06/17/2009 - 11:50

Trip reportRome: May 2009  May 2nd we flew in to Rome Fiucimino with from Manchester, first time with them and it was good to have reserved seats.  Had arranged to be met with the Hotel so all was very painless and we were having our first coffee in the bar opposite the hotel before 12, having been picked up from home at 5.15am.  Stayed at Hotel Campo de Fiore, bed and breakfast only, OH had booked the best room in the place, on the 6th floor (there was a lift) with its own roof terrace, a fantastic introduction to Rome.Had a wander around and lunch in Piazza Navona, as the sky got darker and darker, made it back to the hotel for a timely siesta before the weather cleared up.  Had another walk and then hopped onto the 110 Red Bus for a full circuit before returning to Piazza Navona for dinner at Tre Scallini which was good.Next morning did another circuit on the bus, stopped off to visit the Fountain of Trevi (and the crowds) and had an excellent lunch at Ristorante Al Presidente in Via In Arcione.  In the evening we had decided to push the boat out and eat the Imago restaurant at Hotel Hassler, which started spectacularly well but ... well the service seemed to slip away as the evening went on, disappointing.Monday we visited the Spanish Steps, covered in flowers for these two months only, and then visited the Pantheon which is spectacular.  Had some difficulty with Bankomats, not all of them are international it would appear.  In the afternoon we joined a tour of the Vatican Museum, which is large and spectacular, and visited the Sistine Chapel.  That took all afternoon with the bussing around.Had dinner that evening at the Carbonara in Campo de Fiore which had been recommended, the hotel had made a reservation for us.  We found the situation and style of our hotel excellent, and the staff very friendly and helpful.Tuesday morning involved quite a bit of walking around, and visiting St Peter’s which was not included in the Vatican tour, very impressive, saw the Pieta and lots of self congratulatory statues of dead Popes.   Another shower saw us scuttling for shelter after our local bar lunch.Dinner that night was in Piazza Navona, a good atmosphere.  Next morning we were leaving but had a look around the flower and vegetable market in Campo de Fiore in the morning, very photogenic.  Then taxi over to Termini to pick up a hire car and head south to Campania.We returned to Rome at the end of our holiday as we had an early morning flight out, so drove back up, handed back car and returned to Hotel Campo de Fiore (not the 6th floor room this time, nice room, a bit bigger perhaps but no terrace).  Headed to the Coliseum that we had not visited first time around and joined an English speaking tour group that was going in right away, well worth the extra 10 euro to miss the queue and have some very interesting facts explained.  The inside was being prepared for the concert for Aquila, it is a truly spectacular site and unmissable.We walked from there to San Pietro in Vincoli so I could see Moses, a rather spooky resemblance to Charlton Heston I thought...   Stopped for a Bellini and tapas at the Primo Cafe in Vicola dell Aquila off Corson Vittorio Emannuelle II, a life saver, and dinner that evening in Carbonara without a reservation, not such a good idea as it turned out.We just scratched the surface of Rome, there is so much at every turn to see.A link to a few photos from our travels in Rome and Campania is 


 What a wonderful trip Penny! I am very glad for you. Also, you did all the right things without wasting precious time. It is always better to visit the Sistine Chapel by taking a tour. This way you avoid the queues and to visit Saint Peter you can go on your own.I also like the Pantheon immensely. It is a masterpiece.Thnks for telling us about your experiences. At times like this I wish that we had the "Grazie" button.