Mellowing in Italy - Rome, Saturday 2007 April 28

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April 28th 2007
Published: January 3rd 2018
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Piazza RepubblicaPiazza RepubblicaPiazza Repubblica

Wow! Gigantic!
Wonderful to have everything run according to plan! The Air Canada flight from Calgary to London arrived early. My sleep was choppy but the arrival stirred-up enough adrenalin to keep me in sync with the clock. As expected, I had to enter the UK (passport and customs) because British Airways required me to check my larger carry-on suitcase for the flight to Rome. The European Union rules allow only one carry-on item per person. This was ok because the main reason for going only with hand luggage was to make the Heathrow connection without losing my suitcase. Plus, this was an opportunity to transfer some of the weight from my remaining hand luggage.

No problem with customs in Rome, plus the queue for train tickets was shorter than the time it took me to get my euros out of my wallet, and then the train arrived in the station while I was still validating my ticket.

My first real glimpse at the landscape (except from the air for a few minutes) confirmed the Italian style of architecture – it’s not just a tourist fantasy. Towers (stone) were used frequently but I’m not sure for what. The buildings were red
Hotel Cortina on far rightHotel Cortina on far rightHotel Cortina on far right

I just about walked right past it.
brick or brown brick, red plaster or ochre plaster, or combinations of these. Beautiful in the late (7:00) warm sun! The properties along the track ranged from run-down yards and derelict storage sites to relatively new industrial buildings and large apartment buildings with flowering plants on most of the balconies.

My walk to the Hotel Cortina was just as described in the Rick Steves guide. I employed the traveler tactic of following others in crossing the busy streets. Everything looks just as imagined. The fountains in the Piazza della Repubblica were huge and magnificent, and the buildings were completely different from everything in Calgary.

The hotel was claustrophobically narrow, yet tastefully decorated in muted golden brown. The hotel receptionist was politely cheerful, and as we climbed to my room she paused to show me the breakfast room on the second (first) floor. Everything I needed was in my room, with not one footstep of extra space.

My Italian was still mostly in my head. I did ask for my train ticket in Italian but didn’t understand the answer – “one ticket or two?” I tried some TV tonight but the only channel I could sort of understand was devoted to game
Just enough space!Just enough space!Just enough space!

Room in Hotel Cortina

View the map of my walk to the hotel .


3rd January 2018

The joys of Italy
Glad things are going as planned. Love those Rick Steves walking tours.
4th January 2018

The joys of Italy
Both Rome and Florence were Rick Steves tours. Rome was particularly good - great guide.
4th January 2018

Mellowing in Italy
Sounds like a wonderful trip, good food & good vino!
10th January 2018

Good trip
My trip to Italy is one of my all time favourites.
4th January 2018

Your Room
It appears that you have a twin bed: Is that right? If so, I wonder if this is a Europe thing. When booking rooms in Iceland for an extra night on top of a tour, I saw that some rooms were singles with twin beds, as opposed to the ubiquitous queen-size beds we encounter in North America. And isn't it wonderful how much architecture varies, place to place.
10th January 2018

My room
The single bed was the narrowest possible. North American hotel rooms are designed by efficiency experts, which is why one can enter a room and momentarily forget which city one is visiting. Old buildings in Europe put singles in space extracted from the staircase or in the maids' rooms on the top floor. At least now they are almost all ensuite, which wasn't the case in the late nineties, when I stayed in a few challenging spaces.

Tot: 0.375s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 29; qc: 124; dbt: 0.0317s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb