Started off quite sleepy too. We checked out of our cool hotel/hostel, Siggorno Pitti in Florence (it had an official-looking reception, a very light, big and cool dining room/lounge with pretty sofas and lots of stuff to read) and after a typically disappointingly average breakfast we decided not to venture too far but just explore the Boboli Gardens whose entrance was five minutes from our door. I also quite liked the name.
|Random lonesome lady in our front garden, the Piazza Pitti|
The gardens were pretty, reminded me a bit of the Garden of Versailles (dunno if they're actually at all comparable). It was VERY HOT.
|How I felt (I have already lost my free Cosmo-sunglasses :( )|
|Ravioli in a broccoli sauce, om nom|
|LOOK AT THE ICE CREAM|
If you are going to Rome please do get the Roma Pass! Luckily I had read about the Roma Pass in an Italy-guidebook at the Florence-hostel, so we got that as the first thing at Roma Termini, the train station in Rome. 34 euros for free entrance&jump the queue for your two first museums/archeological sites, plus free public transport plus some other random offers. Valid three days.
|First impressions on Rome - both those cars are PARKED. Lol.|
After getting that, CC navigated us to our hostel, about 25mins away. We found it at about 6.20, it was on a big street with a large door with loads of doorbells to press – essentially it was just one 'apartment' in a block of flats. We found the doorbell for the Laterano Guest House, and rang it. Nothing. We rang it a few times, nothing. We called them (had to do it via NZ, because my Finnish phone had died and my French phone's line is supposed to be closed off (it isn't actually, but it should be, so I avoid using it)), nothing. After a while a girl, who was obviously living in one of the flats, went in, so we got in – she pointed us to the Guest House-door.
We knocked, rang their phone, rang the doorbell, nothing. Lol. Oh well. We sat down in the corridor with our Roma Pass-Rome maps and started planning our Rome-adventures. After about 5mins a man appeared, who had come in thru the front door. He stared at us, amused, for a moment, then said “you're the Finns?” and let us into the Guest House.
Once again, a new experience of a hostel. There is a lady there between 8am and 2pm who does breakfast and cleaning, otherwise I gather there is no one around apart from when guests arrive. We had put as our arrival time 7pm, and tbf arriving there at 6.20 has been the closest so far we've been to the actual arrival time we've put down! All the other hostels didn't seem to mind about being very early/late, but for this one it was important, since they come in specially for you. Most of the time then there is no staff at the place.
The man was very friendly, showed us how to unlock and lock all the doors, then handed me the keys and told me to show him how it's done. (Luckily CC remembered because I didn't.) He gave us a map and circled all the places he recommends to see in a day in Rome. We had a room to ourselves, two toilets down the corridor, for us and the two or three other rooms in the Guest House. We saw the other guests very rarely though.
So, checked in, and decided to use our free public transport-allowance by taking the metro to a random Piazza, where we found a cute Italian restaurant. CC chatted up the couple from Bristol sat near us, and they were very nice and very keen to hear about us and our travels. I love travelling with CC, the amount of new random people we get to know thanks to him happily talking to everyone. (He rarely even has the heart to ignore the forever and ever more annoying beggar-people and random harassing flower and bracelet-sellers, bless him.)
|CC and his Calzone|
|Tiramisu - another MUST in Italy (tho I do prefer Café Leffe's, Nicola...)|
So far, Rome seemed awesome. Already we had seen many impressive buildings, and hadn't been pickpocketed!
PS. Running a bit late with these entries, and there may be a few-day gap because we're now in Switzerland (which we are both IN LOVE with btw!!!!) and my computer recharger doesn't fit the plugs...18% battery left atm. Better get this published. Nighty night!