|View of Mt. Vesuvius on our way to Rome from Positano|
We dropped the car off, found the shuttle driver, and followed him and some other passengers out to the shuttle. As we were approaching the shuttle, we walked past a group of people, and Jeff said to me, "That woman looks like Kim Kardashian." I just laughed. Then the group of people headed across the street to their vehicle, and Jeff recognized Kanye West and confirmed that the woman actually was Kim Kardashian. So we had a brief celebrity sighting at the Rome airport. After some later research I learned they were there celebrating Kim's birthday.
We settled into our shuttle and after about an hour of crazy driving through the streets of Rome were dropped off at our hotel: Relais Maddalena. It's in a cute square called Piazza della Maddalena. Unlike the hotels we had stayed in thus far, Relais Maddalena did not have a big lobby and reception desk. It had a big door and a buzzer. And we had to ring up and have someone buzz us in. Only that little, tiny door with the gold handle actually opens!
Also, unlike at the other hotels, the woman who checked us in spoke only Italian. I had to consult my Italian-English phrasebook to get us through the check-in process. She kindly lugged my suitcase up the stairs (there is no elevator) and into our room. We had a small room at the back of our hotel. Our friends had stayed at the same hotel and talked about having a balcony that looked out on the square, so we were a little disappointed that our room didn't look out on anything. But we were only in Rome two nights and had a lot to fit in, so we didn't really spend much time in the room anyways. The room was just big enough and everything in the mini bar was complimentary, from water to soda to wine.
The breakfast room at the hotel overlooks the piazza and provided a nice view in the mornings when we were having breakfast.
|A view of Piazza della Maddalena from inside Relais Maddalena|
Also down below in the square was Il Gelato di San Crispino, which we would be sure to visit later.
We were actually on a pretty tight schedule because we had a tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum that afternoon, so as soon as we checked in, we set off to find lunch. I wanted to find something near but not too near the Colosseum.
After walking around in circles and mulling over a few places, we finally decided on Trattoria Melo. The restaurant is halfway up a flight of stairs and looks pretty unassuming, but it was busy and the prices seemed reasonable for something just a stone's throw from the Colosseum.
I went super simple with the spaghetti pomodoro.
Jeff had spaghetti carbonara, a dish Rome is known for.
We were both really pleased with our choices and shoveled the pasta down so we could run off and meet our tour group.
Next up: Day 10 -- Rome (Afternoon)