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Back from a Week in Rome- rented with sleepinitaly, made short connection at CDG

Back from a Week in Rome- rented with sleepinitaly, made short connection at CDG

Mar 1st, 2007, 05:09 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 655
Back from a Week in Rome- rented with sleepinitaly, made short connection at CDG

My family (husband, daughter and her boyfriend) came back from a wonderful week in Rome. It was our third family trip but first time renting our own apartment (usually stay with a friend).

First, let me help all those travellers anticipating changing flights at CDG with short connections. We flew Air France and had great service on the flight over. We had to change planes with an hour and 10 minute time frame - but with the long taxi into CDG - getting on a bus to the terminal and then walking to the other terminal we just got there in the nick of time. On the return flight we only had 45 minutes and knew that we wouldn't make it if we had to walk to the terminal and go through security. Luckily there was a man waiting for us as we got off the plane with a sign in his hand for flights to Newark and Atlanta. He drove us to the terminal but it still took forever going through security as we had carry-on bags (in the event we missed our flight) - they decided to search my daughter and me. Then we made it to the gate - everyone had already boarded and they decided to search my husband's bag before letting him on - and they searched every nook and crany of his bag. Finally, we got our seats and all is well - we got all of our checked baggage on both flights - no problem.

We booked limo service in Rome with Rome Shuttle Limosine. We searched for our driver and our name but after waiting 30 minutes and then calling their number I was not able to contact anyone. So we ended up taking a more expensive van service provided at the airport into Rome. Later I received a call from Rome Shuttle apologizing about the mix-up...I couldn't quite capisce the man's explanation...nonetheless I still booked with them for our ride back to the airport on our last day and was pleased to say that the driver showed up early and was very pleasant. So I would recommend them.

We booked our apartment with sleepinitaly. They were very responsive from the get go and helpful. The apartment is Vicolo del Cinque, 8 in Trastevere. We loved the layout of the apartment and the location is just great - but we had numerous problems with the apartment and I would have a hard time recommending this apartment (unless maybe to a young group of people). I have spent a lot of time in Rome so I am aware of the water and heating situation but this apartment had a water tank that could not accomodate four people. The hot water was basically done after one shower. So we all had to stagger our showers during the day - and the kids learned how to take an army shower -not easy for my daughter with long curly hair that needs to be wet every morning. The apartment was on the ground floor and also had a musty smell - the dressing room off of one of the bedrooms had a ceiling that was partially open to the outside so rain got inside and added to the dampness. The towels they supplied were very large but very thin. There were some utensils, plates, and glasses but no cups for coffee and the small pot had a broken handle. We complianed about the shower situation and other issues and sleepinitaly (Vicky, Christina) were very prompt in responding and contacted the owner to adjust the shower. It really didn't help. They did promptly bring us cups and a kettle. A few days later the drain in one of the showers was stopped up and the toilet seat kept falling off - again we called them and they promptly addressed it. But for three days we had a coating of water on our bathroom floor - couldn't go in the bathroom without shoes on - we called them again and they sent someone over to fix it. Because we were out most of the day we didn't let this spoil our vacation but it wasn't the best situation. Our bed was comfortable- my daughter had to double the mattresses in the room with the double beds because the mattress was uncomfortable and she could feel the bed springs. So that seemed to help. Her boyfriend slept on the futon sofa bed in the living room which was fine. We burned incense to get the damp smell out of the place and adapted. The last day we were there they sent over the man who attends to the apartments with some EURO as a refund for our inconvenience in the apartment. I thought that was very nice of them to make that gesture. During the week they did offer to move us to another apartment but I didn't have the energy to pack up and move to another place that may have it's own set of issues.

So here is where we ate:
Macheroni - first and last night. Everyone loved it so much they wanted to go back even though we said we weren't going to eat at any place twice. We were happy we went there our last night. Service was "so-so" on our last night but the food is delicious.
We loved the trufie with pesto sauce and roasted potatoes were great, too.

Il Duca - across the street from our apartment. Great Pizza and equally great prices - eating in Trastevere is really much more economical.

Myositis -around the corner from Macharoni- one of our favorites but this time my daughter took her boyfriend and they ate there while my husband and I ate at...

Margharita Pizzeria in Trastevere - we shared linguine with fresh tomotoes and mozzarella and an order of melanzanie parmegiana - the melanzanie was so delicious we ordered a second portion - that was dessert.

Taverna della Scala - in Trastevere - we went Thursday because it looked like a nice restaurant, had a great menu and prices, and had gnocci on the menu. The artichoke antipasti was really lousy - so tough we sent it back- the gnocci was just so-so. Not a memorable meal.

Cul de Sac - my husband and I loved this restaurant. We went a bit before 8:00 and there was no line yet. We got the last table. We had the best super tuscan wine - delicious, and got the greek salad, babaganoush, and potato pies. We loved having the opportunity to eat middle eastern food. It was so good.

The kids went to Margharita Pizzeria this night and loved the food. They had a great time eating different types of pastas and trying different bruchettas.

Saturday we went to Orvieto, toured the underground and walked around the city. We had lunch there and I forgot to record the name of the restaurant but the kids said it was their favorite meal of our trip so far -my husband and I enjoyed a half bottle of Orvieto Classico.

Hostaria Del Moro - also across from our apartment - real crazy Italian restaurant. It was Sat. night and packed and they had only two waiters. Service sucked but they tried to make up for it by giving us additional food and drinks on the house - it ended up being a great evening and the food was really delicious.

We enjoyed lunch one day at Insalata Ricci, did a few cafes along our touring itineraries, and had two days to just sit in the afternoon at Canova with a drink and snack.

Weather was mild the whole trip - in the upper 50's to low 60's - a welcome relief from the low temperature in the teens and snow we left back in NYC. It drizzled the first two days but nothing that lasted too long. The rest of the week it was fairly sunny and mild and I rarely wore a winter coat - just a blazer with a scarf -even in Orvieto.

We did a private tour of the Jewish Ghetto and Forum and that was interesting with jewishroma tours. We revisited some sites since my daughter wanted to show them to her boyfriend - St. Peters, Castle St. Angelo, Coloseum, Borghese Park, and San Clemente. My husband and I went to the Borghese Gallery and the Doria Pamphilj Gallery. We both decided that this trip was our "Bernini Trip."

Our trip to Orvieto was a nice day trip. The views from the mountain top are gorgeous. The grass in the fields was emerald green and you could smell the soil in the air. My husband said that they next time we come we must stay in the country side...I agreed and now I am already planning a trip to Tuscany.

We drank a lot of Prosecco at dinner, had Barolo and Barbaresco at home, and ate a lot of great cheeses and bought lots of olives. I felt like I ate all day long but since we walked around all day, too I did not put on a single pound.

Shopping...my daughter and her boyfriend enjoyed shopping since they said Italy had the best Diesel jeans. Sales were everywhere and prices were really good on some items even though the exchange rate sucked. I treated myself to some gloves at Sermonetta and got a great bag and shoes on sale. Otherwise, I didn't see any clothing items that I had to have and styles weren't much differnet than in NYC.

Rome is one of my favorite places in the world. I really loved staying in Trastevere, too - since we usually stay with my friend near the Pantheon. I know some folks think Rome is gritty or dirty or loud. I think it's calm, beautiful, magical, and perfect. It was a great week!
risab is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:23 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hi R,

Boy, were you lucky at CDG!!

ira is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 08:32 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 509
Hi Risa. Glad to hear you made your CDG connections. We're only going for one week, so we can do carry-on only, but I'm wondering if it will just delay us too much (then again losing our luggage might delay us even more!). What was the size of your carry-on?
Mariarosa is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 01:02 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
I always enjoy reading your trip reports. I'm sorry you had a not so great apartment.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 01:14 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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MariaRosa...My daughter and I each took a LeSport Sac large weekend bag amd my husband had a duffle style bag about the same size. My daughter's boyfriend bought a small suitcase -not sure of the sizes but we made sure it met Air France's carry-on regulations. Having carry-on did delay our getting on the airplane faster because of the security checks, however, the plane knew we were cominig and we waiting until everyone cleared security. Guess they didn't want to have to put us up for the night. So we were very happy that they had it organized so well so that we could make the connecting flight. Just remember to put your toiletries in a quart size zip lock bag and take it out when you send your stuff through the x-ray machine.

WillTravel...thanks for the compliment.
risab is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 01:46 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 609
Thank you for your report. You had some hurdles along the way but kept a positive attitude. I really like that about you!

I remember from an earlier post that you had booked the Vicolo del Cinque apartment as we had booked it for June as well. Just about the time you were leaving on your trip I received an email from Giulia advising me to change to another apartment as there were problems with the original one. It was too late for you to switch apartments so I am glad you received some compensation at least. I'm sorry it was a disappointment.

I was looking forward to staying in Trastevere but there were no apartments available that would suit us. We booked Altoviti Big from sleepinitaly and I think we will be happy with it.

Thank you for the restaurant and other recs.
Judi is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 02:09 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Thanks for posting the FACTS about your transfers through CDG...much appreciated.
Dukey is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Really enjoyed your trip report, as we're doing much the same thing just 2 weeks from now.
We're also flying AirFrance, but staying in Paris for 3 nights, then flying on to Rome. We had originally booked the apartment at Vicolo del Cinque and were so bummed out when we had to chose another due to a slight change in dates. However, there was another post just last week about the same problems you had with the bathroom and shower situation in that apartment (actually, it may have been on another travel forum). I'm so sorry to hear that as it looked like such a lovely place and had the best layout. We'll be staying on via dei Cappellari through sleepinitaly.

We also have reserved a car pick-up through RomeShuttleLimousine, sure hope we don't have those problems. Did you write before you left to double-check? I think I'll do that next week.
AND, we plan to go to Orvieto for our daytrip! Are you sure we didn't plan our trips together? I'm happy to hear you liked it so much, and glad to know that it has some lovely views, just what we're looking for.
I'd sure feel better if I could find a review about the apartment we're staying in, but I've done so many searches and turned up nothing. Guess I'll be the first to review it!
We're also going to do carry-on only, no checked luggage, as we don't want to chance losing bags and then having to sit in an apartment all day waiting for it. We'll be taking 21" roll-ons. We have a nearly 2-hour layover at CDG on the way back, but will probably check our luggage on the way home. Any tips on packing those 1-quart ziplock bags? Now that looks like a challenge.
Thanks again for your report!
Hagan is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 10:53 AM
  #9  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hagan...that is quite funny how are trip plans are the same...
You will love Orvieto, it is really a charming town. As for the "zip lock bags" remember that you can not take any liquid, lotion, or cream items on the plane - check the Air France website and it will give you details. So you can only take toiletries that are less than 3 oz. - basically travel size mouthwash, shampoo, body lotion, etc. And you can only put a small amount of things in the quart size bag. So, anything else that you must have you will need to buy.I divided the basics between our three family members. Since we also had checked luggage we put the other toiletries we needed inside a plastic bag in our luggage.
Re: the limo service - Actually, I did confirm with them the day before we left. I think what happened to us may have been a fluke.
Well...enjoy your trip. I am sure you'll have a wonderful time.
risab is offline  

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