On the way to our hotel...
Rome Travel Blog› entry 2 of 7 › view all entries
Upon stepping out of the train at the Termini Centrale, we were immediately overwhelmed by the station itself- the noise, the crowds, the cigarette smoke, the fragrant smell of melted mozzarella and tomato sauce, the many people getting a quick espresso at the coffee bars while waiting for their trains. This station was unlike any train station I'd seen anywhere else, as they are such large commercial outlets that it was practically equivalent to a medium-sized American mall. In fact, there were all kinds of clothing, luggage, cosmetics and book stores scattered throughout the station, as well as hole-in the-wall kiosks that carried everything from newspapers and porn to Romulus and Remus statuettes. This was all a bit too much for us to handle at the time, considering we were suffering from a bad case of jet-lag, so we decided to head straight to our hotel and postpone our exploration of the train station and its surrounding areas for another day.
Although we were painfully aware that taxi rides were definitely on the pricey side, we decided that we were too tired to walk all the way to our hotel room. Our cab driver kept trying to explain something to us, but he did not speak any English, so we weren't able to understand. After several frustrated and very animated attempts to help us understand the point he was trying to get across, he finally gave up and started driving us to our hotel. Less than a minute later he pulled over to the side of the road, stopped the car and got out. Confused, we looked around, examining our surroundings. In the meantime, our cab driver was removing out luggage from the trunk. I opened the door, stepped out of the car and looked up to find that we were directly in front of our hotel. This meant that we not only could have easily walked from the train station, but that it would have taken us no longer than a couple of minutes to arrive! The cab driver then made eye contact with us and held up eight fingers. "Eight euros?!!!", we asked, shocked at the nerve of our cab driver. He nodded.
After we were done paying for our thirty second cab ride, we entered the lobby and were greeted by an elegantly dressed desk person. The only positive aspect of being ripped off by our driver was that he was, by far, the best looking cab driver I had ever seen. In fact, he may have been the most attractive male I had ever seen- on screen and in real life.
"Buona Sera", said the tall, olive-skinned man on the other side of the desk, interrupting my private analysis of the cab driver's physique. I apologized for being distracted and gave him my reservation information. I looked around and was pleased with my surroundings. The lobby was very European in style, with elaborate antiques as decorations, classic furniture and impressive paintings on the wall. From what I could tell, we were also in a great location in the sense that we were very close to the Termini Centrale, the Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps and several other tourist attractions. Those had all been great selling points when I was looking for a room to book on hotels.com. That, and the claim that the hotel itself was featured in the backdrop of Fellini's "La Dolce Vita", triggered my decision to book a four night reservation at the Best Western Hotel Mondial.