All Roads Lead to Rome

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. This journal will be a tell all of what to really expect and what not to expect. Rome can be somewhat tricky to navigate, so follow my advice and maybe you'll be able to do slightly better than I did!


All Roads Lead to Rome

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Glamazon22 on January 5, 2006

The most memorable moment was when we first got to Rome and needed to get cash from an ATM. After walking around, we saw one, and I, one of two who needed money, went first. After prodding the card slot and finding it difficult to push my card in, I claimed, "It's broke." My friend Carolyn decided that you had to force it, so she goes through the process and wanted to get 80 Euros out. Unfortunately, she pushed too many zeros and got a sum of 800 Euros. Cancelling her transaction, the ATM was prepared to spit her card back out. Alas, the problem with the card slot was that the inside metal that was too small for the card to go in, now prevented her card from coming out. Being able to see the card, but not being able to grab it, we watched in panic as the ATM counted down to zero; at which time the card would be sucked in and eaten by the machine! Frantically trying to find things to get the card out, we failed and all watched in horror as the machine did as it promised. Carolyn was then left with no money and no Visa card for the rest of the trip, 3 whole days! ${QuickSuggestions} Take more than one method for paying for things. Unlike the US, or even the UK for that matter, ATMs were few and far between. Plus, you could end up like my friend, who had no money throughout the rest of the trip.${BestWay} Tour bus!! Becca found this great tour bus company that had little mini bus-trolleys with recorded tour guides in your language. You not only got unlimited rides within your time frame (about two days total), but you also got to learn about things you were seeing. The bus had stops all around Rome at the major sights, which made it easy to get back to where you needed to be. This was especially helpful for when I got lost and separated from my friends at the Roman Forum! The best thing is that if you are listening in English, the tour guide has a Boston accent! "Park car in Harvard Square!"

Hotel Des Artistes

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Glamazon22 on January 24, 2006

You know those little itty-bitty elevators that you see in the movies, but you think you'd never actually see one; well, this one is an old-fashioned, do-it-yourself elevator. You have pull the door closed yourself, lock it, push the button, and off you go to the 5th floor! You can see the weights and all the mechanics working as you go whizzing up to the lobby.

The room was sparsely decorated, but roomy, not much of a view, but had awesome quintessential Italian shutters. Our room was not an ensuite, but we got to share this one awesome bathroom that over looked a courtyard decorated in Mediterranean red stucco. It was absolutely beautiful.

This hostel/hotel is located only a couple blocks away from the train station, convenient if you are traveling the country by train. Restaurants, grocery shopping, telephone booths, ATMs, and transportation are at your fingertips here at this hostel. All of these are within 5 minutes walk.

Free Internet! You can drop someone a line if you need to, which I did to let my nervous parents know that I was okay.

A word of the wise: This hostel is also located near a very busy street which can be very treacherous to cross at night. I almost got clipped by a scooter whizzing by!

With no more than 50 US dollars per person/per room (it depends on how many people you have with you) this Hotel Des Artistes was clean, friendly, and worth it. Although in total oppose direction of all the popular sites it was easy to get to from the train station and from the main streets of Rome. This hostel is on my list of keepers!
Hotel Des Artistes
Via Villafranca 20
Rome, Italy

Any Cafe at the Pantheon

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Glamazon22 on January 24, 2006

Being able to sit outside while enjoying a meal with a few of your closest friends is not a concept foreign to Americans. However, sitting in a courtyard created next to the Pantheon is! Once you find the Pantheon (randomly placed among more "modern" buildings), it's hard to leave. For one, Renaissance painter Raphael is buried here and two, it is a site from the bestseller Angels and Demons, written by famed author Dan Brown. But the thought that this here is one of the oldest buildings in not only Italy but Western civilization, built around 118 to 126 AD, is enough to blow your mind away! So leisurely sitting outside on a sunny spring day while eating gamberetto et penne is not only the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Italy, but the perfect way to live.

Hours: 9a-7:30p M-Sa, 9a-5:30p Su
Cost: Zero Euro! Unless you plan to eat at a cafe of course!

Pantheon Cafes
Throughout the Pantheon
Rome, Italy

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