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Trip Report sandi_travelnut's 7 days in Rome / 2 in Bologna

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My husband and I love to walk all over Rome. The "plan" for this, our third trip to Rome, was to not only see areas we've never seen before but to see the city from various perspectives and vistas. We search out the highest elevations so as to get beautiful sunset views of the exciting and gritty city that we love very much.

Jan 9 and 10 'where's my coat?!

My husband and I (M for short) used Advantage miles for this trip which routed us from DFWthrough Zurich on AA then to Rome on Swiss. The flight from DFW to Zurich was without incident, as you would want it, except for a short in the overhead lights on M's side of the isle. His light kept flashing on and off as he was trying to sleep. Speaking of sleep, we used Sonata this time around for the flight over. I slept a couple of hours and did not use it any other time on the trip. M did and he said it caused some pretty crazy, trippy dreams at times.

Landed at 7:10am Zurich time and had until 12:30pm for the flight to Rome. The bags had been checked all the way through so we did not have to claim them then recheck. Our printed itinerary is lying inside each bag in case they end up elsewhere.

Passed through Zurich security with all bottle caps intact. They didn't even make me take off my shoes. Do not forget to put all liquids (3 oz. or less) in a separate ziplock and don't try assume that if it isn't a true liquid (shaving cream, toothpaste) that it will be safe. I saw many people lose their toothpaste not realizing this. Also, if you think you will be shopping at the duty-free shops for cheap perfume or liquor, do it AFTER you go through your last security checkpoint or it will be thrown away! I saw this over and over'it was a real shame and many people were very upset.

After hanging around the airport for 5 hours we were finally able to board the Swiss flight to Rome which takes about 1.5 hours. Landed, got our bags and headed for the taxi queue. We almost fell for the unregulated taxi driver who quoted us 70e to our destination (next to Campo dei Fiori) but M saw the correct line for a cab and it costs us only 40e. As we pulled into the area by our piazza and the apartment we rented, the driver jumped out quickly to get the bags. M and I jumped out as well to make sure everything had been taken out of his trunk. Unfortunately, being a bit bleary for the travel day I did not look back in the backseat of the taxi before he sped off. My black wool winter coat was there, still in the car. I did not notice until after he left and we were assessing our belongings (Lesson #1 ' don't be in such a hurry when exiting a cab, take inventory of your belongings.) We walked a short way to the apartment. By this time it was 3pm and we were scheduled to meet Giorgio from Sleep in Italy at 4pm to get the keys. We had no phone with us (Lesson #2 ' We will never travel again without a cell phone) and I tried to find a public phone around our piazza and tried to find a kind stranger to let us use their phone. After 30 minutes of looking and asking, I finally asked 2 older gentlemen if I could use their phone. They were very sweet and made the call for me to the SIL (Sleep in Italy) office..Giorgio was on his way.

Giorgio appeared 10 minutes later and let us into the apartment. He showed us everything and was very thorough. He told us that there was a caretaker of the apartment building who was on site from 9a-1p in case we needed anything. I was pleased so far with SIL's service and response to our questions and the quality of the apartment. We were left with keys in hand and a very empty stomach.
(Apartment was 160 euro per night for 2 people plus 45 euro final cleaning)

Campo Monte di Pieta, where the apartment is, is surrounded by great shopping, cafes and a high-end but small supermarket that has a good variety of meats, cheeses, bread, fresh and frozen produce and household items. This store was a God send as we had to stock up on soap, paper towels, olive oil, coffee etc for the apartment. The Campo itself is quite small and is used exclusively as a parking lot. There is a very high-end jewelry store next door to the apartment building so the older gentlemen that were so kind to me, happen to be guards for the store. They could be seen everyday, all day, hanging around in front of the entrance to the apartment building and the store itself.

We walked down to Campo dei Fiori and then to Pont Vittorio Emmanuel in time for sunset. From there we strolled past Castel San Angelo and over and across Pont San Angelo. We stopped for a glass of wine and pizza (15e total) then made our way to the apt. We realized that there was no hand or shower soap so we began making our grocery list for tomorrow. Tomorrow we take a private tour of the Paletine Hill and the Forum with EKScrunchy (aka Erica) and her mate Jeff.

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