We had a great start to our Italian vacation – I was able to upgrade us to first class on our flight from Cincinnati to Rome. I guess it made up for our taxi ride from the station to our hotel. I’m pretty sure we were overcharged – 40 euros, or about $50 bucks for a five mile ride!
Our hotel, Residenza Argentina, is in a great location. It only has 6 rooms and the staff is really friendly. We walked everywhere – the Vatican, Coliseum, Forum, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. We laughed at the guys dressed as gladiators outside the Coliseum. Who knew gladiators were fat, smoked, and talked on cell phones?
I can’t believe they let people so close to ancient monuments! People have picnics and sit on the ruins. In the U.S., there would be ropes and dividers keeping everyone away.
Rome is the scooter capital of the world. Women dressed in stilletto heels and men in suits and ties race from stop light to light like it’s MotoGP. They speed down cobblestone streets barely wide enough to walk two abreast. Cars bump your elbow while you’re sitting at a table having dinner.
We feel completely safe here, even though we don’t speak the language and we don’t know where we’re going. Due to horrible jet lag, we went for a walk at 2am. I felt safer here than I do in Des Moines!
I really like the cobblestone streets, small cafes, and gelato. The Spanish Steps are overrated. The Trevi Fountain is beautiful, especially at night. Too many tourists during the day.