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Trip Report Mozzarella, Museums, and Macchiato; Four Friends Spend Another Week in Rome

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I spent a week in Rome with my mother and two friends, October 11-17, 2009. If you've read my reports before, you know they can be lengthy and detailed and this report will most likely be no exception.

Rome Trip 2009
Back in April, my mother told me she was considering going to Portugal by herself. I thought Portugal might not be the best trip to do alone, but suggested a trip to a single city like Rome or Paris. We had been to Paris the previous fall and I had been to Rome with my husband and friends the spring of 2008. I thought she should she seriously consider Rome as I had already done the research for her and she agreed.

Airfare:
We searched for airfare on United where my mom has Premier status and kept coming up with airfares in the $1200 range for our dates. Then one day in June I was on Twitter and came across a mention of an airfare sale to Europe on Delta with flights from the US starting at under $300 R/T!
I checked and sure enough, found tickets for LAX to Rome with a layover at JFK for $435 all in. It was crazy and after a flurry of phone calls and texts, not only did we have 2 tickets to Rome but my friends Jessica and Tris (who had gone to Rome with my husband and me last year), were coming too.
Within 24 hours the "sale" was gone and tickets were $860+, the low fares never to be seen again.

The Apartment:
With the tickets out of the way, the next thing to do was search for an apartment. We had rented with www.rentalinrome.com last time and very much liked the apartment we had. However, for this trip it was still a bit expensive and it didn't have WiFi access which was important to my mom because of her job.
After looking at what felt like hundreds of apartments, we settled on one with www.sleepinitaly.com It is located in Trastevere and on their website called "Vicolo del 5 Angel" http://www.sleepinitaly.com/appartam.php?id_appartam=368

The photos on the website are very accurate. When we booked it the price was 150 € a night for 4 people. It has since gone up to 180 € per night. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is very spacious and beautifully decorated. The kitchen is decent and has both a dishwasher and a washing machine (we used both). The beds were comfortable and had nice linens. The owner was very nice and clearly cared about the apartment and if the guests were happy (as evidenced by a small problem we had later on).

The bathrooms were fine, though the one my mom and I used off the kitchen had hot water issues (just not hot enough all the time). The owner said they are going to call a plumber to fix this and I believe them. This is a new vacation rental and they are still trying to work out all the kinks.

As it turned out, the apartment did not have "wireless" access. What it had was a router with a cable one could plug into the back of the laptop, but you had to be sitting in the living room for this. You would need the WEP key to gain access to the WiFi and I didn't feel like trying to get that info or explain it to the owner, but I'm sure it could be had. Fortunately, in the bedrooms which fronted the street, there was unprotected WiFi access coming from somewhere which worked just fine (though not in the center or back of the apartment). I liked having this because I was able to Skype call with my husband every morning, plus check email, and post to Facebook and Twitter.

The only real negative was the noise. I'd read that Trastevere was "party central" for Roman and tourist twenty-somethings but I had no idea to what extent and that our little street was the epicenter. During the day it was fairly quiet, but the evenings and into the wee hours of the morning it was bedlam right below our windows. Then, at about 4am the trash and bottle collectors would start, along with the street cleaners. Seriously. It was quietest between 7 and 9 am.

We all really liked the apartment and honestly, the noise was the only issue. If you are a heavy sleeper then it might not be a problem at all. The double bedroom with en suite bath was very quiet, just the 2 bedrooms at the front were noisy. Personally, it didn't keep me awake, but it did wake me up for a few minutes several times a night.

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