Near the Coliseum, the horse-drawn carriage drivers were glum. “Business has dropped about 35 to 40 percent compared to three or four years ago,” said Fabrizio Manzone, who charges between $65 and $135, depending on the route.
Tourists “will all go out for a pizza,” he said. But when you’re trying to save, “a carriage ride is the first thing you drop from the list.”
Oh man, this is hilarious. They're talking about the exact same subjects in Rome as I've been talking about - pizza, horse drawn carriages, and the idea that getting tourists to drop as much money as humanly possible should be the #1 goal of the industry, if not the entire city.
Rome's one of a very few cities I've been to that has close to the same cynicism that we do. We've both discovered tourists are stupid, and have decided that exploiting this is worth sacrificing everything else - including our dignity. Other big tourist destinations - Paris and Rio both immediately come to mind - certainly are happy to make a buck off of visitors, but don't let their town degenerate to the level of kitch and pandering the way parts of Rome and New York do.