First Day in Rome
Rome Travel Blog› entry 2 of 27 › view all entries
May 28th, 2008 – by: jhwelsch
We'd arranged with the hotel in Rome for a driver from the airport and he was waiting with a zillion others as we exited customs. As everyone knows, Rome is damned confusing and traffic there is nuts. Vittorio had recommenced the Hotel Scalinata di Spagna, which is right at the top of the Spanish Steps. It's a typical small European hotel; the kind we prefer.
We had two excellent but very different rooms. Number 10 is large with a balcony from which there is an oblique view of the steps. Number 15 is much smaller but has both a balcony (no view of the steps) and a terrace with a small table and 2 chairs. Helen and Earl preferred #10 and that was fine with us. Our room was of more typical European size (read: "small") but the terrace is great. Also thrown in is a view of the dome of Saint Peter’s in the middle distance. The only small problem was that the terrace adjoins the hotel’s rooftop garden and there is only a lattice between them so, with our door open, there is a perfect view of our bed from the rooftop garden! So much for privacy when the terrace doors are open! The hotel itself is quite nice.
Having checked in, we walked to the bottom of the Steps to check out lunch options and changed money at the Amex office but in the end we had lunch of pizza at the sidewalk café of “Novecento”, next to the hotel.
Fabio Due made a dinner reservation for us at “Hosteria da Pietro” where, he said, they eat several times a week. The walk there (down the Steps again) was about 10 minutes and the place is on a very narrow street where we’d have been highly unlikely to find it accidentally. A hosteria is what the Italians call a “family restaurant” but their standards are obviously much higher than ours; this place was quite nice. I had a carbonara as first course and meatballs for second. The carbonara was excellent and very different from what we get here in the States. The meatballs were, unfortunately, unexciting. Lin had ravioli in a cream and nut sauce for first course and saltimbocca for second. Both were superb. After dinner we decided to walk it off a bit so headed for the Trevi Fountain which is not far away. It was, of course, crowded but I got some excellent pictures.
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