Rome: October 2 – 7
Ah..Rome. What can I say about this city? Rome is the one city we chose to return to for a second time. Seven years has changed one of us or both to some degree. Our first trip to Rome was also our first trip ever to Europe and it just so happened to be our honeymoon and the dollar was strong. So maybe my expectations of this city were too high this time around. Afterall, I’m older and I’ve seen and done more since that time in my life and no doubt I saw things a little differently than I do now. We found Rome to be a bit more gruff this time but still found some great treasures both for the second time and some for the first.
We flew Luftansa from Houston to Frankfurt and had a way too long layover before connecting on to Rome. Luftansa was a great airline to fly especially for the long haul. Exceptional service, a new plane and dare I say good food. Upon arriving at the Rome airport, we waited about 30 minutes or more for our luggage in the very crowded baggage claim area. I think they had 4 flights of bags on our carousel so space was at a minimum. Finally my Roxy floral rolling duffel came into sight followed by our gigantic brown piece so we at least had our bags. I got plenty of strange stares at my obnoxiously colored bag but at least I can tell it apart from the 100s of other black suitcases. We followed the signs to the train station, purchased our tickets and climbed on board. It was pretty painless but it was hot! I wondered what I would do with all of the fall clothes I had packed and how I only had one pair of shorts packed. I couldn’t believe the summer heat had followed me all the way from Texas. We made our way by train towards the city and I was suprised at how dry the land was and thought it reminded me of Texas. The closer you got to the city the greener it became and finally we were at the Termini Station. The train from the airport didn’t drop us off in the main part of the station so for those reading and going to Rome by the train from the airport (FCO) when you go outside if you walk up the street to your right you should find yourself getting closer to the main square of the station – thus more taxis and all the busses. We took a taxi and I think it only cost us 8€ including luggage which is a great deal. The bus would have been cheaper but more of a hassle with the bags. Depending on how far you have to go the bus might be your better bet if you need to save money.
The B&B is in a great location. On a small street off the larger Corso Vitt. Immanuel, Via Panico proved to be a nice residential street with tons of appeal: restuarants, caffes, bars, everything you need not to mention convenient to Piazza Navona and Castel San Angelo (which was about 100 yards away) and the Vatican. There was also several bus stops within walking distance that would take you to various parts of the city, one of them being to the Colleseum. Luciano, the owner of the B&B, was so helpful in helping us find our way about and even made some reservations for us. He could come across a tad overbearing but I truly think he was always looking out for our best interests even if it did feel like I was living at home with my parents again at times :). In the end, I was sad to say goodbye to him and his 3 cats. The room was comfortable. The bed was bigger than I expected. The bathroom/shower was tiny but tolerable for the most part. You do have to walk up a ton of stairs (no lift) but I think that goes without saying in Italy. We paid 100€ (cash only) per night which included breakfast (croissants, fruit and coffee). We prefered to just grab our cappuccinos on the go and skipped breakfast a few times.
After checking in, we unpacked our things and went out for walk to check out the neighborhood. We turned left out of the door and a few steps later we stood at the bridge leading to Castel San Angelo. The statues that guard the fortress and look over the river are stunning especially around sunset. We decided to go in and ended up buying the Roma Pass which cost 20€ per person. The Roma Pass includes free admission to the first 2 museums and/or archelogical sites visited, free bus tickets for travel within the city as well as reduced priced tickets for other museums sites on the list. It was quite a deal since the guy at the Castel S. Angelo booth gave us free entry to the Castel for buying the passes through him. This didn’t even count towards the first 2 entries and honestly, nobody ever really checked them ever. I think we ended up getting in free to every place we showed our Roma Pass even after we had technically already been admitted to our “two sites” so hey, good for us. My suggestion is to buy the Pass and be sure to use one of your free visits in the Colleseum which is one the more expensive tickets. Anyway…back to the Castel. You must come here for the view of the city. Sunset at the Castel was so beautiful and you can literally get a panoramic view of Rome. Here are some of the amazing shots we got that day:
We wandered around the area near our bed and breakfast finding quaint narrow streets that opened up into larger piazzas filled with people eating dinner at a restaurant or just having a drink outside a crowded bar.
Luciano, the B&B owner, suggested a restuarant nearby called Navona Notte, located on a narrow street just a few steps from the Piazza Navona. You had to be careful of the small cars and motor bikes passing by your tables but the food was worth it and not too expensive. Our dinner was 35€ for a huge plate of mixed anitipasta, spaghetti carbornara, pizza, a vase of wine and water. The restuarant was packed with locals and tourists and was surprisingly affordable considering its close location to Piazza Navona.
And that is the end of our first night in Rome.
Filed under: Italia, Rome, vacation | 1 Comment