Well we did not make our connection in Munich (we knew when we bought our tickets that this would be a possibility as we had a tight connection). Lufthansa got us on the next flight to Rome and we arrived only 1 hour later than expected. Unfortunately mu luggage did not arrive. While they promised that I would have my bags the next day (Saturday), I was concerned since we would be leaving Rome for Tuscany at noon that day.Lufthansa assured me that they would deliver my bags to Tuscany. I made sure that our hotel had our contact info (I had a cell phone, thanks to ST Friend Jeannenew) and notified Isabella our host at Cretaiole. She gently suggested that I do some shopping as it was unlikely that I would see my luggage before Tuesday as nothing was likely to happen over the weekend. Though I wasn't going to let this spoil my excitement of being in Italy, I did kick myself for not cross packing with my husband.
Anyway, we checked in to the Hotel Smeraldo for one night. This was a great budget hotel located in the area of Campo Di Fiore. The room was tiny, but it was immaculate and air-conditioned. I might have been claustrophobic if I had been stuck in the room due to bad weather. It was fine as a place to sleep at night. We would return here for the last night of our trip as we flew in & out of FCO. After a short nap we headed out to make dinner reservations at nearby Costanza which had been recommended by some friends, and then on to Piazza Navonna for gelato and people watching.
Costanzo was a great choice for dinner. We were unable to get a reservation later than 8:00 p.m.. The place was empty when we arrived, but started to fill up with locals out to begin the weekend by 9:00 p.m. The atmosphere was lively and seemed to be a mix of families and young couples. The food and service was wonderful. By 10:00 p.m. we were falling asleep over dessert and headed back to the Hotel. We both slept well that night!
Before leaving Rome on Saturday morning, I took Isabella's advice and did some shopping. In a little more than one hour, I bought a dress, a skirt, 2 tops, and a pair of sandals. I know that I have never shopped so quickly before, and I doubt that I ever will again. We picked up our rental car about 1:00 p.m. and headed to Cretaiole in the beautiful Val D'orcia. It took us about 4 hours,including a stop at an Autogrille for a bite to eat and to pick up a few staples, and getting a bit lost after we left the A-1.Our new Garmin Nuvi kept "recalculating" with each wrong turn and eventually got us to our destination. We were so excited to be in Italy that getting lost was just an adventure, and my missing luggage was just a minor inconvenience (though by the time it arrived on Tuesday, I was most definitely cranky!).
We both fell in love with Cretaiole, our host Isabella,and the Val D'orcia. More about this in the next entry.