Rome is the principal gateway city by air to Italy via the Leonardo da Vinci Airport. As the old saying goes, “All roads lead to Rome.” Roads radiate from Rome like spokes in a wheel. A circular road, the Grand Raccardo Anulare, twelve kilometers from the city center, allows motorists to bypass the central city or enter it from the most convenient direction. The Stazione Termini, the main railroad station, is one of Europe’s largest.
Rome is the sightseer’s city. Nearly every American has heard of the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Pantheon.
Rome is also for the romantic. Who has not heard of the Trevi Fountain that inspired the song “Three Coins in a Fountain”? One coin tossed over the shoulder assured the visitor of returning to Rome, two guaranteed happiness. What the tourist does not notice are the rather sinister young men watching the performance who have little of the romantic in them.
They guard the coins, amounting to several hundred dollars daily, as they are dropped into the fountain. At night this mafia group take turns in sweeping up the money. The Italian police, cynics to the core, do not bother the collectors. Their answer: “If we do not let them take the coins, they will steal them from the tourist.” So much for “three coins in a fountain.”