|Roma Termini: Waiting for the train to Naples|
April 5, 2005
"Passing through a crowded Rome"
When I arrived in Rome, the crowds were incredible. Pope John Paul II had just died three days before, and the devout were gathering in Rome to await the selection of a new Pope.
The train from the airport to the station in Rome (Roma Termini) was thick with people. Literally every square foot of the compartments and corridors were filled, standing room only. The crowd gently swayed back and forth as the train rattled down the tracks toward the station, curiously silent and subdued.
When we arrived at the station, the platforms were as full as the trains arriving there; it took me more than 20 minutes to disembark. Once I wrestled my way past the inbound platforms, though, the crowds magically evaporated; all roads were leading into Rome that day. Nobody was going out.