What do tourists feel about Termini, when they arrive? We tried a ask a few. For most travelers arriving to Italy, Roma Termini is the first place they see, but still they don’t visit it, because it’s “just” a station. They’re still on the travel adrenaline, or maybe just worrying about where the hotel is, and all the logistic of a trip that is just starting.
Instead, Italians, and Romans in particular, see Termini as a synonym of pickpockets, homeless, poor organisation on one hand and gentrification on the other (like the growing of the commercial areas to the detriment of public spaces).
Many residents would never pass through Termini and are indeed scared to be in the area, calling it “a shit”, as the woman in the video (who unfortunately didn’t want to be filmed). However, it could be surprising to hear, as in the video, that quite a few tourists don’t see much to be afraid of in Termini. Or maybe they just don’t notice, due to their happiness of being in Rome?
While it’s certainly true that Termini is full of pickpockets and homeless (which by the way are not a danger at all), people coming from big cities are not particularly shocked, “you just have to be careful”, a Londoner tells us. A Canadian even goes as far as in saying “It seems quite standard”. Roma Termini is standard? That’s the typical thing you would hear from somebody minutes before being pickpocketed. Roma Termini is not normal, but that’s also it’s charm, and if you’re aware of its non standardness (of its “atopos”, I would say), then you’re a real traveler, not just a tourist.
Roma Termini is “total chaos”, a Dutch man says. Indeed, and in chaos you have everything, good and bad: some outstanding characters living or traveling to and from one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and a few thieves daily living off the tourists’ pockets.
Termini, love and chaos hub.