A trip of a lifetime! My husband gets annoyed when I say that, but to me it was a trip of a lifetime, not only the trip itself, but the people we went with. Will I visit these places again? Without a doubt, the experiences and people made it a trip of a lifetime.
Let’s start with Day 1 –
Departure for Rome. We opted to take an evening flight and boy was I glad we did. As we only had one day to spend in Rome prior to our cruise departure, I actually was able to sleep for a good part of the flight.
Even as a travel agent, we learn new things every day – so I learned that Alitalia does not participate in TSA Pre-clear. Going through security was pretty easy, but it is so much easier with TSA Pre-clear, I highly recommend it to everyone.
What else did I learn? Do not book the last seat in any section of these big airplanes. Literally, when I tell you that when the gentlemen in front of me reclined his seat he was inches from my face and being it was the last seat in the section, my seat did not recline nearly as much as he did. Oh! the food on the plane – we were served dinner and breakfast and both were pretty good for airplane food. Dinner was interesting, the flight attendant came around to take our order – your choice was meat or pasta, okay so what kind of meat – the reply was “We don’t know, we only know it’s meat!” okay – our answer – PASTA!
Once we arrived in Rome, going through customs was very easy and pretty quick – what wasn’t was the walk from the plane to customs. It was long! Really long (if you have any kind of mobility issues, I strongly suggest that you request wheelchair assistance from your airline)
Hoped in a taxi and off to Rome! It probably took about an hour to arrive at the center of the city and our magnificant hotel. We passed the forum on the way and it was amazing.
Let me say this, living in New York I thought the drivers here were crazy – well, they are even crazier in Italy. I did close my eyes a number of times, it was pretty scary. The roads are narrow and people just step out in the street to cross.
We arrived at our hotel by 10 am and I was just amazed at how beautiful it was. We stayed at the Palazzo Naiadi, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection. The only problem I had was finding my room and finding the elevator. The hotel is very large with many wings to it and a bit confusing. But the service was fantastic and our room was very nice. We had this weird balcony – when you walked out the door onto it it was 3 walls, no ceiling – the walls were standard room height, so you couldn’t see anything from it, but it was a balcony.
We did some exploring in Rome and no, I didn’t get to go to the Vatican. We met up with our friends who were going on the cruise with us and took a short walk over to the Trevi Fountain. It was beautiful, but I expected a bigger square – it was very small area and very very crowded.
We spent the afternoon and this beautiful little cafe, drinking wine and snacking. Unfortunately, between the Aruba trip, the overnight flight and the wine, I ended up back at the hotel with a nice long nap and didn’t make it to dinner. Joe did, he met the girls and they went out for a nice dinner – he had the opportunity to see the Forum at night, all lit up and looking amazing
End of day one of our excellent adventure, off to a good start!