The plane touched down in Rome just after 6AM, an earlier arrival than planned according to the pilots: Una bella giornata a Roma…and it was, once we got past the archaic, queue-less customs counter. The herd of arriving passengers was more of a cattle corral, literally. I wish I had the sense to take a photograph!
Luciano from Leader Car Service met me at the gate, I cannot tell you how grateful I am to Niki for suggesting I schedule a car. It was such a pleasure knowing that once I retrieved my bags from the carousel, I would not have to worry about how to get to my hotel, a daunting task for most travelers. Luciano’s route took us from Fiumicino which is located south of the city, along the Tevere/Tiber river to my hotel (Locarno, via della Penna 22) which is in the northern part of Rome. The route along the Tiber gives me an opportunity to orient myself as we make our way through the city. Fino domenica Luciano, arriverderci.
I check-in (no hotel room until 2pm) leaving my bags in storage to have breakfast in the salon. The hotel is tastefully designed in historical turn of the century decor, think provincial/renaissance. It almost reminds me of the boutique hotel I stayed on one of my first trips to Paris. The salon is filled with travelers, mostly English-speaking though it’s not that easy to determine which countries. The breakfast buffet includes yogurt and fresh fruit, pane e burro, salami e formaggio, scrambled eggs with sides of meat, and a selection of sweet breads and tarts, juices and milk (including interestingly enough soy). Waiters take orders for caffe, espresso and cappuccino. Refreshed with a full stomach and a body rejuvenated somewhat with caffeine, I set out for my first day in Rome.