We flew into Ciampino airport and bus tickets were being sold on the flight which is a good idea. The hotel which is easily found is only a 5 min walk from Termini Station. The staff (apart from one breakfast waitress/receptionist who had a face that could stop a clock) were lovely and very helpful. We went to our room which was advertised as a basic one - and oh is it ever!! The shared bathroom could have been an issue however, the people in the other rooms in our section only lasted one night and we never saw them again !! There is not one picture of the room we stayed in on the Hotel website or Travel Republic who we booked through, and there is an obvious reason for that - the bedding was clean the the bed comfortable but double glazing would have been great as every little noise echoed and it sounds as though the window is wide open! Not a picture on the wall or a bedside lamp was to be seen - these wouldn't have cost a great deal and might have absorbed some of the sound !!! The wall paper was peeling off too. The breakfast was not as pictured - there were croissants, bread rolls and plenty of jam, cereal, coffee and fruit juice but nothing like the pictures on their website. Having said all this, the hotel is in a fantastic location, not too far from any of the landmarks. We went to the Vatican on a Wednesday and actually got to see the Pope as he goes down into the square every week and is driven around in his 'Pope Mobile' - we got about 4 feet away from him. If you are going to the Vatican on the Metro - don't go from Termini, walk to the next station - you are packed into the underground and the trains like sardines - it is quite scary and you get pushed about A LOT. The major downside of the City in general are the beggars, ticket touts and immigrants trying to push 'tat' onto you. They don't take no for an answer straight away and can really get on your nerves - I tended to snap at them and they eventually left us alone............. until the next one. At the Spanish Steps, DON'T accept 'free' roses they are handing out - just forcefully say NO!! There are beggars at the doors of churches who are asking for 1 euro when they hold the door open for you but just think - if everyone who visits these churches over the course of a year gave them a euro each, they must make a FORTUNE - DON'T be taken in by them. Italy really need to sort them out as they can put a downer on your visit. Driving from Ciampino airport, I was shocked by the amount of graffiti on EVERYTHING - it gives a bad impression of what is in fact a beautiful city. The major tourist sites that everyone wants to see wont be disappointing - they are fantastic !!!
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- Elide Hotel Rome