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Trip Report Two Sisters Return to Rome

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I hadn’t intended to write a report about my November week in Rome, but I had such a fabulous time that I can’t help but want to revisit the memories. And, as with all of my trips, I got tons of ideas and info here on the Fodor’s forums and especially by reading trip reports, so I guess it’s only fair to return the favor. So here we go!

I typically take one trip a year with the best travel buddy in the world, my sister K. Over the past 20 years we've been to so many great cities, like Paris, Budapest, Prague, Zurich, and San Sebastian, and always had a terrific time with lots of laughs. When trying to decide where to go this year, we tossed around a lot of ideas, but kept coming back to Rome. We had been to Rome twice before, both times for about 3 nights. We had a great time on both of those visits, and saw all of the “big” sites, but of course there was still so much to dig into.

I’m always torn about going back to a place that I’d previously been, especially when the wish list keeps getting longer and longer, but we couldn’t shake the desire to return to Rome. Rome can be challenging, for sure – it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the endless list of places to visit and things to do, not to mention the traffic, bustle and crowds at the big sites. But we’re city-lovers, and we thought that a full week would give us needed time to settle in and just enjoy the city, without feeling like we “had” to rush around and see this or that (it is vacation, after all!). After much discussion, we finally agreed on a return to Rome, with one pact – we would never, ever set foot in the Vatican Museums again.

K lives in NYC and me in Philly, so we met at EWR on Nov 7th for a painless and almost pleasant flight on Lufthansa via Munich. All went smoothly and we even managed a few winks, but the smoothness ended when we landed in Rome. If ever there was an argument for carry-on only, FCO is it. It took us at least 45+ minutes to make it to baggage claim after our flight landed, and an additional hour or so for our bags to hit the carousel. The baggage claim area was pandemonium, with tens of flights and their anxious passengers all experiencing lengthy waits. We were very thankful to finally see our bags come around, and were promptly met by our driver from Rome Shuttle Limousine.

http://www.romeshuttlelimousine.com/

Our home for the week was a fabulous apartment in the neighborhood of Monti, near the Coliseum. We loved this apartment, although it was quite big for two people (we originally thought we’d be a group of three or four). It featured two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a huge living room (which we never used or even turned on a light), washer, dining area and galley kitchen (small but very well-stocked). There was a huge pantry full of cleaning supplies and the biggest collection of left-behind chargers that you’ll ever see, tons of books, maps and info about room. Really, it had almost anything you could think of.

I also cannot say enough nice things about working with the agency, Roman Reference. They were very accommodating when I hate to change dates, promptly answered all of my (many) questions), and check-in was a breeze (apartment check-in always causes me much anxiety. Especially when jet-lagged, the “what-ifs” in my head tend to go into overdrive and I become certain that we'll soon be wandering the streets looking for a place to sleep)

The best part, though, was the terrace. We were lucky to have warmish weather all week, and spent almost all of our non-sleeping apartment time there, sipping coffee in the morning and wine in the evening. It was narrow with room for only a small table and two chairs, but overlooked a quiet courtyard (complete with stray kitties roaming about) and was the perfect retreat after busy days wandering the streets of Rome.

My only complaints about the apartment would be that the furniture was a bit rough around the edges, especially in the living room (we did do one sit on each of the many chairs and couches to say that we had done so) and one of the twin beds felt really uncomfortable when I sat/sunk into it. The beds we used were nice and comfy, though. Also, it was a longggg four flights up if you have challenges with stairs. Oh, and the wi-fi was very finicky.

http://www.romanreference.com/en/rome/apartment/238

Next Up: exploring Monti and Testaccio

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