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A Trip to Italy (and maybe some runs) Part 12, When in Rome, Time to Go Home

Grabbing shade at Monte train

If it’s Monday, it must be time to head to Rome. A bit of a sore knee made a run a lousy idea so I went for a walk instead. We were pretty much packed from the night before and we kind of knew that this would be the close to final packing as we had very limited time in Rome for such things.

Breakfast was good, we walked about town a bit filling in a couple of last minute gift purchases. We were to check out at 11, and a taxi would take us to the train station. Unfortunately we had a bit of a wait until our train left for La Spezia. So we stood, one more time, in the sun waiting for a train dragging around our heavy luggage.  One major lesson learned on this trip for any future trips is this: pack light, wash often.

Special Luggage Spot

We found John and Patty at the La Spezia train station. We would have a long ride from there to Rome (3 1/2 hours) and no one was looking forward to it. As much as the train ride from Florence to La Spezia was a mediocre experience, this one beat it hands down for sheer suckiness. We weren’t assigned a track until the last minute and with all of the luggage and last minute bathroom going, we were not positioned for good placement.

The doors opened and every obnoxious train rider rushed through the doorway and snagged every spot in the already minimal luggage area. That, once again, 

Room with a View

left one choice, the overhead space (and there wasn’t much left). In the end, we had luggage everywhere. Front, Back, hanging out the window, I think. We still however had one BIG piece without a location. Easy, we thought, we’ll just lay it on our table. So that’s where it sat for what seemed like an eternity, on our table.

Upon arrival at the Rome station, we were dumped in what I will not so livingly call the catacombs. Far, far, far from the the lovely end of the terminal, we were dumped at the

South end, where basically even the taxis didn’t like being. AND, we would need cash for our cab ride and had none. Two stores within a half a mile and no ATM. Then, like a beacon in the harbor, I saw a Radisson hotel. THEY must have an ATM, I thought. BINGO!

My Girl shooting a pic

Heading to different hotels, we took separate taxis. Our driver was one of those, let’s call them “creative route” guys. We arrived, just the same although our driver dropped us almost a block from where we were going (of which we were not completely sure). We called our host, and he said he’d meet us in a jiffy (not sure what the European time unit is for the jiffy). He ushered us into this very old building, took us up and even older elevator that barely fit the two of us and our bags, and led us down a hallway to a door that said, “Colosseo Panoramic Rooms.” He explained the lay of the land in extremely broken English noting that if we had questions we could call his wife who spoke it better. We asked about shuttles to the airport in the morning and he said a taxi was $48, this shuttle guy he knew did it for $50. We opted for shuttle guy thinking he had to be better than the taxi rides we’d had.

The room was GREAT. Without a doubt, and yours truly scored again as it was spacious, with an AWESOME bathroom, AND a view of the Colosseum. A quick unloading of our stuff and a call to John and Patty to see about dinner. They decided they were an hour, at least, from heading out SO we decided to sightsee the Colosseum before sunset.

Epic Colosseum Shot

The next hour was spent sucking in the majesty of the Roman Colosseum. We were too late for a tour and leaving too early the next morning. So we read placards, took pictures, and enjoyed the crap out of the experience. Soon, the phone rang and we arranged the dinner meeting. We would meet right on the corner near our hotel. Cool. Minutes later, there they were. It turned out that their hotel was pretty much in the same huge building as ours, but on the other side. 

We were pretty much ready to eat, when a lovely young lady in front of a restaurant asked if  we wanted to eat on their rooftop. Sure, why not. Great call on that one. We ended up on the roof of the Ristoro Della Salute with an unobstructed view of the Colosseum. I had a killer Caesar Salad, Linda had, surprise, Bruschetta. Then came the good stuff. For me, a filet with roasted potatoes and tempura asparagus. She had a good looking risotto thing. We ate, recapped, took some pictures, and then departed. Somehow in

See ya Italy!

the reshuffling of flights, we ended up on different ones, so this would probably be arrevaderci.  

We finished packing, set a 5:45 am alarm and spent our last night sleeping in Italy. 

Sogni d’oro. Sweet Dreams.

Until we meet again!