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Trip Report We Survived Rome Without A Money Belt! Our Week in Rome.

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This was our first trip to Italy. My partner Martin and I thought that a trip to Rome would be a good way to begin our travels to Italy. We spent 7 full days sightseeing in Rome. Prior to this trip I thought that we'd take a day trip to Orvieto or Ostia or maybe even Florence, but once we got there, we never even once seriously thought of leaving the city. We got sucked in, which was fine with us.

We brought the Michelin Map of Rome with us, which we used sometimes to map out our day, but used the Streetwise Rome foldout map as our guide map once we went out walking and exploring for the day.

For guidebooks I brought Fodors See It Rome, Eyewitness Top Ten Rome and Rick Steves Rome. The Fodors and Eyewitness books were the most useful, however the Rick Steves book did come in handy.

As referenced in the title, we chose not wear money belts, which turned out to be the right decision for us. We each had a small/slim wallet in our front pants pocket with a small amount of cash. One of us carried a credit card. We each brought a small "travel purse" with a shoulder strap. We only brought one out with us each day and we'd take turns wearing it. We kept guidebooks, maps and restaurant contact information in it. This system seemed to work well for us.

Before the trip I was a little freaked out by all the stories of roving bands of gypsies and pickpockets. Well, maybe it was the time of year, the considerable police presence or maybe we didn't look like easy marks, but we saw no roving bands of gypsies and never once had any security problems. I felt very safe in Rome. One day as we were going somewhere I saw a man wearing his money belt outside his clothing! We had a good laugh at that. Poor guy.

We flew United Economy Plus from San Jose to IAD then overnight to Rome. The extra 5 iches of legroom you get in EP was very welcome. We arrived at 9am on the Tuesday after Easter Monday. Arriving this early meant that we had almost a whole full day to start seeing the Eternal City. The flights were fine. We each popped a 12mg Ambien CR on the flight from IAD to Rome and slept almost the entire 8.5 hour flight. I highly recommend this. We ate a big meal before boarding and we snacked on some things that we brought on board with us once we woke up.

I had made arrangements to be picked up by Rome Cabs ( www.romecabs.com ). Once at the arrivals area, Martin went to get some cash ( there are some bancomats to the right, the one to the left was broken ) while I waited for our driver. She appeared after a few minutes and drove us to our apartment in Rome. The drive in was a blur, but I do remember seeing the Colosseo whizz by.

more later...

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