We had an early start today. Our train left Florence at 9:18 AM. That meant we had to be at the station by 8:30 AM. So, taxi from the hotel by 8:00 AM. Breakfast at 7:15 AM. Up by 6:00 AM.
Late last night we noticed they were filming right outside the hotel. Still not sure if it was Twilight, but we all went down and strolled around the set until they kicked us off. I did stay back with one person and watch them film a random scene with someone crossing the street. They shot if four times and still did not have the proper lighting, so we decided it was time to go to bed.
The train ride was nice. EuroStar. Dining car. Super fast and smooth.
We were in Rome by 11:00 AM. Since this was a small group of teens, and our hotel was right on the line, we took the Metro from the station. It’s so much cheaper than a private bus and way more exciting. A private bus is about €200. Metro for 15 people, €15. I use the Metro on all my trips, but never with luggage. I was not concerned with this group.
Most of the rooms at the Alimandi were ready and we were all hungry. I made some lunch suggestions and then took the boys to my friend, Marco’s restaurant. We had sandwiches. Mmmm.
Then it was back to the hotel to freshen up. I was staying at the owner’s (Paolo Alimandi) apartment, and he was not ready for me. So, I left all my luggage in someone else’s room. I really wanted a quick nap, but that would have been weird.
When we met in lobby, I found out one girl had gotten sick. Strange but I take a lot of trains and it’s only on the EuroStar that people seem to get sick. Maybe it’s the gentle swaying. It’s much smoother than the other trains. Who knows?
So, back to the Metro and off to the Colosseum.
We met our guide, Paolo, from Eternal City Tours. I’ve been using him for years and each time, I learn something new. He’s always a huge hit. An American living in Rome studying at one of the Pontifical Universities. His thing is the Philosopher’s Guide to Rome. Super Catholic too!
I came to Rome several times a year for six years before I ever went inside the Colosseum. I’d strolled through the Forum, but it just wasn’t my thing. Now, visiting the Ancient City is one of my highlights. And this time, traveling with a Latin group, made it even better.
For the first time since I’ve been visiting Rome, Caesar’s house was open to the public. Frescos that are 1000’s years old look as if they were done yesterday. It was amazing.
After the Ancient City tour, it was back on the Metro to the hotel. We all changed into dinner attire and headed to Bastioni’s. This is always my first stop in Rome. I love the family who runs the place, Emilio (the chef) and his kids Andrew and Christina are awesome. And the food is great too!
Tonight we had the usual, Penne alla Bastioni. The house specialty of penne pasta with an orange and tomato sauce. So strange and so good. Great conversation at the adult table about temperaments.
After dinner we went for quantity over quality, Old Bridge. Quality is pretty good too, but not compared to Vivoli’s or GROM. With our gelato, we strolled over the Saint Peter’s Square and enjoyed the full moon and perfect weather.
Just another evening the Eternal City.