in Rome when you just have a few days, so we simply did not find the time to locate and visit a supermarket.

And nowhere have I claimed that Rome is an expensive city compared to Oslo. It is more expensive than in rural areas, but this is true for any larger city. I beg you to please read and try to understand what you read before you send any more "critical" comments like this one. This only makes you look stupid in front of everyone that reads it.

Thank you for the invitation to return, and please try to be less rude yourself. Perhaps you should also ask other Italians to be less rude, especially on the beach as it is not a lot of fun to get covered in sand every 10 minutes when you are tanning.


Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 8, 2005 12:08 PM

My dear,
when someone produce an answer like you we usuallly say "you are trying to climb the mirrors" it is a way to say that you are trying to justify yourself anyway.....
In your answer you are showing that you are really rude.
I know english enough to understand all the stuff you write in this place.... believe me.
I was in northen norway and It was difficult to find someone that was speaking english, but I wasn't upset of that because I understood that I was in small villages so I did not pretend they knew english.... that's why I think it's stupid to pretend that in Terracina they should speak it! If you don't know it's a village of fishermen, it is populated with tourists (mainly italian) only in the summer. May be you understand now!

My little norwegian, It's clearly written that you've taken a free ride on the bus from the beach to the train station.... that was I meant.... don't try to change the reality! Next time buy a ticket to refund the bus service!

I never said that I'm better in english than you, I've said only that you don't know the difference between an ocean and a sea..... and you have confirmed it with your answer... don't be ridicule, please... No one would call the mediterraneum an ocean.... everybody knows that it's a sea almost closed.... It's not a matter of knowledge of english, it is a matter of knowledge in general!

You know, my dear, if you have a blog like this you have to accept osservations on what you write, specially if you are rude and try to show to everybody that you norwegian are the best... Unfortunately for you, civilization started from places like the Mediterraneum..... but you don't know this... you know only to be rude and superficial.

Learn to live before travel!

Posted by: claudio at November 10, 2005 8:27 AM

So because your comment clearly shows a complete lack of understanding of what I actually wrote, then I am only attempting to "justify myself" when I point out the errors you have made in your comment? You can't ignore reality just because you wanted me to be very critical of Italy in general and try your best to make me look bad. Anyone can see that your claims are unfounded, so if you really did completely understand what I wrote, then how could you write a comment with some many both factual and grammatical errors?

Nowhere have I implied that they SHOULD speak english in Terracina. I only commented on the fact that noone we met did, and that this made it difficult for us to get where we wanted to be. This is actually quite common when travelling, and is something other travellers is happy to be notified of so that they can take any required measures to avoid the troubles we had. Anyone that considers these remarks to be critical or negative to Italy must obviously be extremely nationalist and protective of their country, and so does the way your entry seem to imply that I shouldn't make such comments about Italy. The facts doesn't change just because you want to prevent people from talking about it... and luckily you can't.

Talking down to me by using terms like "my little norwegian" has no place in a serious discourse, and only gives further indication that you are trying to discredit me because you don't like my statements. However using such tactics only makes you look bad yourself, so a friendly tip is to drop it in the future if you would like to be taken seriously.

About the "free bus-ride" it happened with the blessings of the driver. If the company wanted the money for our fare then the driver could have collected them the way it is done in most other countries. Since he didn't want to collect any money nor see the tickets and still let us on the bus, and since we checked for places where we could buy tickets both before embarking and after dembarkation we have taken all the measures that can be expected of us to comply with the law, so I don't feel any remorse for the trip. A general rule for this both in Norway and Australia (and probably most other places) is that when no legal means of using public transport are available, like when ticket-venders are closed or out of order, then you can ride for free. The principle is that you shouldn't be expected to go to great lengths to pay a fare when the transportation company doesn't provide any reasonable way for you to pay it, but perhaps things work differently in Italy? If they do then it wasn't mentioned in any of our guidebooks, so you really might want to tell more people about it instead of implying that people are freeloading.

As I have already explained by using defintions from a commonly accepted source I know perfectly well the difference between an ocean and a sea. However you apparently didn't even check my quoted sources as you still argue this, despite the fact that you are even talking about the wrong sea, because as far as I know the body of water outside of Rome is called the Tyrrhenian Sea. If we go back to for the definition of Sea we find "1: a division of an ocean or a large body of salt water partially enclosed by land." Meaning that a sea is part of an ocean, so the term "go swimming in the ocean" is perfectly valid if used about any sea as well. In addtition this means that the Mediterranen Sea is also an ocean, despite the name. I would really like to see some sources from you that can back up your claim that this is not correct english instead of your clueless arguing. And about the difference between oceans and seas beeing general knowledge, in Norwegian there is no distinction between a sea and an ocean as we use the same word for both of them. This means that it can't be general knowledge that there is a difference, because there isn't one everywhere!

Then after accusing me of beeing rude, you imply that I do not accept observations on what I write. However it is quite obvious to anyone that can read that I in fact DO accept any obervations that may come in my blog. If I didn't then you probably wouldn't find your entry here anymore now would you? If I didn't want the truth to be seen I could simply delete all your comments...

Can you give an example of how I am beeing rude in my blog? As far as I can see I am merely describing how I experienced Italy myself, and I find it hard to see how my own subjective experiences can be rude in any way. The only thing that could be rude about it is the behaviour of Italians that caused the experience I had. However I have probably been somewhat rude in the comments here, but then again so have you, so that makes us kinda even don't you think?
Another baseless accusation from you is that I claim Norwegians to be better than everyone else, however I have done nothing of the kind which anyone can see by reading my post, so this too appears to come purely from your own glorification of Italy through your own nationalism. I on the other hand recognize that most countries have both good and bad sides to them, and Norway isn't any different from the rest in this regard. There are plenty of bad sides about Norway that I would like to see corrected, so I am in my full right to point out any flaws that I percieve in other countries that I visit. Perhaps you didn't read my most recent and highly critical post about my visit to a chocolate factory in Norway?
Even worse than your ignorance of obvious facts you then start talking about the origins of civilization, which frankly doesn't make any sense at all. However much civilization may have started in the areas around the Mediterranean it didn't start in Italy, and this does in no way make your country and culture any more worth than the cultures of countries were civilization did not start. I also do not see how this is unfortunate for me in any way, perhaps you could explain this? Does my word matter any less because of this?
Following this train of thought we know that the dawn of mankind is belived to be somewhere in the middle of Africa. Does this make Africans qualified to be the supreme rulers of mankind? Such stupid comments only show your incompetence and intention to argue baseless accusations all to well, so unless you can prove your points by referring to actual sentences in my entry or through credible references I will give no more heed to your ramblings.

I know very well how to live thank you, but you yourself might consider learning english a little better before making any more stupid comments on things you don't understand.


Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 10, 2005 1:44 PM

I've read yor email just now coming back from a trip, so I couldn't reply....
It is starting to be very heavy... so let's close it now.
My dear it is evident that you don't accept any kind of observation on what you pretend to write and say on this blog.
If I say that your considerations looked a bit rude, you have to accept it because that looked like to me and may be to other.
It would be nice to hear comments from someone else about your post... but may be it's not possible.
Than, all the things I've written about civilization, the ocean/sea, the tickets.... it was just a funny way to comments about your post, don't take it personally ;)
Anyway remember that, in all funny things there is always a little truth.... ;)
Try to do not take life (and specially this blog) too seriously....

With Best Regards

Posted by: claudio at November 24, 2005 10:34 AM

hallo ! i'm an italian man living and working
in Oslo from 1998. Unfortunatly i must agree with Claudio about norwegians : mostly of them are very rude and they don't know how to behave specially when they meet somebody who is not conformed to their "culture"....ciao fra Oslo

Posted by: Sergio at November 24, 2005 1:47 PM

Well a lot of people could say the same thing about Italians. Maybe you have this view because you do not understand Norwegian culture, or perhaps you have just been socialising with the wrong people. This however has nothing to do with my entry, which only mentions rudeness related to the fact that every single person that walked by us on the beach managed to cover us in sand. To me this shows a lack of respect for the other people on the beach, including other italians, unless this is accepted as good behaviour in Italy? Please enlighten me if it is.

I still do not see any kind of facts backing up your claims. Instead you are just using more degrading discussion-techniques to switch the subject away from the fact that you were wrong. An apology would be in place here, not some lame excuses that you only were making a bad joke.
To me it appears that it is you who are taking this blog too seriously, but that could be just a matter of perspective.
And again, I accept any observations that you'd care to bring, but I reserve the right to respond when you mostly bring baseless accusations against me and credit me with false statements.

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 24, 2005 2:36 PM


Posted by: Sergio at November 24, 2005 3:03 PM

Well, well i have to admitt that Svein-Magnus likes to talk. I will apologize with you, Svein-Magnus for my english. It was much better before. In the last four years i had to learn norwegian to find a job and for that reason i haven't practice my english continuously. That means that i have forgotten quite a lot of it. But i hope you will understand me. Dear Magnus you and all norwegians have to finish to think that Norway is best. Because it is simply not true. Norwegians have been a very nice people, and that was when they were less rich and therfore less arrogant. You didn't have much. Just some fish. But you were kindly and warm, helpfull and umble. But what has happen to you? You have been coping from us: the way you eat, the way you dress. The taste. You are still a little bit behind us when it concerns the colour of your socks under a black suite. White is not the right one. But then you have come to Italy to learn about history, architecture and art. You saw how Venice was build up, and how many things you can find in Rome. You experienced the sun and the warm people that don' t speak english as fluently as norwegian, but that will help you to find your way (they will use body løanguage, thing that you are not able to do). You experienced that there is too much traffic in Italy. That is why public transport is often sometimes late, my dear. Other times transport is much more precise than in Oslo. Take a trip in nord of Italy. In Oslo public transport is late as well, and without excuse. Here, there is not much traffic compared the one you can find in Rome. One day you started to travel and enjoy Italy. You were very false with people there, and very rude when you came back to your country. You don't focus on the thousands good things you find in probably the most beautifull country in the World (it's not only me that say it) but only on things that doesn't work properly. But there is a reason for all, dear Magnus. In Italy there are 12 times more people than in Norway. And a family with 12 members is most difficult to take care of compared to a family with only one person. And we don't have the oil. We have the fantasy, the strenght to kick your ass out of the Fotball World Championship, for eksample. We have Ferrari, fashion, culture, food and thousands others things that you can only drim on. But you have oil and fish. What we have has been made of people, what you have has been given to you by nature, and gratis. But it does't matter. We will be always better than you. That is why your women come to Italy to be fucked by us, for example. That is why you come in Italy to drink good wine for a fair price. That is way my dear. And believe me: I can write you a book om such things. I have respect for other cultures and i am gratefull to Norway that is given me job. A good job. I am very higly educated and i earn good money. But your doctors are ignorante and your educational system is sucks. You have been to liberal, don't respect old people, and you became razist. The family are splitting up and there is a subtile war between men and women. By the way: Your women don't manage to be good mothers, good wife, good workers in carrier and good person at the same time. Can you tell them, please? Now you have Julebord (Cena di Natale)
. Get drank with your ladies that are so feminin.. and forget about Italy. Pirla!

Posted by: lupo solitario at November 24, 2005 4:14 PM

At least someone that appears to have a little bit of sense, but unfortunatly you also completely miss the point.
This has NOTHING to do with Norway and Norwegians beeing better than anyone else, or with Italy beeing a bad country.

I have simply written a subjective description of how I experienced Italy, and if you actually take the time to read the whole thing you will find that most of it by far is only positive and good things!
This is more or less equal to all the other travel-descriptions I have written on this site, concerning both Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and plenty of other places. If things aren't perfect then I won't pretend that they were, just like I'm equally harsh with destinations in Norway as I am with foreign countries.

Japan has a ton more traffic and people than the little place you love so much, and if there was one thing in japan that worked, it was public transportation. So just lay off your puny excuses and try improving your own country instead. You are far from perfect, despite thinking very highly of yourselves which is something Norwegians usually don't.

And please fucking quit with the "we are better than you" nationalist bullshit.
If you actually were better than us then you would easily have made a better country despite not having oil, but you just drown in your own corruption instead.
Just for your information, most Norwegian girls visit Greece and Spain during their holidays, not Italy, and the lover thing is just a myth. International studies show that you rank far behind the northern countries in intimate satisfaction, but you don't really care about facts as long as you can hail Italy, do you?
There are lots of countries that are plenty better than Italy despite having both more people and less resources. And btw we have beaten you in the football world championships before as well, so that doesn't really prove anything even if it was important.

If your own country is so perfect and you are so much better than us, why do you even come to Norway? Why do you bother fucking Norwegian girls? You call us racists but you are the ones that talk down on other nationalities and claim that you yourself are superior to us. What does this make you?

Usually this is called bigotry, and your postings here has tainted my image of Italians as pompous nationalist bastards a hundred times more than anything I experienced in Italy. You just fucked up if you were trying to convince me that Italy was actually a nice place.

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 24, 2005 4:48 PM

dear Svein-Magnus, i think you should
travel til Syden with Star Tour or Ving next time
so you can "gå på fylla" and be happy after your norwegian-standard vacation. Cultural big cities takes too many energies for a person that is used to live
in the "koselig Norge". :)

Posted by: Sergio at November 25, 2005 8:14 AM

My dear,
I see that the discussion has start to grow, thankfully someone else is giving his opinion, I would like to hear also some Norwegian, but I don’t want to lose the focus about why the discussion has started, that it was really far from Italy vs Norway.
Because you seem to do not understand, I want to make clear why I was making observation and consideration on your post…..

Quoting your post:
“We landed at Fiumicino airport at ca 11:45, and had to stay there for a while as for some reason all the baggage from our plane took more than an hour to arrive at the delivery band. As we later gathered this is just how things are done in Italy, so if you lack patience for such delays you should consider travelling somewhere else.”

Well, at Fiumicino there are an average of 300.000 flights per year (that is almost 800 flights per day!) and 35.000.000 passengers travelling every year…. I know it’s annoying to wait your luggage, but situation is not that different in Paris Charles de Gaulle, in Amsterdam, in London Heathrow and in all the big Hub in the world…. surely in Oslo is better but may be there is less flights, don’t you think?
So to your consideration that if you don’t want to wait you have to travel elsewhere…. you should add try to avoid all the big Hubs…. and THIS IS NOT “just how things are done in Italy” don’t you think?
That’s why this consideration looked to me a bit rude.

Quoting your post:
“A good advice from all of this is that you should really not be in a hurry if you want to go anywhere in Italy, and your expectations should not be much higher than if you were travelling in rural South-America, even at Termini Station in Rome. Not fitting for a major European country in my opinion, but I guess that just the Italian way.”

Well, first of all the place you were, Terracina, is 90 km far from Rome, and it’s not properly the beach where romans goes to have a a day at the sea, they usually go to Ostia, 20 km far from Rome and connected from the center with a metro, with only 25 minutes of trip. But you choose to go to Terracina, then don’t bless the public transport…. It is a place that people approach by car usually, the bus you took was probably from Formia train station to Terracina, it is a bus for workers during the working days of the week not properly for tourist going to the beach…. then it was Sunday when you went there, that’s why the kiosk was closed. So when you plan things next time try to think better…. don’t trust some travel guide book.
Don’t bless the public transportation if you are ignorant about the place you are going, and although the public transportation is a bit chaotic in Rome (but as Lupo Solitario said, the traffic and million of people makes things very complicated) I’ve seen your comment very rude, selfish and not true, comparing ALL ITALY to “rural South-America” don’t you think?

Quoting your post:
“Getting up and getting dressed, taking a taxi to Termini and the Airport Express back to Fiumicino. It was all quite eventless except the fact that nobody wanted us to pay with creditcard. Before leaving we stopped by a small grocery store to get some last minute souverniers and lunch, and both there and in the taxi they kept bugging us about cash and why we didn't have any before finally accepting our cards. Again I was puzzled of how backwards and old fashioned Italy appears, especially in matters taken for granted in most of the western world.”

Again, the taxi driver was reluctant to accept credit cards, but it happens almost everywhere in Europe, as my experience tell about taxi in France, Spain, Greece and even in Germany…… About the grocery, may be they were reluctant to accept credit card because of the frauds they’ve got from tourists with false credit cards…. but finally they accepted your credit card, so don’t bother and say that “how backwards and old fashioned Italy appears” it looks very rude, don’t you think?

Quoting your post:
“and I really wanted to get some Prosciutto di Parma, a luxury ham, but the price was a bit too stiff for a student budget beeing €20 for a 200g box. It's just meat after all...”

Finally a suggestion, you could have bought your Prosciutto di Parma in a local supermarket in Rome city, instead that in the airport, it would have been very cheap. This is valid for all products because the “duty free” shops are not anymore duty free, if you are travelling in the European Terminal of the airports, with Euro and the EU agreements there are no more these tax discounts in the Intra-European Flight Terminals.
You can get still tax discounts in the Extra-European Terminals (for flights to America, Asia…) that in Fiumicino is the Terminal C. Remember these tips, it could be useful…..

That’s why the “story” started, only because some of your comments looked very rude. And if you let me, I wanted to reply, not because I’m a nationalist…… It’s funny because if there is a not nationalist people those are the Italians…… so please accept that if someone feels touched about falsity and rudeness can reply to you!

Posted by: claudio at November 25, 2005 10:07 AM

Thank you Claudio! Finally a sensible reply. Had you been this orderly about things from the beginning we could have avoided this argument, but I still disagree with you.

You claim that because Fiumicino are such a large airport then it is common with delays as long as an hour to get the luggage in from the plan, and that this is valid in all major hubs as well. As I have already told you I am quite well travelled, and have not had any similar experiences neither in London, Paris, Hamburg, New York, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore or Sydney. Major hubs wouldn't you say? Some places they even were so efficient that the luggage had been removed from the band before we even got there, meaning in less than 10 minutes. This is why I were a bit confused with the delays in Rome, but if you read my text again you will see that I am not negative to Rome or Italy, just happy that things work out even if they take some time. I was on vacation after all and then I usually don't sweat it over minor issues, but it is something to be aware of if you are travelling to Rome in other errands or if you hate delays.

The distance to Terracina can hardly be an issue here, and we were actually reccomended to go there instead of Ostia by the Tourist Information at Termini because it were supposed to be a lot prettier there. And a bus meant for workers on a sunday? Please, even in Italy they must know that buses can be stopped on holidays. Obviously the bus travels on sundays because of people going to the beach, and then it is just silly to not provide anywhere to buy tickets.

That taxis are reluctant to accept credit cards I can understand due to the extra time required, but what puzzled me was that when we offered to pay with creditcard he asked several times before accepting, and the same happened in the store just 10 minutes earlier. Normally in a service-business you try to make your customers happy and not bug them, but this is not what happened. Asking for cash once is fine, asking five times is a hassle. If we had cash we would have told them the first time!

About the Ham, yes I could have bought it in a supermarket, but as I told you before we did not have the time to do this while we did have some extra time on the airport. This is why I looked at Ham in the "duty-free" shops that are not duty-free, and even if ham may be cheaper elsewhere, this doesn't change the fact that when I looked at the ham at the airport, it was too expensive for a student budget. I really don't see how that can be rude to Italy and Italians. Students usually don't have a lot of money, so there are many things we cannot buy because they are too expensive, both in Norway and in Italy.

As you can see, my comments weren't especially rude, they just state how I as a single person experienced my trip to Rome. It was a bit different than my other travels, but still a great trip! However not everything was perfect, and it is in no way rude to mention this, just like I mention most of the bad things about all other destinations I visit.

I can admit that you yourself were not very nationalist in your statements, it was just an observation on what appeared to motivate you. Other Italians who have posted here on the other hand are obviously very nationalist with their claims, so saying that Italians aren't a very nationalist people gets sort of moot here, as obviously some of them are!

Thank you for a good discourse!

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 25, 2005 11:08 AM


If you Italian guys are so stuck-up and in love with yourselves that you think Norwegian girls come to Italy to fuck Italian guys!! DREAM ON!!

I am a Norwegian girl and I woulden't fuck an Italian guy even if someone paid me!! Most Norwegian girls don't want to fuck Italian, Greek or Spanish guys because we think of you as sleazy and pestering. Norwegian and Swedish girls travel to Mediterranean destinations to meet(fuck) other Scandinavian guys. I've been traveling around the world and Norwegian, Swedish and Danish boys are the most handsome, most polite and THEY RESPECT WOMEN!!!! Which you don't!!! Of course we can be good mothers, work hard and be a good person at the same time! I have to ask: Lupo Solitario, little uneducated sleazy Italian, do you know that this is 2005 (soon 2006) and not the 1950's????????

Grow up and learn to RESPECT women!!!

Posted by: IdaCamilla at November 25, 2005 11:46 AM

ti Ida Camilla :

Grow up and learn to RESPECT men !!!
i dont like neither you sleazy and pestering razzist norska dama, russians and
polish women are more beautiful and sensible than you :P

Posted by: Sergio at November 25, 2005 12:57 PM

Well, well, well.... Yet another comment by an Italian who has not read or understood the comment!

I never implied that I don't respect men! I do respect men who respect women and according to one of your fellow country men; Italians do not respect women!
As Lupo Solitario wrote: "The family are splitting up and there is a subtile war between men and women. By the way: Your women don't manage to be good mothers, good wife, good workers in carrier and good person at the same time. Can you tell them, please? Now you have Julebord (Cena di Natale)
. Get drank with your ladies that are so feminin.."

Stick to the real issue her will you, Sergio!!

Calling me a racist shows that you do not know what you are talking about! I never said that I don't like Italian people in general. What I do have a problem with is the way you treat women! And I was not the one who implied that you don't respect women!

Posted by: Ida Camilla at November 25, 2005 1:30 PM

Ida Camilla :
That's a tipical norwegian double morality :
everybody knows that many norwegians girls
go to Egypt or South america to find stallions.
They are just afraid to admit it when they are back to koselig Norge. And you are missing respect
when you call south european "sleazy and pestering". Fortunatly we can meet many other
nationality in Oslo, not only racist norwegian
as you are.

Posted by: Sergio at November 25, 2005 2:20 PM

You're missing the point again and making a complete fool out of yourself!!!

South-American guys are very good looking! And I never said that Norwegian girls don't like them!

What we don't like are sleazy Italian guys with a little to much hair styling which makes their hair look really greasy!

Stick to the point, discontent Italian guy!

Posted by: Ida Camilla at November 25, 2005 2:34 PM

Well, the discussion is going out of control, but as I said it started for other reason.....

Svein-Magnus, I don't understand why you can't admit that your generalization about some bad experience you have done was rude and unfair.

Quoting you again:
"if you want to go ANYWHERE IN ITALY, and your expectations should not be much higher than if you were travelling in rural South-America, even at Termini Station in Rome. Not fitting for a major European country in my opinion, but I guess that just the Italian way.”

"We landed at Fiumicino airport at ca 11:45, and had to stay there for a while as for some reason all the baggage from our plane took more than an hour to arrive at the delivery band. As we later gathered this is just how things ARE DONE IN ITALY"

Is this not a rude generalization???

Please admit that you were a bit superficial.... otherwise I have to think that you are really arrogant.

Posted by: claudio at November 25, 2005 3:03 PM

It seems that you Italians here are very fond of your home country, some of you so much that you are fiercly nationalistic and defensive towards anything that is just barely critical of Italy.
This makes me wonder why none of you actually live in Italy?
As far as I can see two of you live in Norway, one in Germany and one in Finland. (No you are not anonymous online, if you had any such notions)

How can this be when you dislike us so much and have nothing but good things to say about Italy? Shouldn't you move home and get a job there instead of living abroad, when everything is so much better there?

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 25, 2005 3:11 PM

To Ida Camilla :

is not nice again from you insulting "complete full out from your self" and "greasy" ... thats tipical from unpolite isteric norwegian women trying to destroy mens selfconfindence, but i'm sorry for you : it doesnt work. You treat like that your south american stallions. Fortunatly there are many sweety and kind girls from other countries that appreciate italians men.
Bye bye Norska Dama

Posted by: Sergio at November 25, 2005 3:57 PM

I must admit that it is unfair to generalize about all of Italy on the basis of a single event, but if you had understood all of what I wrote you can clearly see that the generalization was something we became aware of -later-.
Meaning after we had experienced the same thing in several different places, so the generalization was based on a series of events that all supported the expectation that while things may be on time in Italy, it might very well not be!

In addition this impression was shared with many other travellers whom we met at the hostel and elsewhere in Rome, and this is also a common view of Italy shared with many other people I have spoken too that have visited or lived in Italy.

Here is a travel site that confirms delays with train-travel in Italy, and problems with strikes. This view is even shared by the OFFICIAL travel-advisors published by other governments! For instance this one from Australia or the travel information page of theNorwegian embassy in Italy.

For the abovementioned reasons it is neither rude nor unfair to characterise Italy as a place where you must expect the occasional delay, because this is simply the truth!

Please take your head out of your ass and look at the facts instead of defending Italy just for the hell of it. With the lack of experience on the world that you portray here you appear like an ignorant person that has never left your home country and seen that the world has more to offer. Your country is not the best in the world (and neither is mine)! Deal with it!

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 25, 2005 4:04 PM

Well Sergio.. it isn't difficult to find girls that appreciate you when you pay to import them from Russia or Africa.
Real respectful men have the trait that they can get girls who actually like them, not just girls who want your money and come to you with hopes of a better life.

Is that why you work in Norway? To afford to import girls from Russia that pretend to like you?
Maybe they even pretend to like you extra much since you can get them cheap flights home to visit their family occasionally...

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 25, 2005 4:17 PM

Hei, I am Italian (even though my nickname refers to a Sami poet) and I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH ALL THE CRITICS MADE BY OTHER ITALIANS TO YOU.
I have also lived in Norway so I know quite well what I am talking about.
I am ashamed to see people so ignorant and I beg you excuse , I please you SveinMagnus and Ida Camilla not to end up thinking that LupoSolitario and the other italians here may be REPRESENTATIVE of the whole italian nation, fortunately we are not all like them...

Some of these people who wrote these unmotivated critics write corrently similar stuff on a forum on the site:

I personally admire Norway for its engagement in democracy and likestilling/(parità uomo/donna).
Of course I know that no country in the earth is bed of roses, even though we too in Italy have a story of femminism fight too, I know that Scandinavian countries for many reasons are far more advanced about this issues than Italy.
But this was not the question of course however.
Gosh, It' s so astonighsly childish hearing these
so self-assured people comparing countries like "Yes our country is better because of this, that and that", and saying racist stuff like the origin of civilization , and that girls go Italy to get fucked, that' s the typical rubbish macho-ethics: the more you fuck the more you are cool...
I have great friends in Norway and found polite and generous people there.
I definitely dissent with all what has been said
about your travel and hope you won' t think Italians are all like these ones who criticised you.

P. S. Please correct if I am wrong, my Norwegian is not so good. maybe the misunderstanding about the word "ocean" was due to the fact that in Norwegian the word "Hav" is used quite deliberately and in all contexts, while in Italian
Language if we say that "fredshavet" is a "mare" (sea) instead of a "oceano" (ocean) people laugh at us 'cause it sounds weird.

Posted by: Valkeapaa at November 25, 2005 5:22 PM

How good to see that there are some sensible Italians online as well! :) It is sad to see such jerks trying to ruin the reputation of an entire people with their mindless jabbering.

And about the ocean I believe you are correct. We only have the word "hav" and thus expect that the words sea and ocean mean the same thing, while this is not so in english and italian.
But of course as my research at showed, using the term "swimming in the ocean" is correct english as long as you are not talking about a river or a lake, even if the water you are swimming in is part of a sea.

Thank you for your support!

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 25, 2005 7:58 PM

to Svein Magnus :

i don't work with such illegal business and
i don't have pregiudices about eastern european
as you have.
Bye Bye Racist Norwegian

Posted by: sergio at November 25, 2005 8:28 PM

Ooh. Did I strike a sore point with you Sergio?
Are you ending the discussion because I got a little bit too close to the truth?

And while we're at it, what part of this make me even slightly predjudicial against eastern europeans?
It was you who claimed to like polish and russian girls so much, and it is a well known fact that there are girls available as "mail order brides" because they are in search of a better life in the West, and that this predominantly applies to eastern-europeans and asians.
Why do you believe that it is predjudicial to mention their searching for happiness and safety in the West? Maybe *you* feel they are less worth because of this, which would explain your reaction. At least I do not, as in my eyes they are simply opportunists trying to better their own lifes with the means they have, just like me and you.
This of course do not apply to mafia-run operations such as illegal human-smuggling where girls are pressured into slavery or prostituion, but since you brought it up for no apparent reason I'm thinking that this might be your cup of tea, in which case I really don't want anything to do with you.

So bye bye to criminal italians.

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 25, 2005 9:17 PM

dear Svein Magnus,

you didn' strike any point with me. My friends
from eastern europe came here as students, social workers, medical sisters and some of them working hard in the buldings.It's predijudicial
to speak about eastern european citating only the
words : "girls available as mail order brides"
"mafia run operation", "illegal human smugling"
"slavery and prostitution". It only gives a strong negative "fordømmelser" on a minority
part of the society. The "utlendinger" dear Svein Magnus, are not only criminals as you describe, but they are also
hard workers giving a strong economic tribute
to a norwegian society which is more and more "sykemeldt".

Bye Bye

Posted by: sergio at November 26, 2005 8:46 AM

p.s. dear Svein Magnus,

i have a regular "kontor jobb" in a norwegian
firma, paying taxes regulary, bus ticket
and working often extra for my sykemeldte norske kolleger. Im sorry to disappoint you,
not been a criminal,

Med vennlig hilsen


Posted by: sergio at November 26, 2005 10:45 AM

You are aware that quoting me on single words taken completely out of context doesn't make me one bit predjudicial?
However it does make you very stupid and proves for the world to see that you are only looking for an argument here.

And while you might not be a criminal your comments saying that Norwegians are beeing lazy and are calling in sick too much ARE predjudicial and demeaning, so you are finally showing your true colours as the real racist here.

This is maybe something that your managers down at the travel-agency would like to get word of? I know for sure that I would not want to employ someone who looks down on both his co-workers and on Norwegians in general, especially in a norwegian business where customer service is very important.

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 26, 2005 1:16 PM

dear Svein Magnus,

i quoted your exact words (i did limm and copy) when you where speaking about eastern europeans; you can read again your message.
i'm now tired about this dispute, i think
i will be sykemeldt soon and well integrated
in norwegian society; i say på forhånd takk
for the space and time on this blog and

Posted by: sergio at November 27, 2005 9:51 AM

ps. if you want to try to destroy my career,
just do it, i have very good relation
with my norwegian jobb collegues and we have
been speaking about this topics many


Posted by: sergio at November 27, 2005 12:00 PM

My dear Sven-Magnus, now you start to be unpolite, I wasn't with you, so you don't have any right to be so with me!

Quoting you again:
"Please take your head out of your ASS and look at the facts instead of defending Italy just for the hell of it."

My head is far away from my ass, and I look to the fact that you have badly made a generalization and you don't want to admit it!

For the airport stuff I can mention you many other cases where they work efficently (one example in Rome too, Ciampino airport, with 4 millions passengers in one year, dozen of low cost carriers, and you can get your luggage in less than 10 minutes); buses in many town don't have delays (I'm talking of town of more than 100000 inhabitants that for norway is a large size city!)

This is to show you that you cannot generalize!
Please admit this!

Quoting you:
"And about the ocean I believe you are correct. We only have the word "hav" and thus expect that the words sea and ocean mean the same thing, while this is not so in ENGLISH and italian."

I'm happy that with my joke on the ocean you have learnt something, altought my english is very bad as you said in your first reply to me (Don't you notice how rude you are? it's unbelievable!)

I don't agree with the words used for the comments by some other italians here. Altought I could agree with some of the critics, I don't like the way they expressed those!

About you, I hope you would apologize yourself about the unpolite comment towards me.
If you have to offend, do it with the right person, not against me, because I never used such words with you!

Posted by: claudio at November 27, 2005 2:44 PM



i do apologize if i have been rude.
Of course i didn' meant (and wrote) that norwegias are lazy and sick, i just meant
that the "sykefravær" is very high in general.
Of course i've been also sykemeldt some times
and my norwegian collegues worked for me and
viceversa. i'm very critical to Italy too (that's why im in Norway now) but i try to defend it when somebody gives too many critics and, belive me, i defend Norway too.
Heia Norge! Heia Italia !

Posted by: sergio at November 27, 2005 6:24 PM

oh my god guys!
I can't believe what I was reading.
Maybe before to start writing I should start to apologize for my english, etc. But I'm sure you'll forgive me for mistakes ; )

I'm an italin girls who lives in Norway.
I love my country (like all italians, as you can see). But I also enjoy to be in Norway, that's why I'm here.

I want to tell Norwegians that you can't see how hard is for forners to be in your country:
visa electron doesn't work (it does just in few stores, mostly runned by forners);
I arrived long time ago and I still don't have a personal numbner. That means that I can't open a bank account, I can't rent house, buy car etc.
And there are many other problems like that.
But I've to say that all the norwegian I know are helping me to manage!
About Italy we have to admit that there are many problems. We all know that. But again I want to say to norwegians (and italians) that you can't espect to go to another country and found the same way of arranging stuff that you have in you country.
And this is the best part of travelling: discover, be able to manage with differences, become more rich spiritually!
I've been travelling a lot in my life. A lot in Africa. You can immagine the conditions... but I was never thinking to criticize tha african way of arranging and solve problems.
It is not about beeing less or more advanced or better. Is a metter of being different and iteresting because of that!!!

I hope we can all be more open and tollerant, to both differences and critics.

Have a nice cristhmas.

Posted by: kobra at November 28, 2005 10:57 AM

Dear Svein - Magnus
Italy is a wonderful country! The country of the sunshine and,
where is a lot of sun, there is a lot of shadow too…
Remember Ibsen! He spent a lot of your time living in Roma writing his best works.
Here what I wrote in defence of you, Norway and Norwegian people.
I hope you will return to Italy for a enjoyment vacancy. Have my best wishes.

Here my replay to Lupo solitario in
It is wrote in Italian language. Sorry, if I don’t translate; my English is very poor…
and my Norwegians is…..allti glemme (?)

Risposta al messaggio di lupo solitario del 24/11/2005 - 17:22
....No! non è così che si difende l'Italia e le sue cose belle,
che pur ci sono, anche,e soprattutto, perchè le brutte esperienze vissute a Roma dal ragazzo norvegese rispondono haimè alla realtà.
L'esperienza vissuta l'altr'anno a Roma da mia figlia che, colta da malore, ha dovuto ricorre, prima al pronto soccorso, quindi al ricovero d'urgenza, è di gran lunga peggiore; allucinante...tanto che è scappata, sia dall'ospedale e sia dall'Italia!
Ma difendere l'Italia con vere offese, con argomentazioni che escono dal contesto di cosa e' stato criticato, oltre che di cattivo gusto, è soprattutto meschino.
Sono vissuta ben cinque anni in Norvegia e non ho conosciuto
ragazze, mogli, madri, famiglie, persone e/o dottori così come vengono descritti:

>>>...That is why your women come to Italy to be fucked by us, for example. That is why you come in Italy to drink good wine for a fair price. That is way my dear. And believe me: I can write you a book om such things. I have respect for other cultures and i am gratefull to Norway that is given me job. A good job. I am very higly educated and i earn good money. But your doctors are ignorante and your educational system is sucks. You have been to liberal, don't respect old people, and you became razist. The family are splitting up and there is a subtile war between men and women. By the way: Your women don't manage to be good mothers, good wife, good workers in carrier and good person at the same time. Can you tell them, please? Now you have Julebord (Cena di Natale)
. Get drank with your ladies that are so feminin.. and forget about Italy. Pirla!

E questo da chi si definisce "very higly educated"...

Povera me,italiana! Povera italia!

Posted by: live at November 28, 2005 11:15 AM

Lots of new comments here it seems.

That you were cutting and pasting single words doesn't make any difference if you don't retain the context. I won't discuss this subject any further, but its great that you have good relations with your collegues. Try to make good relations with other Norwegians you meet as well and you might find us to be great people!

It is obvious that you ignored plenty of facts in most of your entries, so I believe that my comments were justified. Also I have backed up my own statements with verifiable facts, including those regarding delays in Italy, so unless you have sources saying that Italy is comparatively better than other places on this I belive that you are sadly mistaken and that my generalization on this topic was justified too.

Everyone should also take not that I do not critizize bad english writing! If I can understand what you mean then that is good enough. What I do dislike and discredit however, is unfounded attacks on me or my statements based on a flawed understanding of what I actually wrote, which is what Claudio started out with.

Thank you for an insightful comment. It might very well be hard to be a foreigner in Norway, I just wouldn't know, but I don't find this to be relevant here. What I find relevant is that we should all be open and tolerant, especially when it comes to ourselves, because nobody is perfect. What I therefore would like to see is that the Italians who read this page will accept the views in my entry instead of arguing that my experiences are 'wrong' based on that Italy is perfect. My original post is primarily subjective and informative, and it praises lots of great things about Italy. A few negatives are pointed out so that future travellers can prepare for them, but I really don't see why this is coming across as harsh criticism to so many people. At least you appear to understand my intention :-)

Thanks to you too for a well written comment. I will only comment on your remark to me as I feel my views on the others has been covered above.
You are right that my words could give the impression of predjudice if you look at them in isolation, but when viewed in context with the comments they referred to I get another impression, and as I have said earlier context is important.
In general I would not associate neither russians nor africans with prostitution by their origins alone, but in this case the association was made based on the statements by Sergio. I agree that it might have been taking things a bit far, but I decided to follow the standard set by Sergio for our discussion, however juvenile this may be. I too know several russians in person and am well aware that in general they are just like us and that very few are mail-order-brides. Please note that I did not generalize about all Russians and Africans, but specifically mentioned why I made my assumptions in this single case.

What I will apologize for however is my use of wording as I did not intend to label them as opportunists (which is negative), but meant to say that those choosing such a life are enterprising and that the reasons that some choose to become mail-order-brides should not be seen as a negative trait. Most places people have the right to pursue their own happiness after all.

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 30, 2005 2:44 AM

thank you for your excelent post, you've made the point!
With your post you have demonstrated how bad is to generalize, specially on the base of a single experience!
What Svein-Magnus do not understand is that he generalized on some point so evidently......and he do not want to admit.....
I agree with you that he should really "think before write" if he is not aware to take those critics in a positive way.

A final word.... in my country there a lot of things that does not work and should be improved, but it's not fair to generalize as Svein-Magnus has done,
and if you let me.....I'm bored of such stereotipes about my country because I've travelled and I've seen that there are good and bad things in every country..... it is too superficial to generalize as Svein-magnus do!
Then I've NEVER said that Italy is better than other countries, and I don't pretend that it is.... it remain that you offended me (telling: "head in the ASS") and I did not! This shows everything about you!
Do you understand now Svein-Magnus?
Have a nice Christmas!

Posted by: claudio at November 30, 2005 12:13 PM

No I do not understand Claudio. The sentence just before your question are so syntactically broken that I'm having trouble figuring out what you are trying to say.

What I do understand is that you are still writing lies about me, with no basis in fact. I HAVE admitted to generalize about Italy, and I have also proven that it was not on the basis of a single experience. I did even provide references showing that my generalization is shared by many others, including government agencies! Because of this my generalization is more than fair, and even well documented unlike your ramblings.

Now you even try to deny that you have claimed Italy to be better than other countries, but in your second comment here you wrote: "...specially if you are rude and try to show to everybody that you norwegian are the best... Unfortunately for you, civilization started from places like the Mediterraneum".
This sentence would be meaningless for any other reason than to claim a higher moral ground in the argument on the basis that the origins of civilization was in Italy and that this make you better than us. You may claim it was a joke, but in that case its the worst joke I ever saw and you claim looks like a desperate way to avoid apologizing for your statements.

You also say that I should accept criticism in a positive way, but what about yourself? My entry don't even contain critizism of Italy, just MY PERSONAL SUBJECTIVE OBSERVATIONS of my vacation, and still you keep trying to make me the bad guy who are writing bad stuff about Italy. If you really are so well travelled as you claim you should have been able to see that, but I guess that it is too hard with your head up your ass.

Merry christmas to you too.

Posted by: Svein-Magnus at November 30, 2005 4:45 PM

I will not fall in your provocation, I will not insult you as you deserve!
With all your posts you have demonstrated to everybody how rude and full of yourself you are!

Posted by: claudio at December 1, 2005 7:43 AM

And with all your comments, Claudio, you have showed that you don't understand that this is a subjective travel review! A review that is mostly positive!

I hope that you in the future take the time to understand things you read before you start commenting!

May I suggest an English course!?!

Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year :-)

Posted by: Ida Camilla at December 4, 2005 9:03 PM

Hei Ida,
I've made comments on the observations that I believed to be not true. May I do it?
My english is fairly good to understand what is written in this blog, but of course some norwegian think to speak english better than other, isn't it Ida??

Relax yourself and try to be more polite or people could start to think that you are really a racist.

Posted by: claudio at December 7, 2005 7:01 AM
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