Saturday, June 28th, 2014
Today we had to say goodbye to beautiful Sorrento. We had our last breakfast in that tiny kitchen, then checked out and dropped our bags at the front desk and set out for a brief walk. We saw the building you could see from the apartment, and it turned out to be half apartment rental half closed hotel. So strange when you have such valuable real estate to not fix it up or sell it to someone who can! We got some sandwiches for our trip, went back to Rota Suites to get our luggage, and schlepped it to the Circumvesuviana. Boarded the train with no issues, and reached the Napoli train station which was actually pretty nice, new and uncrowded. Poor Napoli gets such bad press and it doesn’t seem deserved.
Got onto our train to Rome, the Frecciarosa high speed. I had gotten tickets ridiculously far in advance on Trenitalia, so they were super cheap, buy one adult ticket get one kid ticket free, in Premium class. Some people have had trouble using Trenitalia, but I think it might just be that it doesn’t like American credit cards. The chip and pin one worked, although it made me set up an online pin first. Found our car no problem, and the train took an hour to get to Rome. Now this train station was more like what we thought the one in Napoli would be like. Crowded, chaotic, etc. We had called Rome Accomodations while we were on the train to tell them when we’d be arriving at the apartment, so when we got to the taxi stand we just gave them the address. The taxi got us close but then said he couldn’t drive into the area the apartment was and left us in a close-by square. The street numbers didn’t correspond to what we had and we were wandering around very confused but a nice man in a car asked if we needed help and then pointed us in the right direction (around the corner from where we were looking). The Rome Accomodations guy came up just as we did, and let us in to our Campo di Fiori apartment. Very nice, the kitchen table is actually bigger than it looks in the photos, and it’s two bedroom two bath. A little bit dark due to there being no outside windows in the kitchen or living room, but other than that quite charming. Built in the 16th century too, which was cool, there was ceiling detail and some of the old brickwork.
We got settled in, started a load of laundry, and set out to find a grocery store. Found one within 5 minutes, and got a ton of stuff although we forgot to get more laundry detergent, which was a bit of a problem. Got back to the apartment, put another load of clothes in and hung the first load up to dry, and then we went out again. By now the grocery store was closed, uh oh. We walked past some Roman ruins below street level (the Torre Argentina ruins) that had a ton of cats there because it was also a stray cat sanctuary. The girls loved that. We kept walking and reached the Pantheon. A mass was going on but then it let out so we could go inside. Truly impressive how well preserved it is. We walked a little bit farther, to the Trevi Fountain which was being restored, but we tossed coins in anyway. Then on to and up the Spanish Steps (Fitbit loved us) and past the hotel we stayed at on our honeymoon. We knew we were on the right track when we passed by this cool facade we remembered from 18 (!) years ago. We walked back to the Campo di Fiori and had dinner at a recommended but ultimately forgettable restaurant there (La Carbonara). The World Cup match of Uruguay vs. Colombia was happening and it was fun to watch the crowd at the nearby bar. And then back to our hotel to put in the final load of wash we had detergent for!