Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Back to Rome -final Two Days in Italy

Yesterday we left Bologna in teaming rain and arrived in Rome to a day of sunshine. Having travelled unencumbered by our full compliment of luggage for two weeks, it was a bit of a shock having to, once again, manage elephantine sized luggage.  To make matters worse, it was just our luck to get a train car without luggage racks and Charles' huge suitcase was rolling around to the detriment of anyone standing close to it.  So much easier with a back pack!  We can see the headlines now, world news..."death by roll-away luggage!" Trenitalia would never live it down :(

Once we arrived at Termine, Roma Centrale, it was the usual fiasco getting a cab with hustlers trying to usher unsuspecting travellers to unlicensed cabs. When I questioned the driver we were first taken to about his credentials, he became quite defensive and rudely invited us to choose another cab. Somehow, magically, the man who was directing tourists escorted us, finally, to a proper cab and we ended up in an official cab to the Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel.  It's amazing what happens when you know the language. Ah, Italia! Ultimately, our legit cab driver turned out to be informative and kind, going out of his way to show us the major attractions in this part of Rome, one that is new to us. It was obvious he enjoys talking to tourists who show an interest in a city he is clearly very proud to live in. He didn't charge extra for his trouble either, but of course we tipped extra.  Our favourite spot he showed us was a vista of Rome from a lookout point at Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi, about a ten minute walk, or perhaps I should say climb,  from the hotel.

Monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi at the top of the lookout point
Taken from the lookout point at the Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi
Believe it our not this photo was taken from the terrace of our hotel, Donna Camilla Savelli, note the clay tiles that form part of the roofing 
The hotel itself is gorgeous, a great spot to end our time in Italy.  It's a former convent that has been refurbished as an upscale hotel and still contains a functioning chapel and a wing where elderly nuns reside.  A unique place.  Thanks to Linda for this fabulous recommendation! We love it!

Once inside the iron gates, we were met with what looks like a fortress

Inside however, the decor is anything but fortress like

The doorways are original 

There is a functioning Chapel that is part of the hotel for the public and probably for the nuns who stay here; they are invisible, we've only seen a few walking about

Beautiful garden to hang out in and where we eat our buffet breakfast

Hallway that leads to stairs to the guest rooms

In the evening we walked along the Tiber River.  As mentioned earlier, we didn't really explore this part of Rome, the other side of the river, when we were here four weeks ago.  The Tiber at night is really beautiful and romantic.

We still find night shots a bit tricky, but we hope this gives an idea of how beautiful the Tiber is at night. Note the movie screen on the river bank.  This is how they do drive in movies in Rome. No cars, viewers walk and are seated outdoors.  It's hard to see in this photo, but the outdoor theatre is packed.
One of the bridges that crosses the Tiber, maybe Ponte Sesto -car free!
Tonight we will be having our final meal at a restaurant called Da Gigetto in the Jewish Ghetto.  Note that this is not a derogatory word in Italian, it means foundry.  We chose this place because our cab driver, a Roman after all, told us we would find a good authentic Roman meal here. Apparently, authentic Roman cooking is as much Arabic as anything else. Every day we learn something new-----a perfect way to live.

So, our little travel adventure is almost at an end.  Today we're taking care of business.  Checked in to our flight, checked the status, packed our luggage in a way that is air friendly, checking documents to make sure we have everything we need, all that stuff.

We're thinking of creating a final post with the top ten things we did, but the more we talk about it, the more we realize it may be impossible to choose.

So for now let's just say a' rivederci Roma and ciao to la bella Italia! Until we meet again!!!!


  1. Glad you like the hotel. Safe travels. It's been great reading this and seeing the pictures.

  2. Safe travels to you too. Can't wait to hear about your adventures!

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  4. Glad you guys had such a great time. It's been alot of fun staying in touch and living vicariously through you on your blog over the past month or so; next best thing to actually going! Safe trip home, and see you soon.

  5. Is it really over?! What will I do every day instead of obsessively checking the blog for updates?! How will I survive without everyone's witty banter?! Let's all have a VIA CONTE BLOG REUNION this summer!

    Mom and Charles, thanks for entertaining us with your stories and pictures. It was fun to keep in touch this way, and informative too. Can't wait to see you guys and hear more about it. Safe travels... peace out.

    PS - I guess you never needed that burg!