I have so many things to say about Rome, but I can’t possibly fit everything in one post. So, I’ll start with the trip there and our arrival.
Emily and I left after teaching our morning classes on Thursday. We stopped at the Deli De Luca for a lunch togo. I just wanted a cold sandwich, but I got some serious flack from the cashier. She argued with me about wanting a cold sandwich. What’s wrong with cold ham and cheese? Delicious!
We got to the airport with 2 hours to spare. Flying international, right? Not really. We pulled our boarding passes up on our phones, scanned them to get into the security line, went through in about 5 minutes, and walked to our gate in another 5. Nobody even checked our passports or our ID. Easy peasy.
The flight was smooth, but our plane landed so hard the woman in my row yelled, “Oh! SHIT!” It was the only English I heard her speak all flight, haha. It was a hard landing though–the whole plan gasped then breathed a collective sigh of relief. A few people clapped. Though I’m usually a sweaty ball of anxiety during flights, I was writing when the plane landed and I didn’t notice.
We arrived at the Aeroporto Leonardo Da Vinci (Fiumicino) around 9 pm. We didn’t check bags, so we set straight out to find our train. On our way, we got swept up by Jason, a very sweet and helpful…airport employee. He said the train would cost just as much as his shuttle and he could get us there faster. Italians are so charming and insistent–how could we say no?
So Emily and I and a few other weary travelers followed Jason, perhaps to our certain death. The whole thing might have been a racket, but the ride did cost less than a train ticket and he pointed out monuments and told us about Rome the whole way. And we didn’t have to navigate dark foreign streets at night, trying to get from the train station to the hotel (we never would have found it).
My Abuela asked me what I thought of Italian drivers, and now I know why. Jason’s driving method–casually weaving lanes, speeding, and tale-gating, all while rapidly speaking in Italian on his cell phone–might unnerve some people. I found it comical, and I never felt unsafe. I knew I was in good hands. Jason flew down dark, steep, winding roads, and navigated the large shuttle with the experience of a racer driver on a familiar track. He knew what he was doing. At one point another passenger questioned him, and Jason responded confidently,”Because this is what I do. I drive you tourists around.”
Jason got a good tip.
Our hotel was 4 stars and in a good location (walkable from every monument that we wanted to see). We paid something around $60 a night, which becomes an even better deal when you consider that we split the cost. The concierge was helpful and kind, and our room was adorable:
The bed arrangement was kind of interesting. Emily and I joked that we’d have to snuggle, but I think we’re both pretty still sleepers. Nobody migrated, but I did get chatty in my sleep. On the second night I guess I woke her up asking, “Do you want to party hardy?!” She said “No” and I cheerfully rolled over and went back to sleep. But you guys…I party so hardy.
You’ll notice in the picture collage that yes, our bathroom did have a bidet. Neither of us got brave enough to use it. Seems like more trouble than its worth? You’ll also notice our view from the 6th floor. That was the lovely sunrise that greeted us on our first morning. We woke up bright-eyed and ready for a day of sight-seeing!