It’s only the middle of April, and the streets of Rome are already filled with tourists.
We made the 4 hour trip by train to Rome starting in La Spezia. The platform for binario uno, track one—dedicated to the train that takes you to the Cinque Terre—was packed. Oddly colored tour-leader umbrellas waved in the cloudy skies.
We had an hour before the train left. La Spezia has always been a place where you could settle into a chair in front of a well-banged-on computer at the internet point or order a coffee at a typical Italian bar.
No more. Now, as in many other stations we visited, McDonalds had taken over. With its big-time fluorescent lighting on white walls with plastic furniture in primary colors scattered about, McDonalds has managed to create an atmosphere not unfamiliar to those who habitually visit state-run institutions for the criminally insane.
McDonalds is your only choice for refreshment in La Spezia station right now. This fact and its dire implications left us with no other option than to drag our luggage through the misty streets to find a place that serves real coffee in decent environment. Sad.