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First Day in Rome

Rome Travel Blog

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Scalinata di Spagna
Though we had a good tailwind, we were still quite late into Madrid and had less than an hour for the connection. That seemed damned tight since we had to clear immigration and, as usual in large European airports, there was a LOT of walking. We also had to pass through security but in the end, we were at the gate just at the scheduled check-in time. 
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.
St. Peter's from our room
Linda had been writing to the hotel and had been getting e-mails from “Fabio”. It turns out there are two Fabios so we tagged them Fabio Uno and Fabio Due. Both were great and we were made very much at home. 

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.
Our terrace
Typical of small hotels in Europe, the air conditioning was not capable of getting the room as cool as we Americans like it but let's face it, we're not the most energy-responsible people in the world. Before our stay was over, we pretty much gave up on it and relied on the excellent cross-ventilation. The hotel has free wireless Internet and, since I had my laptop along, that was a blessing. I believe they said there was also a shared computer somewhere but I'm not sure of that so if it's important to you, you should check. I'd be happy to stay at this hotel again.

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.
Trevi Fountain
Lin and I shared a Pizza Quattro Formaggio and it was fantastic. My rule upon arrival in Europe is that I must take a nap after lunch but that I can’t sleep for over 3 hours. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the exhaustion, I normally have trouble falling asleep on these occasions but I was out when my head hit the pillow and, without an alarm, I awoke at exactly that. 

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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Scalinata di Spagna
Scalinata di Spagna
St. Peters from our room
St. Peter's from our room
Our terrace
Our terrace
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
La Piazza de Spagne
La Piazza de Spagne
La Piazza de Spagne
La Piazza de Spagne
Near the hotel
Near the hotel
Near the hotel
Near the hotel
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Scalinata de Spagne
Scalinata de Spagne
Our hotel
Our hotel
Rome Hotels & Accommodations review
Charming small hotel in a perfect location
The "Hotel Scalinata di Spagna" is right at the top of the Spanish Steps. It's a typical small European hotel; the kind we prefer. My wife, Linda, had… read entire review
Rome Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Excellent
Fabio at our hotel made a dinner reservation for us at “Hosteria da Pietro” where, he said, they eat several times a week. The walk there (down th… read entire review
Rome
photo by: vulindlela