Monday, March 27, 2006

Rome - Day 1

March 20th
We grabbed a couple of train rides from Sorrento to Rome
this morning.  The first train was a commuter from Sorrento to
Naples.  Not a fun ride.  Hard plastic seats and very crowded. 
Promply upon reaching Naples, some old man convinced us that he worked for the
station and politely helped us to our Eurostar seats.  About the time I was
thinking what a helpful chap he had been was just moments before he pulled me
aside and came just short of mugging me for 20 euro.  I got away by only
giving him $20 USD and regretted even doing that.  I hate being
taken.  My wife's new phrase, sela, echos through my brain.

Pleasant ride into Rome, 20 euro taxi ride to the hotel, and we are
set!  The hotel is the Crown Plaza over near the Vatican.  I was
originally concerned that using a hotel outside of city center would somehow
diminish our experience but looking back I don't think that was the case. 
We really enjoyed having access to the hotel staff and use of the courtesy
shuttle into and out of the city.

We tried to do some sightseeing on this first day but it was after 4 when we
got into the city and most of the attactions closed at 4:30.  We chose
instead to wander around inside the Trastevere area which is known for it's good
food.  We found a ristorante that we wanted to eat at but it did not open
until  7:30.  This is pretty common for Roman establishments. 
Open early, close from around 2pm to 7pm and then reopen until about 11. 
So we made our way back toward the shuttle pickup and ate at the first little
shop we came to. 

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