Friday, May 18, 2012

4 Nights in Rome: Volume 1

We finally decided where to go for a family vacation this Spring.  We decided without much advance planning; and appropriately booked our flight and hotel through  One week later, we drove to Birmingham Int'l Airport (about an hour away from our town, cheaper, and easier to navigate than London Heathrow).

C, being the world-traveler that he is, did very well on the 2.5 hour flight to Rome.

Animal Crackers + iPad + Headphones = Inflight Entertainment

Upon arrival at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome, we took the Leonardo Express train to Termini Station, and walked the 3/4 mile or so to our hotel.  We stayed at Hotel Londra & Cargill inside the city centre. 

As an aside, it is very difficult to find hotel rooms in Europe that reasonably accomodate 3 people.  While planning for a weekend in London I remember speaking to one hotel who said the best they could do was 2 rooms, possibly across the hall from one another.  Not cool people.  Seriously, the last thing I want to do on holiday (that's Brit speak for vacation) is spend the evening alone in a room with a toddler while my husband watches a movie across the hall.  I can do that at home thank you very much.  Our best experiences traveling with a kiddo have involved some sort of a suite where said kiddo can have quiet and darkness to go to sleep, leaving mom and dad a few hours of the evening together.  You haven't lived until you've enjoyed authentic, local Italian wine from a plastic bathroom cup, while sitting on a hotel bed watching Netflix that freezes every 30 seconds because the Internet connection  And still enjoying every minute of it because, well, you're in Italy! 

So the room we found in Rome was absolutely wonderful!  A true "triple" room complete with a large king size bed for mom and dad, and a small single bed in it's own sitting area, around the corner from the main bedroom area.  Our room was huge (especially by European standards) and had a spectacular city view off a main road.  Not the kind of view that overlooks the city from a hilltop.  But rather the kind of view that offers a peek into a slice of Roman city life.  With their working shutters, rooftop gardens, top floor balconies with trellises, and colour everywhere.  Rome is alive.  And so much more expressive than England.  It was wonderful!  I absolutely enjoyed being there and truly, think I could live there very easily. 

Shhhhhh...don't tell Daddy Mama doesn't want to leave.

Funny thing is, I fould myself defaulting into speaking French (I lived in France for a few months while studying in college) when trying to communicate to the Italian-speakers. I had learned a few phrases in Italian before departing and picked up a few words while we were there, but I kept wanting to speak French. It was quite funny.

On Sunday evening we went around the corner from our hotel and had dinner at a lovely little below street-level restaurant where the manager/owner doted upon C and fed him lots of bread. On Monday, we enjoyed breakfast in the hotel (part of the travel package). And what a spread it was! Tiers of pastries, rolls, cheese, yoghurt, multiple juices, water--both sparkling and still. I really should have taken a picture of it, but didn't quite feel like being "that person" at breakfast. And then off we set on foot (we did not bring the car seat with us on this trip and it worked out just fine for us to walk practically everywhere and take the Metro a couple other times).

Basilica Ulpia, Trajan's Column, and Monument to Victor Emmanuel

Z in Park near Basilica Ulpia

C in Park outside Monument to Victor Emmanuel
Foro di Traiano
Overlooking Rome from top of Monument to Victor Emmanuel with View of Colosseum

Piazza della Repubblica

Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs (Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli)
Basilica Papale Santa Maria Maggiore

These pictures are just from our first full day of sight seeing.  At the end of the day on Monday, we got take away pizza from a restaurant that the front desk recommended.  It was a disappointing meal to say the least.  But the next evening's dining experience made up for it in spades. 

Another installment to come...


1 comment:

  1. How fun! We've found it frustrating to find rooms for 3 in the states as well. Suites are our best bet, but they usually aren't cheap...