Roma: Day One

Roma: Day One

Bill and I arrived in Rome on the 12th after a long, long day: 10.5 hour flight to Paris with a quick one hour rush-through-customs lay-over followed by a two hour flight to Rome. We arrived around 3:00 p.m. and quickly found a cab.

Any tiredness I felt quickly dissipated once we started toward our inn. People drive insanely in Rome. Our cab driver tailgated drivers within inches of their bumpers going about 85 mph.  He weaved in and out of traffic like a driver in an action flick. It was frightening but kind of fun!

I knew we were staying near the Coliseum but I had no idea how close we were until I saw this:

My very first photo taken in Italy

Just around the corner was our inn, Nicholas Inn. I found it through a Rick Steves’ guide book. I did many, many hours of researching in order to find moderately priced lodging with good locations and comfortable rooms. My time paid off. Nicholas Inn is wonderful. It’s in a great neighborhood, centrally located and the owners are delightful. Melissa and Francois are a married couple who own the inn. She is American, from Chicago, who married Francois who is Italian. They are both warm, friendly and so accommodating.

Here is the view from our window:

Notice the scooters. They sped by day and night.
And yes, we could hear them, but we liked it.
There was something so “Italian” about the sound.
It was actually soothing!
A car so small you can park it perpendicular
to the curb. See the Mr. Hot Dog? Funny enough,
this isn’t the first place where we stayed
across the street from a hot dog joint.

The rooms are comfortable and clean. If you are the type of person who needs amenities that hotels provide like room service, flat screen TV, a gym, pool, etc. then the places we stayed are not for you. This is The Rich Life (on a budget) after all! Bill and I know that when traveling somewhere exciting like Italy, the time we spend in our room will be minimal, so three star is perfect for us. We had every need met, and could not have asked for a better stay.

Here I am in our room with a wad of euros. Remember way back in June when I posted about socking money away in my tea tin for “something special”? Well, this trip was that something. We took all the cash and exchanged it for euros at the San Francisco airport and used it to pay for a good chunk of the lodging for our three week trip.

We took a little time to get unpacked, showered and unwound before we headed out to explore some of the  incredible Roman sights and have dinner. Of course, I took longer to get ready so Bill went out to find a market to buy me some Pinot Grigio and him, his first real Italian beer in Italy:

A happy boy!

And then we were out the door…



  1. November 1, 2010 / 5:32 pm

    Sounds so fun! You two look like you are having a great time. I agree 3 stars is great and you have more left over for great experiences. Enjoy!

  2. November 1, 2010 / 10:59 pm

    Hi Adrienne, I’ve been enjoying your blog for a little while now. Thanks for the tips on Rome – we were there in April but in an apartment (with 2 teenagers). This B&B looks great! Looking forward to the rest of your report.

  3. November 2, 2010 / 6:43 am

    Hi Adrienne,

    Thanks for sharing your pics…was your flight to Paris out of New York?


  4. November 2, 2010 / 6:57 am

    Robin – Yes, we had a blast! We were more than satisfied with three stars. We left each morning at around 9 or 10, stopped in to freshen up and change clothes after lunch, then out again until 10 or so at night. So why pay big bucks for unused luxuries? I rather spend it on great food or maybe a little shopping :)!


    How long was your stay in Rome? We were only there for 3 nights..about 2.5 days and barely made a dent in all the great things to do. It’s such a magical city. You are a nice parent to bring your kids! I’m sure they will have many great memories of Italy.


    We flew direct from San Francisco to Paris on Air France – I really like them. We flew US Airways to Paris last time and were not impressed…but they are cheaper than AF.

  5. November 2, 2010 / 9:08 am

    Thanks Adrienne, I am taking notes of everything so when we finally do go to Paris, I’ll know what to do!


  6. November 2, 2010 / 11:00 am

    I remember the scooters too in Rome – stylish girls and guys would fly past with takeaway coffee cups balanced on the handlebars. Guys would wear suits and girls would wear skirts and high heels with less safe but cool open-face helmets. They are all so stylish in Rome.

    It’s amazing how close all the history is, like the colisseum. It’s all right there in the city!

    I’m such a fan of the tiny wee Smart Cars. I’d get one of my husband would let me. Not sure how happy I’d be on the motorway in one though.

  7. November 2, 2010 / 3:29 pm

    Adrienne – we were there for a week and a day, one day longer than planned because of the volcanic ash! Luckily, we got a train out to get back home (currently Budapest). The boys did like it – hopefully they will get a chance to go back when they are adults. My husband lived in Rome as a child and we actually had a walk around his old neighbourhood and took photos outside his old apartment house – that was cool!

  8. November 2, 2010 / 9:42 pm

    I love Rome! I brought my mother a couple of years ago for the weekend and we stayed at a little inn like that, but owned by an American man and his Italian wife! It was called The Daphne, right by the Trevi and perfect!
    Did you just eat and eat and eat when you were there? That’s what I did 🙂

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