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Crazy day trip to Rome!

Rome Travel Blog

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Piazza del Quirinale

Two J Club members meet in Italy!   J4 and J5 maybe?????????

The idea for this trip was conceived a few months ago while chatting with Jennifer(Jenn79) about our travels.  She had suggested meeting up somewhere but the timing just was not right yet.  Jennifer had told me that she was going to Rome in April and asked if I wanted to go.   Well of course I would!  I kept an eye out on the flights and it continued to look good for me to get to Rome, so I booked a hostel and was all set.

Finally, the day has come.  On Thursday April 17,  I get my daughter off to school and head out to Indianapolis International Airport for my Northwest Airlink flight to New York La Guardia.

Piazza Venezia
  It was a smooth and on time 2 hour flight into LGA.  I took a bus from LGA to JFK.  At 4:05pm I was onboard Alitalia 609, a Boeing 777 to Rome.  This flight was wide open for nonrevenue travel because Alitalia has been close to shutting down recently and people are avoiding booking on them.  I had my meal and drinks and then slept until breakfast just before arrival.  The flight was smooth and we arrived in Rome 30 minutes early.  Since I only travel with carry on baggage, I was through Customs and Immigration within ten minutes.  I caught the Leonardo Express train to Rome.  It is a nonstop 30 minute ride for 11 Euros each way.

I was at my hostel by 7:25am.  It was Hostel Beautiful 2.  It is less than five minutes walk from Termini Station and was about $40 per night.

Trevi Fountain
  It was clean, friendly, and safe.  I showered and changed and then went downstairs to meet Jennifer.  She was there within a few minutes and off we went to see Roma!

By now, it was about 8:30 and the first tour bus left at 9 so we went directly to the stop and waited.  The weather was perfect this day so we sat on the open top of the bus.  We headed out and saw a few of the sights and decided to make St. Peter's our first stop in order to beat the crowds.  The line into Vatican City was long but it took no longer than 30 minutes to get in.  The security screening was similar to an airport but less intense.  It was not as crowded as I thought it would be.

Colosseo
Maybe because the Pope was out of town in NY?  Who knows.  We had wandered all over the inside of the massive Basilica and then left to go to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.  It was a little bit of a walk around the corner and this line was long too.  After 20 minutes or so, we were inside.  We paid the 14 Euro, which is well worth it and were on our way.  It was absolutely amazing!  I cannot begin to describe the artwork that is in there.  The photos sure do not do any justice at all!  You could easily spend hours in that museum.  The highlight was the Sistine Chapel, of course.  No photos allowed in there though!

It was close to one when we went back to the tour bus.  We took it to Via Veneto, so Jennifer could check into her hotel.

Rome
  We rested a short while and then headed to get some lunch.  The Concierge had recommended an Italian restaurant around the corner, so we went.  I thought my ravioli was great but Jennifer did not like her pasta.  I tried hers and it was ok but not great.  By the way, the restaurant is called al vero Girarrosto Toscano.   After, I had to stop at the Hard Rock Cafe to get my friend a pilsner glass.

After all that, we went to see the Trevi Fountain.  It was packed with people!  I mean, you could not move around at all.  We snapped some photos and threw our coins in to assure our future visit to Rome, of course!  We then went to the Spanish Steps.  This place was even more packed with people!  More pictures and then off to a gelateria for some yummy gelato!  It all looked good but I was craving lemon and so that is what I had.

Colosseo
  Jennifer had a Kinder Bar gelato.

It was only 6pm but we were bushed!  Jennifer also had an early wake up the next morning, so we split up at this time.  It was such a pleasure to tour Rome with Jennifer!  She is a wonderful person to travel with, a real trooper, who will go with the flow without any complaint. 

Jennifer went to her hotel and I went back to the hostel.  I was sharing the room with two girls, one from Stockholm and the other from Poznan.  They were a lot of fun to hang out with.  We had some shawarma from a place across from the hostel and a few beers.  We also walked around the area in the evening.   They were flying out early too, just like I and so we went to sleep at about 10.

Jennifer at the Colosseo

I awoke at 5:30am so I could get ready and be out of the girls way.  I had some breakfast and departed the hostel at 7am for Termini Station.  I took the Leonardo Express back to FCO airport and was there by 8am.   I walked over to the Alitalia Chicago counter and waited.  I could sense something was amiss.  Some of the customers at the counter were looking frustrated.  I started to worry.  My fears came true when it was my turn and I heard the agent say that the Chicago flight was cancelled.  Well, it was too early to be too concerned, as I had some options.  I felt bad for the other passengers since it sounded like they were going to be staying overnight in Rome.   I asked about getting on another Alitalia flight to the US, as they fly to New York, Newark, Boston, and Miami.

Rome
  The agent had said New York was full.  Well that makes sense with the Pope being there.  He said that I had a chance to get on Boston.  My standby tickets are interchangeable on other airlines, so I went to search out another flight to the US.  I found one in American Airlines!  I asked about the AA flights and was told that Chicago was full but that I could get on their JFK flight.  I took it!  At 10:10am, I was aboard American 235 to New York.  I had no idea how I would get to Indy, but at least I would be in the States!  This flight seemed to go on forever, but finally, at a little after 1pm, we were at JFK.  I knew that Delta had a nonstop to Indy but could not remember what time it departed.
Tiber River
  I found out the Delta flight left at 6:50pm so I would try Northwest first and If I could not get on, I would then go to that Delta flight.  The Northwest flight 896 to Detroit was overbooked and it was going to be real close.  I waited.  At 5 minutes to pushback, they called out for me and the other nonrev there to come up.  They said that there were three open seats and so we could board.   Oh No!   Two more people came up to get on, now there was only one open seat!  I was thinking I was not going but I had more seniority on her and so I was on!  She jokingly said "You suck Jeremy!" and I was on my way!  I felt bad but I have been in her position before too.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Colosseo
  I took the only open seat on the plane, which happened to be 1C in first class!   The DC-9 flight was smooth and routine and I downed a few beers on it.

Now I am in Detroit and once again, I could easily be spending the night there since the flight to Indy is overbooked also.  I waited again.  They called my name!   Yeah!   I am on but the only seats they have left are first class.  Oh twist my arm!  I sit down in seat 3A and am on my way to Indy onboard another DC-9.  This flight was also smooth and routine.  A few gin and tonics and 45 minutes later, I am back in Indy!  It is 8:30pm.   This crazy trip has come to an end and I will never forget it.  

Thanks for reading!

free08 says:
Must be nice to roam/fly around like that. Great blog!
Posted on: Jan 13, 2012
wiola says:
Super!!!
Posted on: Mar 29, 2011
Dolphintrekker says:
Love Rome and Gelato!!!!!!!
Posted on: Aug 30, 2008
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Piazza del Quirinale
Piazza del Quirinale
Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Colosseo
Colosseo
Rome
Rome
Colosseo
Colosseo
Jennifer at the Colosseo
Jennifer at the Colosseo
Rome
Rome
Tiber River
Tiber River
Colosseo
Colosseo
Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia
Rome
Rome
Rome
Rome
Rome
Rome
Rome
Rome
Circo Massimo
Circo Massimo
One of the many churches in Rome
One of the many churches in Rome
Roman Ruins
Roman Ruins
Tiber River
Tiber River
Castel St. Angelo
Castel St. Angelo
Another church
Another church
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Piazza Di Spagna
Piazza Di Spagna
Piazza Di Spagna
Piazza Di Spagna
Jennifer and I enjoying our gelato!
Jennifer and I enjoying our gelato!
Termini Rail Station
Termini Rail Station
Termini Rail Station
Termini Rail Station
Rome Hostels review
A good place to stay
I booked this hostel on Hostelworld.com after reading mostly positive reviews. What I liked: The location was perfect, being a short walk from Ter… read entire review
2 km (1 miles) traveled
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Rome
photo by: vulindlela