My second weekend in Italy, a couple of other girls and I went to Rome to complete our Rome Scavenger Hunt. This assignment involved getting around the city and taking pictures in front of famous landmarks to help us acquaint ourselves with our new home.
The first day went perfectly. The sun was shining. Birds were chirping. Everyone was in great spirits, and the first half of our assignment went great! We decided as the day was drawing to a close to leave the rest of our landmarks for the next day.
The next morning, one of my friends woke up feeling very under the weather. The time change, lack of sleep, and long day exploring the city had left her feeling terrible, and the worst part was that we still had things to do.
As luck would have it, the landmarks we had left for the next day were the furthest ones from our hotel room. Normally we would have just walked, but today was different. My poor friend felt so ill we knew we couldn’t walk the thirty-minute walk it would take to get there.
Our hotel room was conveniently close to the train station where all the taxis arrive to pick people up, so we decided it was the best option to get us to our destination. We got in line and waited our turn, but it turned out we had been waiting in the wrong area. We marched down to the first taxi we saw and asked him if he would be so helpful and take us to where we needed to go. He agreed, and we were so grateful!
He spoke perfect English and was chatting with us as we were making our way to Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains). We arrive at our stop and we get out the cash to pay, 26 Euros. We hand him exact change and go to leave when all of a sudden he acts as if he has never understood English. He said this isn’t the correct change and starts demanding more. We argue back and forth for a bit, still very confused as to what was happening. In the confusion and miscommunication, we ended up giving him more money. Turns out he had taken our 20 Euro bill and replaced it with 2 five Euro bills, trying to show that we had, in fact, given him less money. The only problem, we only had one 5 between the four of us so we knew what he had done.
Moral of the story, don’t let taxi men swindle you out of your money, and just take the metro.