Europe Day 6 – All Roads Lead To Rome

Another day, another journey and another city for us to explore. Once again we found ourselves at the train station from the previous day with tickets we needed to validate. We were told before we went that in Italy it is very important to ensure your tickets are validated before boarding the train. Try as we might though, we could not find out how to validate our tickets as they looked different to what other people were validating. Eventually we asked at the ticket office and after trying to explain to someone who didn’t understand English (and we couldn’t speak much Italian) we figured out that maybe our tickets didn’t need validating at all; so we waited for the train to arrive. It wasn’t until 30 minutes before our train was due to leave did it appear on the board, and not until 10 minutes before did it list a platform number.

When we arrived at the Roma Termini we ended up queueing at the tourist information desk for a good 20 minutes to try and find out how we get to our hotel. The problem here is that the desk doubles as a place that sells guided tours around Rome known as the “Roma Pass” so a lot of the people were there for that. We were told there to take the number 90 bus and to get off after 8 stops. Now the first thing which is important to remember with Rome’s buses is that there are multiple stops on roads and all stops on the road only count as a single stop – that can get a little confusing if you don’t know the system.

We got off at the stop we were told to and wondered where we were – we had no idea where to go to find the hotel. Fortunately I had my PDA with me with a map of Rome on it so I typed in the address of the hotel and it sent us on a trek around the suburbs of Rome trying to find the hotel in a humid climate which was starting to reach the mid to high 30s (Celsius). Road after road we hauled our luggage around and eventually we found the road we were looking for, the hotel was still tricky to find though as it was only distinguishable by a small “HA” printed on one of the windows with the words “Hotel Aniene” underneath it in small lettering. You would think if they wanted people to stay there they’d make it a little more obvious that it was a hotel and what it’s name was.

By the time we’d settled in to the hotel it was time for an evening meal so we went in search of a nearby restaurant. We found a small place with a set menu for €25 which we didn’t think was too bad. The meal consisted of a bottle of the house wine, a gourd of water, and four courses so it really was good value for money. The way the courses are laid out is very traditional for Italy. It starts with a vegetable course, a pasta course, a meat course (which in this instance was veal), and finally followed by a dessert. It was a really nice meal and if anyone finds themselves in the outskirts of the city I would have recommended the place however I have no idea what the place was called.

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