We prefer to be on the safe side, so we decided to arrive in Rome three days before, in order to wait for our cruise. This was a smart idea as Air Portugal went on strike on May 25th and 26th. Strikes and flight cancellations can be a problem with cruise departures, so it’s always better to play on the safe side. This way we have plenty of time in case some unexpected thing happens.
When we arrived at Porto airport (located in Maia, Portugal) to take our direct flight to Rome we had the news that our flight was canceled and we would have to take another one to Lisbon and from there to Rome.
The problem was that the flight to Lisbon was fully booked and…. how about us?
I told the attendant that we NEEDED to be on the flight to Lisbon because we HAD to take a continuing flight to Rome! We were Premier clients from United, like TAP it’s a Star Alliance member, and we also told the attendant that we had a cruise ship ticket for a cruise departing from Civitavecchia, Rome. Having Portuguese as our native language made our life easier! 🙂
Air Portugal made an announced on the sound speakers, offering a compensation for anyone who could go on another flight, making two seats available. Someone showed up because…. we flew! 🙂
We stayed at the excellent Hotel Raffaello. The hotel suggested a private driver to pick us up at the airport. Due to the change of flights I had to call the hotel and advise them of our new schedule.
When we arrived at Fiumicino Airport the driver was there waiting for us. I highly recommend booking a driver, specially in Rome. It’s an affordable service (only € 50.00) and we got to the hotel comfortably and safely. The big Mercedes had a huge truck, where our large suitcases fit easily. It was a nice way to arrive in such a beautiful city!
As soon as we dropped our luggage in the hotel room, we went for a walk around the city.
We have been in Rome before and I found the city better now, comparing with the last time we were there. There were almost no gipsies on the streets and we also found the city cleaner than it was in our last visits.
Where to stay
I highly recommend Hotel Raffaello. Situated in an excellent location, close to Santa Maria Maggiore and other main attractions, is very clean and offers professional and friendly service.
From Santa Maria Maggiore we walked to the Colosseum. We have been inside the Colosseum before, so this time we only walked around it.
We were very lucky with the weather. Pleasant temperatures, around 22 degrees Celsius, with deep blue skies!
One of the highlights of our walking tour was the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. The previous times we were in Rome the public was not allowed inside the Monument. Now we can go to the terrace and visit the interiors. Don’t miss this attraction. Touring Vittorio Emanuele’s Monument was one of the best things we did in Rome!
We only buy chestnuts when we are traveling in Europe during winter. I took this picture to my son. When he was a kid, he was crazy for chestnuts. Once in Zurich he ate so many of them that he got sick. After that day he never ate chestnuts again!
FF : There was NO WAY of not remember and miss you when we saw all these chestnuts! Of course we also missed the “Freirinha”! 🙂
We walked along the Tiber River to have lunch at Meo Pataca. We have been to Meo Patacca many years ago (during our honeymoon) and it would be good to return there. Unfortunately, Osteria da Meo Patacca was closed. Maybe they only open for dinner?
The church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is a MUST SEE attraction in Rome. Don’t miss this church, even if you will be in Rome just during one day!
After three wonderful days of sightseeing it was time to leave Rome.
We were booked on a 12 days cruise around the Mediterranen. I called an excellent private transfer service (Antonio and Son) http://www.transferitalyrome.com/ .
This is useful: The cruise company sends an email containing all information about the cruise, including luggage tags. All you have to do is print them at home, fold accordingly to the instructions, and attach them to your luggage.
The 11 refers to the floor we were staying on the ship. We were at the “Penthouse Deck”. It’s a nice location as it is on the top (11th floor), just one floor bellow the pool and bars. Very convenient to go one floor up for a drink then back to the cabin! 🙂
If you want to see more pictures we took in Rome, please click here