Home > Travel > Honeymoon, Day 15 — Onward to Rome

Honeymoon, Day 15 — Onward to Rome

May 2nd, 2009

Due to the early flight into Italy, we arrived early as well–a bit after 10 am. We came through Leonardo da Vinci airport, and found our way to the trains, where I found some weirdness in ticket pricing.

In fact, in Greece, we had a similar problem. Arriving, the cost of the ticket charged us from the airport to Omonia Station was €4 apiece. Leaving, it was €5. Either we were undercharged coming in or overcharged going out. Seeing as how on the departure trip it was so early that no one was around and the ticket seller was somewhat rude, I have a suspicion that we were overcharged.

In Rome, buying tickets for the Leonardo Express, everything around us said it was €11 per person–our guide book and even the prices listed on the ticket window. But when I bought the tickets, I was charged €12 per person. Later, someone at a ticket office run by the same company tried to claim that it was some sort of commission fee. The problem is, when I asked a few Italian passengers on the train what they were charged, they all said they were asked to pay only €11. Something smells wrong there. Is it SOP in some European countries for train ticket sellers to rip off tourists?

In any case, I eventually discovered that I had bought from a private ticket seller at da Vinci. I always assumed that train tickets were sold by the train line, and it was not freelanced right there in the station. If you can, find the official sales booth.

When we got to Termini Station, we had another problem: we just followed the crowd leaving our car of the train. This led us to the diametrically opposite corner of the station we intended to come out from–and it’s a big station. It took us 15 minutes to even understand where we were, and then quite a bit of time after that to walk all the way round after that. I should have paid more attention–I knew that we should have walked in the direction the trains were traveling, which would have saved us a lot of time, effort, and confusion. Ah well.

This time around, we didn’t stay in a hotel. Instead, we found a place called “Delia Accommodation,” referred to in places as a “bed and breakfast.” A family (Delia, her husband and her daughter) have a floor of apartments (single room plus bath), and rent them out to visitors. On the plus side, the rooms are nice, centrally located, and cheap (for Rome). On the down side, it is less than full-service, and the place is kind of hard to find. On hotel review sites, a common complaint was the inability to find the place–it is marked only by a small placard next to the door, and you have to enter into a courtyard, enter a locked building, and take a narrow elevator up to the 4th floor. If doors are locked, you have to buzz the front desk to be let in–and the front desk is often unoccupied. Thanks to Google Street View, however, I was able to figure out where to go exactly, and when we arrived, we just happened to catch Delia’s husband who waved us in.

Another benefit of the place is that there’s a great, reasonably-priced restaurant (“La Famiglia”) right downstairs. We ordered their 1-liter beer, and found it to be a lot bigger than we thought–we got a few laughs from an adjacent table (everyone else was having bottled water), and we thought it was pretty funny ourselves.

La Famiglia

Prosciutto Pizza

Giant Beer

After getting settled, we researched the local neighborhood, identifying a supermarket and laundry shop within a few blocks of the Delia. In the supermarket, I noted a Japanese snack, called “Pocky” in Japan–but dubbed “Mikado” in Italy. I have to wonder if it was made by the same company and simply rebranded.


Then we set out on a longer walk, which ended up being about 4 km. We went to the Plaza of the Republic. On one side there was a basilica with interesting door panels. We didn’t go inside until later in the trip.

Plaza Of The Republic


Basilica Doors

One thing we noticed pretty early on is that a lot of doors to residences in Rome are big. This was true to the residence we stayed in as well as most apartment buildings.

Giant Door

As we walked up the avenue to the north of the plaza, we noticed a whole bunch of five-star hotels, which made Sachi swoon. She has a thing for such hotels, and at some time in the future we’ll undoubtedly stay at one–when we can afford the ridiculous prices…

We also stopped by a wine shop, which was staffed by a very good salesman who sold us a bottle of Pinot Nero, which we enjoyed over the following few evenings.

Wine Shop

One thing jumped out at us, though: Rome is a beautiful city. Especially just after leaving Athens, which (aside from the historical areas) is a very unattractive city. But Rome, everything was postcard perfect. Classical buildings, cobblestone streets, cozy restaurants, and very clean.

Rome Street-01

Rome Street-02

Rome Street-04

Rome Street-03

After it got dark, and not too far from the hotel, it started to rain–making the streets even more beautiful. One of my favorite images:

Rainy Roman Street

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  1. Tim Kane
    May 2nd, 2009 at 21:37 | #1


  2. Luis
    May 2nd, 2009 at 23:24 | #2

    Which? The pizza or the beer? 😀

  3. Leszek Cyfer
    May 7th, 2009 at 04:13 | #3

    The last picture :)

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