Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rome – Tuesday Evening

Our plane arrived at 7 pm and we all are ushered onto a small transfer tram/bus to take us to the main airport.  Right away we are lead to Customs.  I was surprised we didn’t have to clear anything in London but I see now that this was because we would clear in Rome. 

Because we were quick we didn’t have to wait too long in the queue but it did get longer as we waited.  Customs was quick and easy, they scanned our passports and then stamped them and we were on our way to pick up on our bags.

This is really what took the longest.  We waited around a half hour for the bags to arrive.  All said and done we were out of the airport looking for our ride at 8 pm.

We had previously reserved a driver a while back for private service from airport to downtown for 40E.  I do believe the price has gone up to 45E now.  The driver was waiting for us with a large sign with our names.  His name was Alberto and he was dressed in a nice suit and immediately took one of our bags.  Bernie insisted on taking the other.  A short walk to the van and we were off.  Traffic was rather light and we were at our hotel after about a half hour ride.  You can find the service we used on my blog about website links here.

A long time ago friends of our Ramon/Agnes had recommended the Green Apartments to us and it sounded ideal for us.  We contacted the owner Andrea and he was quick to respond (actually every email no matter how big or small was quickly responded to).  The apartments are located away from the street.  Could be hard to spot but they are at 29 Labicana – easy to find by looking for the Indian Restaurant sigh.  You enter as if you are going towards the restaurant and then turn right and enter a small courtyard with buildings around you.  Green Apartments is right straight ahead.  Andrea was waiting for us and led us up a flight of stairs.  Immediately you see the Apt. 1 and 2 at the top of the stairs.  We continue up and onto the terrace and the last two apartments are here.  We are in Apt. 4

It is lovely not too small and not too big.  Perfect for a couple, and makes me think of our first apartment. 

As so many reviews have said this is where Andrea shines.  We sit down at the kitchen table and he produces his personalize map where he highlights many of the sites and gives us tips on getting to those site, booking and best time to go.  He even has listed his favorite restaurants, bars, wine stores, and coffee shops.  What I especially like is the smaller map with detailed information around our area for those necessities. 

We pay Andrea in Euros – a very respectful price 120E a night for our room.  Certainly comparable to most hotels we looked at and even a bit less.  You won’t find five star here, but a strong 3 star for sure.  Here you will find peace and comfort and a taste of Italy but living among the locals.  You have the opportunity to made a few meals at home and to spread out and really connect with the city.

It should be noted that The Green Apartments take cash or he can arrange for you to pay via Pay Pal before you arrive.  Note there is also a 3.5 E per person tax that has to be collected upon arrival too along with your passport information.

We unpack a bit and head out for a bite to eat.  We are dealing with a nine hour time change and we want to force ourselves to stay awake until later to help get settled. 
We walk along the street of our apartment then head down another couple streets to an area that has quite a few small restaurants.  We take a seat outside on the terrace.  It is lovely out, a light jacket is needed by we are totally comfortable outside.

We order a bottle of wine, and then we share a Calbresse salad, a cheese plate and then a mushroom pizza.  The entire bill came to 35E and we took some of the cheese from our cheese plate back home to enjoy later with some wine, perhaps on the terrace. 

We decided to walk around a bit more and well guess what we found a gelato place and even though Bernie said he didn’t want one I order a mint flavor with chocolate and Bernie decided (yes he couldn’t resist) and got a pistachio (thinking of you Mark) the gelato was 2 E each.  We sat on a bench and people watched.

Okay it is almost 11 pm and we agree we have forced ourselves out late enough.  There are numerous little corner stores open and we pick up some milk and some orange juice for a start to our day tomorrow.

I don’t think I had my head on the pillow before I crashed.  I woke to the sounds of someone heading out to work I am guessing and my first thought was OMG I am in Rome.
I take out my laptop and sit under the beautiful window that leads out to another courtyard.

As I sit here I can hear from the courtyard and the apartments above, a very small baby crying and an older lady stringing her clothes on the line to dry.   Wow I am in Rome.


  1. Oh my goodness. It's finally here. We are thrilled that your Mediterranean adventure is about to begin and we can't wait to sail along with you. All our best wishes for a fabulous cruise. Love, S&B

  2. Enjoying you sharing your travels, as always. Thanks for taking us along!
    Hope you have a splendid time!

  3. Looks like a movie set , how romantic .

  4. The pistachio gelato is the best! I've been traveling (Carnival Journeys cruise) so am late catching up. Can't wait to read the rest.