Let me preface to say that my cousin Joanne and I went on this trip without our beloved husbands.
It all started out in February when we were discussing our love of Italy, especially Roma.
Joanne went for the first time last year.
I have been back many times; usually each Thanksgiving.
Well, my last trip in November was wonderful as usual...went with hubby, son and son's girlfriend.
And so, after getting our husband's "okay" I got on the internet and booked two tickets for Roma.
Look out, here we come...
First I found a great deal on Eurofly. It was $299 plus taxes and it was a direct flight to Rome.
Joanne wasn't able to take off work for the time I could get the tickets, so that was nixed.
Well, I then booked via CheapTickets, about $700.00, and our flight to Roma had a connection in Heathrow plus a change from Virgin Atlantic to Alitalia....different terminals also.
This was my first time taking a connecting flight to Europe.
After the purchase of the tickets and a little more research, I found that the almost two hour connection time at Heathrow would not be enough.
And so, since we were leaving on Easter Sunday, we met Joanne and her family at Don Pepe's, an Italian legend of a restaurant very close to the airport; had a great Easter lunch with wine, of course. Have to get in the mood!
We left the restaurant and we got to JFK airport early and was able to get on the Virgin Atlantic flight leaving 50 minutes earlier.
The plane was large and new, but I gotta say the seats were very uncomfortable.
Alitalia economy seats much better for the back.
Well, taking the earlier flight was a very good decision because at the connection desk at Heathrow, the Alitalia flight to Rome was already almost completely booked.
We would have never made it if we took our original flight.
Finally, will be in Roma very soon....
We touched down at FCO and you lovers of Roma know the feeling you get...the anticipation, the flutter in your heart, the can't wait to get in your taxi and get your first glimpse of your beloved city again.
Well, it was a beautiful sunny day...Easter Monday...
Our driver from RomeShuttleLimousine was waiting with my name on it.
Of course he was as cute as only a Roman could be, wonderfully dressed in a suit and driving a new Mercedes!
Joanne and the driver had to have a cigarette, poohey, before getting in the car and off we went.
The driver even had the A/C on, which is unusual for a Roman.
The drive was uneventful; smooth; not too fast.
I highly recommend RSL; 35E for two: www.romeshuttlelinousine.com
I know that everyone loves Stefano on this forum, but I have always used RSL and they've always been punctual and their drivers are great.
We got to our destination...Pascucci B&B on Via di Panica #9
I booked this as our stay for our six nights because since it was just going to be Joanne and myself and we wanted a good area, a safe place, one with great reviews and not a lot of Euro!
Luciano and his wife Anna run this B&B from their apartment...it is just an extra bedroom with private bath in their lovely apt. one flight up...100E per night. email: email@example.com
The apt. is right down the block from Ponte S'Angelo...a beautiful spot on a quiet street.
It was really perfect for us....me anyway...Joanne needed a little getting used to staying in such a small place...she likes a hotel better.
After unpacking and Luciano giving us a set of keys and how to work his door to the apartment....turn the key four times...four large dead bolts come out! Why this is necessary is beyond me...one deadbolt is enough...it was almost comical! You had to be there...anyway, off we went into the beautiful Roman sunshine.
Joanne had to find an ATM machine to get Euro...better rate then at home at the bank.
We just started walking...of course first to see Piazza Navona...a two minute walk from the B&B. This being April and Easter week, it was very crowded. We just passed through, remember, we've been here before. Went on to find a Tim card place for Joanne's Italian cell phone and purchase minutes for the phone...something we did three times!
You have to remember...we left the hubbys back home and had to be in touch with them...just to remind us that we had husbands back home!
I also bought a calling card on the internet as a backup...which I didn't need to use.
It was a Euro Talk card and cost about $13.00 for 4 hours of talk time.
After the purchase, they email you the pin #, so no hard copy of a calling card is involved.
Anyway, back to our walk. Passed threw the Pantheon; stopped in at the church next to it.
Continued to walk to the Fontana di Trevi...very crowded.
Did some windowshopping and then back to Pantheon area where we stopped for a bite to eat at DiRienzo...had our first pizza of the week and a great bottle of local Frascati.
Just walked and walked and continued throught until a late dinner at Navona Notte...a little place off the P.Navona...on Via del Teatro Pace #44.
Hubby and I found this place years ago and we try to go back once in a while...locals and tourists alike...ate outside and it was a great way to end our first day.
Headed back to our B&B and stopped for a "nightcap" at a little place right outside the B&B called Guilio Paffami L'Olio Enoteca...where Via di Panico ends and this street is called Via di Monte Giordano.
This was our ritual each night...it's a very local place; the owner and the girls working there as waitresses were a delight.
Well, that's the end of Part 1...our escapades will begin in Part II.