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Rome Travel Blog

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5.12.09       

 

We’re in Rome!  We arrived about 8:30 pm to Roma Camping campground, which we think might just be our most favorite campground in the world!  We’ve just finished eating our Italian gelato (ice cream) and watching a great outdoor one-man concert here at the campground near the pool.  In fact, we can still hear it right now from Sugar- this is a hopping place like a fun youth hostel.  More on Roma Camping in a minute.

 

The ferry was convenient transportation over here and we think taking it was a good move.  After having to *turn around* on board the ship to back into our position.  That was nerve-wracking, but I had helpers spotting for me.  There wasn’t much room.  But the poor 18-wheeler trucks had to *back onto* the ferry which did NOT look easy.  There was only one way on and off on this ship!

 

We were SO happy to have a cabin last night, although we had to vacate it during our nap this afternoon at 3pm, leaving 3.5 hours to hang out in the kids’ playroom and on deck.  We did meet a nice Italian family who were returning from holiday in Barcelona and enjoyed talking with them. 

 

It was funny that when the Dad learned of our trip, he piped up and said, “In Italy, we don’t do that.  My wife stays with me.  She is scared and doesn’t like to travel without me.”  I explained that while I prefer to travel with my husband, since he couldn’t come and it was now-or-never with the kids, we went.  I think they got that, particularly when we discussed Ned’s visits to see us and our time at home between segments.  It is interesting to hear a different cultural perspective on traveling.

 

The pool on the ship was not filled and when we asked at the front desk, they said it was too cool, we must wait 2 more months!  While Lia was sorely disappointed (and was told by staff on 2 occasions that the hot tub was too full for more people), I thought their opinion that it was too cool was funny.  Certainly the short sea crossings do not leave much time to handle the many ship chores- we thought the people working aboard were very hard-working.

 

Another cruise note:  when you have to pay for your food separately, it makes it very pricey.  I’d read to bring food aboard and we did eat some fruit and bread that we managed to bring.  However, we went looking for breakfast this morning and found only croissants and tarts, and a few boxed cereals.  I must say the coffee with milk was most excellent!  Anyway, every meal eating out is expensive!  So we are really looking forward to the Camping-on-Board options available on our future ferry crossing to Greece.

 

This ferry crossing had a group of Italian high school-aged students who were part of an state-wide program for learning about business and marketing their products.  They’d gone over the day before to Barcelona and were returning on our ship to Civatavechi.  We talked with one of the teachers.who explained that there were 20 kids from her group, but 800 students in all.  Can you imagine how crazy this can get?  For the most part, they behaved fine, but it was not the calm, off-season crossing as we’d anticipated.  Jazy said, “and I thought there wouldn’t be any kids my age!”  However, they did stick to their groups.  I think language differences in Europe make people a little less likely to greet each other.

 

Our ship docked briefly on the small island of  Sardinia at Porto Torres and a few people got off.  The island was not very big and much of the port was industrial, of course.  However, I remembered in the book “One Year Off” how they visited her family there and what a fun time they had.  It was like a little walk down someone else’s memory lane!

 

We did last night have an occasion, when I returned sunglasses left in the bathroom stall, to talk with some grateful Italian ladies.  They bubbled on with enthusiasm and interest when they learned we were tourists going to Italy, in spite of our lack of a common language.  We love the Italian enthusiasm!

 

Twice we saw people attempting to cut in line and both times they were rather loudly verbally apprehended by the protestations of Italian men in line.  I love it!  Just speak right up and address the issue- they were both successful, might I add.

 

We arrived in Civitavecchia in Italy and managed to get off the ship within 5 minutes of the announcement for car and truck drivers to head to our vehicles.  We were so happy to see Sugar.  We just love her!  She started right up and away we went.

 

New roads made things a bit tricky.  Signage in Europe doesn’t help.  Never do they give the direction (north, south, east, west).  They will have a roundabout with 2 signs in opposite directions with “A12 Rome” on them both. We know. because we just go around and around until we figure it out or make a wild guess.

 

I followed Jazy’s hunches and she was right!  (I was wrong, what a surprise).  The ride into Rome from Citavecchia was breathtakingly beautiful with the sun setting (the ferry unloaded at 6:45pm), rolling hills of green, beautiful salmon-colored houses, and the gorgeous Mediterranean sea.  Jazy said she loved Italy and wanted to move here.  I reminded her that she’s said that about every country we’ve visited in Europe so far!

 

We stopped for gas- they have an attendant at the pumps for full-service if you want it.  Several pumps were also do-it-yourself.  Whereas the diesel gas in Spain was like .85E per liter, here it was 107 E!  And 1.11 E for full service, so when you multiply by 4 (3.8 liters per gallon), that is about $.15 a gallon more for full service.  We still got plenty of service as he hovered around, handed me a plastic glove for pumping the gas, and rattled on in Italian saying “bella” this and that, so I just smiled and let him continue.  In France, the gas was like .95 E per gallon, so definitely aim for Spain for cheap gas.

 

 

We took what we thought was a small road through Auralia, but it turned out to be the SS1, which we had wanted in the beginning.  It was a lovely, divided highway and before we knew it, we were under the ring road, up the ramp for the campground, and bam!  There was the campground! 

 

Jazy said we were sitting in their entrance before she ever knew what happened.  She’d read the Church’s directions to Roma Camping, but it seemed much more complicated than it was.  By the way, if we’d waited to see the grocery store to take the exit ramp, we would have missed it.  But a sign for Roma Camping and the GPS coordinates cued us correctly.  I just wouldn’t wait to see the supermarket to make the turn.

 

This campground is WONDERFUL!  It must be under new management since the Church’s book in 2005.  I see they are somehow affiliated with Michelangelo’s Camping in Florence, which the Church’s highly recommend, so maybe that explains the upgrades here since the book listing on this campground.

 

Where to begin- this is the most perfect campground.  If you were to put together a Disney-type of campground, this would be it.  Lovely restaurant, separate bar, marble bathrooms, separate adorable kid’s bathroom with baby bathtub, tiny toilets, bright colors, etc.  Sand volleyball pit, pool with a hundred chaise lounge chairs, free music in the evening, delightful people at registration who speak beautiful English, a printout of all our questions answered (bus, transportation, etc).  Free wifi, an entire information office with bus tickets and passes, tour bookings, shuttle to the Vatican, and computers for use, and electricity!  Wow!

 

We have a little campground card that we preloaded with 50 E so we can do everything on the cash-free system (buy gelatos, shop at their grocery store, eat at the restaurant, etc) and any unused money will be refunded. 

 

We were so excited about everything that we forgot to ask the nightly price!  Ah well.  Maybe they’ll put us to work here washing dishes or serving gelato if we cannot pay.

 

We’re having a marvelous time and we haven’t even gone into downtown Rome yet!

 

 

 

 

 

kspitler68 says:
That campground sounds like a place even I could tolerate!!! Glad you guys are haveing such a fun and safe time. I'll be back in Dublin on May 31 and departing June 4. It's going to be painful to be so close and not be able to see you all! Stay safe. Love you! Kristina
Posted on: May 13, 2009
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5.12.09       

 

We’re in Rome!  We arrived about 8:30 pm to Roma Camping campground, which we think might just be our most favorite campground in the world!  We’ve just finished eating our Italian gelato (ice cream) and watching a great outdoor one-man concert here at the campground near the pool.  In fact, we can still hear it right now from Sugar- this is a hopping place like a fun youth hostel.  More on Roma Camping in a minute.

 

The ferry was convenient transportation over here and we think taking it was a good move.  After having to *turn around* on board the ship to back into our position.  That was nerve-wracking, but I had helpers spotting for me.  There wasn’t much room.  But the poor 18-wheeler trucks had to *back onto* the ferry which did NOT look easy.  There was only one way on and off on this ship!

 

We were SO happy to have a cabin last night, although we had to vacate it during our nap this afternoon at 3pm, leaving 3.5 hours to hang out in the kids’ playroom and on deck.  We did meet a nice Italian family who were returning from holiday in Barcelona and enjoyed talking with them. 

 

It was funny that when the Dad learned of our trip, he piped up and said, “In Italy, we don’t do that.  My wife stays with me.  She is scared and doesn’t like to travel without me.”  I explained that while I prefer to travel with my husband, since he couldn’t come and it was now-or-never with the kids, we went.  I think they got that, particularly when we discussed Ned’s visits to see us and our time at home between segments.  It is interesting to hear a different cultural perspective on traveling.

 

The pool on the ship was not filled and when we asked at the front desk, they said it was too cool, we must wait 2 more months!  While Lia was sorely disappointed (and was told by staff on 2 occasions that the hot tub was too full for more people), I thought their opinion that it was too cool was funny.  Certainly the short sea crossings do not leave much time to handle the many ship chores- we thought the people working aboard were very hard-working.

 

Another cruise note:  when you have to pay for your food separately, it makes it very pricey.  I’d read to bring food aboard and we did eat some fruit and bread that we managed to bring.  However, we went looking for breakfast this morning and found only croissants and tarts, and a few boxed cereals.  I must say the coffee with milk was most excellent!  Anyway, every meal eating out is expensive!  So we are really looking forward to the Camping-on-Board options available on our future ferry crossing to Greece.

 

This ferry crossing had a group of Italian high school-aged students who were part of an state-wide program for learning about business and marketing their products.  They’d gone over the day before to Barcelona and were returning on our ship to Civatavechi.  We talked with one of the teachers.who explained that there were 20 kids from her group, but 800 students in all.  Can you imagine how crazy this can get?  For the most part, they behaved fine, but it was not the calm, off-season crossing as we’d anticipated.  Jazy said, “and I thought there wouldn’t be any kids my age!”  However, they did stick to their groups.  I think language differences in Europe make people a little less likely to greet each other.

 

Our ship docked briefly on the small island of  Sardinia at Porto Torres and a few people got off.  The island was not very big and much of the port was industrial, of course.  However, I remembered in the book “One Year Off” how they visited her family there and what a fun time they had.  It was like a little walk down someone else’s memory lane!

 

We did last night have an occasion, when I returned sunglasses left in the bathroom stall, to talk with some grateful Italian ladies.  They bubbled on with enthusiasm and interest when they learned we were tourists going to Italy, in spite of our lack of a common language.  We love the Italian enthusiasm!

 

Twice we saw people attempting to cut in line and both times they were rather loudly verbally apprehended by the protestations of Italian men in line.  I love it!  Just speak right up and address the issue- they were both successful, might I add.

 

We arrived in Civitavecchia in Italy and managed to get off the ship within 5 minutes of the announcement for car and truck drivers to head to our vehicles.  We were so happy to see Sugar.  We just love her!  She started right up and away we went.

 

New roads made things a bit tricky.  Signage in Europe doesn’t help.  Never do they give the direction (north, south, east, west).  They will have a roundabout with 2 signs in opposite directions with “A12 Rome” on them both. We know. because we just go around and around until we figure it out or make a wild guess.

 

I followed Jazy’s hunches and she was right!  (I was wrong, what a surprise).  The ride into Rome from Citavecchia was breathtakingly beautiful with the sun setting (the ferry unloaded at 6:45pm), rolling hills of green, beautiful salmon-colored houses, and the gorgeous Mediterranean sea.  Jazy said she loved Italy and wanted to move here.  I reminded her that she’s said that about every country we’ve visited in Europe so far!

 

We stopped for gas- they have an attendant at the pumps for full-service if you want it.  Several pumps were also do-it-yourself.  Whereas the diesel gas in Spain was like .85E per liter, here it was 107 E!  And 1.11 E for full service, so when you multiply by 4 (3.8 liters per gallon), that is about $.15 a gallon more for full service.  We still got plenty of service as he hovered around, handed me a plastic glove for pumping the gas, and rattled on in Italian saying “bella” this and that, so I just smiled and let him continue.  In France, the gas was like .95 E per gallon, so definitely aim for Spain for cheap gas.

 

 

We took what we thought was a small road through Auralia, but it turned out to be the SS1, which we had wanted in the beginning.  It was a lovely, divided highway and before we knew it, we were under the ring road, up the ramp for the campground, and bam!  There was the campground! 

 

Jazy said we were sitting in their entrance before she ever knew what happened.  She’d read the Church’s directions to Roma Camping, but it seemed much more complicated than it was.  By the way, if we’d waited to see the grocery store to take the exit ramp, we would have missed it.  But a sign for Roma Camping and the GPS coordinates cued us correctly.  I just wouldn’t wait to see the supermarket to make the turn.

 

This campground is WONDERFUL!  It must be under new management since the Church’s book in 2005.  I see they are somehow affiliated with Michelangelo’s Camping in Florence, which the Church’s highly recommend, so maybe that explains the upgrades here since the book listing on this campground.

 

Where to begin- this is the most perfect campground.  If you were to put together a Disney-type of campground, this would be it.  Lovely restaurant, separate bar, marble bathrooms, separate adorable kid’s bathroom with baby bathtub, tiny toilets, bright colors, etc.  Sand volleyball pit, pool with a hundred chaise lounge chairs, free music in the evening, delightful people at registration who speak beautiful English, a printout of all our questions answered (bus, transportation, etc).  Free wifi, an entire information office with bus tickets and passes, tour bookings, shuttle to the Vatican, and computers for use, and electricity!  Wow!

 

We have a little campground card that we preloaded with 50 E so we can do everything on the cash-free system (buy gelatos, shop at their grocery store, eat at the restaurant, etc) and any unused money will be refunded. 

 

We were so excited about everything that we forgot to ask the nightly price!  Ah well.  Maybe they’ll put us to work here washing dishes or serving gelato if we cannot pay.

 

We’re having a marvelous time and we haven’t even gone into downtown Rome yet!

 

 

 

 

 

Rome
photo by: vulindlela