Arrival In Roma (Day One)
Rome Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
August 6th, 2009 – by: tedi31
Hotel King, located to the right of The Sistina Theatre, gave me the impression of age no matter how much management spent in updating their facility over the years. From its single cramp elevator that seemed to strain from taking an adult and four children (or half their luggage) up about three floors to the bathroom in our room which had among other things--insufficient drainage, lights that took their sweet time to illuminate, a mismatch of bathroom wall tiles, and the least I forget…the absence of a bathroom door lock.
However, Hotel King did have one thing going for them--a clean bed.
Now that was their saving grace.
Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Spagna)
8:00 pm - After settling in, the entire group was quite famished after having endured a six-hour train ride (instead of a 3 ½ hours) from Modena to Roma due to two separate delays caused by engine trouble. The group’s food budget was also taken into consideration and it was decided that we would be having a modest dinner at McDonald’s.
Now the question was…where was McDonald's around here?
According to our hotel’s front desk attendant, the only McDonalds in the area was not that far from The Spanish Steps, which was a short trek uphill of Via Sistine.
When we finally did reach the Spanish Steps; Isabel, Samantha, Arthur, David, and I were greeted by a sea of activity all the way down the Steps to its base--the Piazza di Spagna. I observed that people would sit on a number of the steps, thereby making it difficult to find a clear path to the Piazza di Spagna. Tourists and locals alike would be playing cards, drinking beer, or just soaking in the impressive Early Baroque fountain or Fountain of the Old Boat (Fontana della Barcaccia).
The brave ones in our group (including me) even got a chance to taste the water from the Fontana della Barcaccia.
I found it to be quite an illuminating experience.
Now where are those Golden Arches?
A few meters from the Fontana della Barcaccia, the group finally reached McDonald's and was quite surprised to find Gelato being sold to the left of its entrance. This particular branch also boasted of a large seating capacity as we made our way up a flight of stairs to their service counters. On the way up, I saw a plaque inaugurating the establishment on March 20, 1986 that led me to the assumption that this may have been one of the first branches of McDonald's in Italy. Later on, I found out that I was right. In fact, it was the first McDonald's opened in the country.
Comparing the selections from McDonald's Italy and McDonald's Philippines, I found McDonald's Italy offering a wider range with their meals allowing the customer to select their preferred combination--either a sandwich or chicken nuggets, a drink (e.g., soda, juice, or water), and a side dish of French Fries, Patate West, or Salad--for a single price. Whereas McDonald's Philippines does not give much in terms of variety with their pre-set meals valued at different prices (e.g., spaghetti and drink; fillet o’ fish and drink; chicken, rice, and a drink; etc.).
Another incentive that I enjoyed was the McDonald's Italy vanity drinking glasses. Coming in several colors, the glasses served as great gifts for family and friends back home.
It wasn’t a new concept though as I had seen a similar promotion in Denmark (2007) and the Philippines (2008).
I wonder though, is it available every summer?
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!