Like many of our trips, Rome was no exception. It was fast, covered many things but did not go into too much detail. Arriving Monday afternoon and departing early Saturday really only left us with just four full days. We spent three days in Rome and took a day trip to Florence. Deniz had been to Italy before but this was my first visit. We really like history and Rome is overflowing with it. Everywhere you look there’s something historical. A fascinating city!!
What We Liked
It was fascinating to visit one of the older places on earth. The cobblestone roads, historic buildings with intriguing architecture and ruins spread out all over was really interesting. While on the train between Rome and Florence we saw a few ruins an top of hills. Touring the castle was one of the highlights.
Almost everyone speaks some level of English making things a bit easier to get around and order food. The city is pretty clean and the food is amazing.
Italian customs is so efficient. As explained earlier they move hundreds of people through pretty quickly.
Through buying our train tickets to Florence we received a free guide to touring Italy. Through this guide we discovered Colline Emiliane restaurant. This was our favourite place. We enjoyed the restaurant so much we returned the next day. Great food and service with reasonable prices.
The Free Now IOS app was handy for calling and paying for a cab, It is not as smooth and refined as the Uber app but similar convenience.
What We didn’t like
The street scammers at all the major attractions were a real nuisance and ruined the experience of visiting the attraction. They are so persistent that as soon as you get rid of one, the next guy has already targeted you. The sellers of bracelets, roses and various tours were too much. We were on vacation and simply just wanted to enjoy ourselves. We would like to return to Italy again but will avoid these places in order to avoid these people. If we were bothered by one or two people and then left alone it would have been fine. Unfortunately, you have to talk stern with these people and be mean right from the start.
We stayed at Una Finestra Su Monti. It was not a bad place. Newly renovated, clean friendly service and decent size rooms. But we would not recommend this place due to the following reasons. First, it’s not like a conventional hotel where there’s staff always available to help. There’s only eight rooms all located on one floor. But the office is only open during the day. We had no hot water Tuesday night and was unfortunately after the office had closed. There was nobody for us to call. A conventional hotel would have staff on site at all times to help guests. Secondly, it was not very sound proof. All the locks used separate keys in lock tumblers which required a couple of turns to unlock. Late at night as various visitors returned from their day, the keys turning the locks and banging against the wood doors made lots of noise. With no carpeting and hard flooring throughout, every little noise amplified and echoed each time someone returned or walked around. Lastly, it was difficult to get s good nights sleep. The rooms warmed up quickly. They did have A/C units in the room but the fan blew right on the bed which is not a nice feeling. We then opened the window but there was always a lot of noise outside that seemed to amplify in the narrow streets. As such we did not sleep well all week.
We had booked this trip to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We wanted to choose somewhere different and special. Rome did not disappoint us. We just wish we could have stayed longer. Despite some of the challenges mentioned above, we thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Italy is a beautiful country. While they may not have the greatest reputation for service, we had no issues in this area. If anything, we were quite happy with the service we received at most places. Try to use some Italian while placing orders and they will use their English to serve you.
We could not get near Trevi Fountain to toss our coin in to ensure a return trip to Rome. However, I’m feeling pretty certain we will be back again.