Thursday, March 31, 2011

First day in Italy

Playing catch up, here are a few observations from my first day in Italy:

Saturday, March 5
We arrive into Rome and I’m immediately noticing the difference in billboard advertising.  In the US, we have been moving towards digital billboards, but in Italy I see faded, rough billboards that look extremely aged.  Interesting the difference in the medium across the world.  Also, I notice right away that small cars are the norm here in Rome.  They are necessary to fit on the roads and zip through traffic.

It is also interesting to see how drinks are served at restaurants.  In the states, we are used to fountain drinks and free refills.  Here in Italy, there are almost solely cans in restaurants.  Bottles are available in the states and I heard McDonald’s has fountain drinks (you’ll have to ask for ice if you want it).  The Coca-Cola brand is still very visible here in Italy, as shown on this can with the character on the Coca-Cola Light (same as Diet Coke).  Cokes were often the same price or more than a glass of wine.

One thing that is also present as you venture out in Rome is the revenue that must be generated by tourism.  As we got to the Vatican, I realized that tour guides are a great resource for tourists and should be marketed to them as such – especially because you often get to skip the ridiculously long lines.

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