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Trip Report Rome, Birthday trip

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I'm still in Rome, but "resting " today. I ignored my own profile guidance that I always pack hiking boots, took a comfortable pair of smart trainers, and have regretted it since day 3.

Even my blisters have blisters - I have been hobbling so badly tat I am sure that if I'd carried a plastic cup with me, I could have raised a lot of small change.
As I have "wasted" today, I thought I'd start to write up the trip report.

This year marks one of those “significant” birthdays; depressing, but I thought if I am going to feel old it may as well be in ancient surroundings. Being that is exactly 10 years since I was last there, I planned a trip to Rome.

I am in awe of some Fodorites who can plan a week’s tour to Rome and have it mapped out with military precision with months to spare before they go. I am far too lazy and disorganised to do this, so as long as I get flights and accommodation sorted out, the rest of the trip will sort of make itself up as it goes along.

I found an apartment 15 minutes walk away from St Peter’s Square that was within my price bracket and had numerous excellent reviews on the Homelidays website. Having confirmed the reservation, I looked for flights, and the much maligned Ryanair again proved much cheaper than the competition even if I did have to travel from Stanstead.

Day 1.
Despite the 4am start it all went rather well except for Ryanair's planning. Trying to fly 5 flights from a 8 gate hub within 25 minutes of each other just lead to complete bottlenecks in narrow corridors which lead, in turn, to some confrontations. Strangely we managed to get over wing exit seats with vast amounts of legroom – many people had boarded before us, but obviously assumed the seats were reserved.

We caught the Terravision bus from Ciampino into Rome termini. Having bought the “Special online” offer from their website we found that they were no more expensive either on the flight or at the airport.

The Weather was cold but bright and sunny. We had been given detailed instructions on how to get to the apartment, and it was recommended that we buy integrated transport tickets as soon as we arrived. Easier said than done – The station was absolutely full of Irish rugby fans, all trying to get metro and bus tickets. There were “helpful” Roma people at each of the ticket machines. Hearing my accent, the Irishman in front of me turned, grinned, and said “I’d watch that one if I were you, she’ll have your fec***n' wallet”. Two stereotypes for the price of one – the gypsy thief and the sweary Irishman

We found our way to the apartment, Everything was as advertised and "booking in" went smoothly. As we were very early, we dropped off our bags and set out exploring the local area , stopping to grab some takeaway pizza slices. The location is fine – nearly all apartment blocks, but plenty of coffee bars and the odd restaurant. A fresh food market is about 5 minutes walk – we have always felt safe. We returned a couple of hours later, and after an afternoon snooze, walked down to Vatican taking plenty of pictures as evening falls. Onwards down to the river and Castel San’t Angelo – very picturesque, but the travel was taking its toll so we headed back homewards.

Supper at local Ristorante dal Sardo. Marinated seafood starter, sautéed clams mussels (Too salty and overcooked), potato and mint ravioli (Too stodgy and to my palate, lacked taste), tiramisu, litre house red disappointing €56. A pity really because I liked the atmosphere and service – would give it another chance later. It had been a long day, so back to the apartment and a relatively early night,

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