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Arrival In Roma (Day One)

Rome Travel Blog

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Looking at the church of Trinità dei Monti on the top of the Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Spagna).
7:00 pm - A 45 Euro cab ride from Roma Termini to Via Sistine brought my group--"composed of Isabel, Samantha, Arthur, David, and I--to our home for the next four days and three nights--Hotel King.

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.
Looking at the Piazza di Spagna and Early Baroque fountain from the Spanish Steps.
     

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.
The Early Baroque fountain or Fountain of the Old Boat (Fontana della Barcaccia).
  As the group and I made our way to the church of Trinità dei Monti on the top of the Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Spagna), we saw several shops and hotels along the way.  Among those that caught my eye were the Intercontinental-De La Ville hotel and the Blue Ice Il Gelato (Gli Artigiani del Gelato) which I highly recommend with their wide array of gelato flavors.

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 first McDonalds in Italy.


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.
A typical McDonald's Italy menu. It's mix-n'-match time!


Choices…choices…choices…
 
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?
sylviandavid says:
Nice blog... McD's saved the day! Sylvia
Posted on: Aug 31, 2010
tedi31 says:
The lines are pretty long but bearable if one is having breakfast there. Thanks for the comment Steph!
Posted on: Sep 19, 2009
steph928 says:
i've been to that same mcdonald's! i had my first big mac there. i remember taking forever to get our food. it wasn't really "fast food." :)

and i loved the spanish steps.
Posted on: Sep 18, 2009
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Looking at the church of Trinità …
Looking at the church of Trinità…
Looking at the Piazza di Spagna an…
Looking at the Piazza di Spagna a…
The Early Baroque fountain or Foun…
The Early Baroque fountain or Fou…
The first McDonalds in Italy.
The first McDonalds in Italy.
A typical McDonalds Italy menu.  …
A typical McDonald's Italy menu. …
Collezione 2009.  I think I got fo…
Collezione 2009. I think I got f…
An early morning shot of the churc…
An early morning shot of the chur…
An early morning shot of the churc…
An early morning shot of the chur…
Taking in a handful at the Early B…
Taking in a handful at the Early …
2 km (1 miles) traveled
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photo by: vulindlela