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Report 1247: A Not-So-Slow First Trip to Italy and Budapest

By andasamo from Nova Scotia, Canada, Spring 2006

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Page 14 of 14: Rome and Homeward Bound ...

photo by Andasamo

Our dream is fulfilled

After a bit of wandering - and a hair raising street crossing - we found our way from the train station to the Hotel Italia on Via Venezia. How fitting to spend our last night in Italy on Via Venezia since we had spent our first night in Venezia. We walked along the very short street, seeing no sign of a hotel. On closer inspection, we found our hotel listed on a small nameplate by a nondescript door (good thing we had the actual street address and not just the hotel name!) We got buzzed in, went up the ancient elevator (complete with sliding mesh doors) to the hotel lobby on the building’s second floor. Our room was clean and comfortable, with a window overlooking the street. At first we could hear a horrendous noise and thought we were in for a sleepless night, but it was just a passing street cleaner; otherwise it was a very quiet street.

Conveniently, there was a trattoria (Al Venezia) right across the street so we did not have far to walk for supper. Supper was a great pizza capricciosa (love those artichokes) and vino rossi del casa (the wine lovers may wince at our having house wine all the time, but we liked it.) Then we took a short walk before bed around the Piazza della Republicca and area (at least I think that's where it was...)

After a good night’s sleep, we arose, packed and hit the breakfast buffet before catching a taxi to the airport. The buffet was decent (although we’d been spoiled at the Antiche Mura in Sorrento, in comparison with which all other breakfast buffets paled!)

The taxi drive to the airport was not as smooth as the drive from the airport had been when we’d arrived from Budapest, but was just as fast. Mental note: heed the advice of every guidebook ever written for tourists and NEVER drive in Rome myself!

We suffered a bit of anxiety at the airport because at the check-in we were told the flight was overbooked and they had to seat the frequent fliers first, but in the end boarded the plane for home. I must say the meal on the return flight (presumably prepared in Italy) was FAR superior to the meal we had on the flight over. The contents were basically the same – chicken breast with rice, a salad and a dessert – but what a difference in food quality and flavour. We also had a much better movie selection this time (I seem to recall only one or two movies being offered on the outbound flight, but five or six on the return flight.)

A couple hours layover in JFK and then we were truly homeward bound for Nova Scotia. We had a good flight and Halifax looked beautiful from the air (I’d never flown over at night before), but the best part was walking out of the customs area to the cries of “MUMMY” and into the arms of my two daughters! (And my hubby too, but he had hung back to let the girls have the first round of hugs, such a generous daddy.) Mom’s hubby was there too so there were hugs and greetings all around. It was a good thing I didn’t have to go back to work the very next day because I was way too wound up to sleep – I kept poor hubby up half the night telling him about all the places we’d been to and the things we’d seen.

Before this trip, I’d thought Italy would always be just a dream, but now I’m already plotting my return! We are now planning a family trip (me, hubby and our two daughters) in July 2007. And I am sowing the seeds of a return trip to Rome, with my mother and sister. Hmmm, perhaps in 2014, just in time for my 50th birthday...

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