Mike Chowla
France & Italy:


With just one day in Rome before heading back home, I had hoped to take in the major sites. My plan was derailed by the day we were there happening to be Republic Day. It was difficult to know what was open and when on Republic Day as the Italian government's general disorganization extends to not posting holiday hours or even whether a monument was open. One of the oddities of Republic Day from an American perspective is the large number of military officers out in dress uniforms and visible in the city. For the most part, these officers didn't seem to be doing much of anything other than trying to look important. It looked odd to me since it's my mental image of what a fascist state looks like: lots of military officers everywhere in fancy uniforms.