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Trip Report Rome and Paris January Trip Report

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We planned a 9 day trip to Rome and Paris, four nights in Rome and five in Paris. I spent a lot of time on Tripadvisor and Fodors community forums planning this trip. I have really only been a prowler up until now. I could usually find answers to any questions I had just by reading others posts. I wanted to say THANK YOU for everyone that posts information and trip reports here. It made planning really fun. I wanted to post our trip report in hopes that I could help anyone in their planning. Sorry if its a little long.

We were able to cash in air miles to fly first class there and back, which was absolutely fantastic. I had been to Rome before over 6 years ago. It was also during the summer so high tourist time and very hot. I was excited to take DH to a place that had captured my heart. We have done quite a bit of travelling together, last year to Ireland plus extensively throughout the US. Our strategy is usually to see as much as we can which usually means we walk a lot (both in our 20s). We both love wine and food, so France and Italy seemed like a great decision. With my work schedule and DH’s work and now new school schedule (he’s going back) we planned this trip in about 5 weeks. So I was on these boards A LOT. I have never written anything like this before. So here it goes…

January 12
We woke up at 4:35am for our 6:25am flight. We live close to the airport in our small town, so getting there any earlier would be unnecessary and the airport probably wouldn’t even be open. Our friend picked us up at 5:10. We only had 43 minute layovers at both connecting airports. Luckily both flights arrived on time. Even after getting deiced in Salt Lake City and sitting in the airplane for what seemed like forever (probably only 5 minutes). In Atlanta we had to travel from the A terminal to the E terminal, and from about the two farthest gates away from each other. When we arrived at our gate they were calling for the last passengers but we made it! The food on the plane was really good, we had duck with couscous for an appetizer, salad, tenderloin with wasabi mashed potatoes and green beans for the main course. I had an ice cream sundae for desert while DH had the cheese and fruit plate. For breakfast we had eggs benedict with spinach. We watched quite a few movies and got a little bit of sleep. Flight arrived on time at FCO at 7:40am. After collecting our bags, we had a driver prearranged through the hotel waiting for us (50E). Thank goodness we did as there was a taxi strike that day and taking the Leonardo Express would have been a pain with our luggage and hotel location.

January 13
We arrived at our hotel, the Pantheon Inn around 9am. Luckily they had our room ready so we were able to drop of our luggage and freshen up a bit before venturing out. I choose this hotel due to its location and price. It was right next to the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (our window overlooked it). The Pantheon Inn was a great location and the price was right (90E/night). It had a free continental breakfast but we only ate it once. Our room was decent size but the shower and bathroom were nice. However, the water wasn’t always hot, never cold but not HOT. The staff was nice and helpful. We were on the 3rd floor European. It had a small elevator.

After getting freshened up we headed out. First stop was of course the Pantheon. We were two of six people in it at that time. It was quite amazing. From there we walked over to Piazza Navona. Again it was early and pretty much deserted. From there we walked over to the Colisseum. There were no lines! It was amazing. I had last been there during the summer and there were so many people. This was very exciting. After walking around the Collisseum we walked to Basilica of San Clemente. DH saw his first gypsie sitting outside this church. I enjoy this church and the ceilings. It is also interesting as it has three levels to it, the main floor from the 11th century, the middle floor from 4th century and the foundation from the 1st century.

Once we had toured through the church, we stopped for a little pizza al taglia. It was very good and much needed as we were getting a little tired. We ate as we walked to the Forum. Before we left we downloaded the Rick Steves’ audioguides on our MP3 players. We listened to the Forum tour which was really nice. It was great to have someone telling us about the different sites instead of reading from our guidebook. We walked back to the hotel to shower and take a short nap. We slept for about an hour and a half. It was really needed. We had planned to go to Dar Poeta in Trastevere for dinner that evening. We were hungry early and their website said they were open all day, so we headed through Campo di Fiori over the river to Trastevere. However, it was closed. So we turned around and headed back to the Campo. We ended up at Maranega. It was a decision that was not based on any reviews and purely of convenience but it was really good food. We got a caprese appetizer. I got bucatini del’amtriciana (sp?) and DH got the lasagna. We also had some wine (which is a recurring theme on our trip). Overall it was 40E. The noodles were so good. It was an early bedtime that night.

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