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Report 1396: Roman Holiday

By Doug Phillips from Canada, Fall 2007

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Page 15 of 16: Observations and Tips

photo by

Via Margutta, 51


Would we do anything differently? We booked our connections from and back to Fiumicino with Romashuttle. While everything worked out fine with the shuttle service, I think next time I would use the service provided by Romepower, if we book another apartment through the agency. Romepower was very considerate and waived some extra fees that they could have charged according to the rental contract – fees that we could have avoided by booking their shuttle service. Our experience with Romepower when we were in Rome was excellent. Their representative, Sacha, was friendly, helpful and easy to reach. I know Romepower went out of their way to make our time in Rome enjoyable. I can recommend this agency.

What did BW & I enjoy most about our two weeks in Italy and Paris? Was it the,

  • GTGs
  • La Notte Bianca
  • Trastevere
  • Campo dei Fiori
  • Piazza Navona
  • Scavi Tour
  • Galleria Borghese
  • Capri
  • food and wine

The answer, not surprisingly, is none of the above. The highlight of our vacation with our sons is the time we spent with them. We feel fortunate that they accepted our invitation and we are grateful to Pauline for organizing the 2006 Slow Travel contest and Romepower for donating the apartment that made it possible. All four of my children have brought much joy into my life. I used to say, “Raising kids is a lot of laughs,” and it continues to bring a lot of surprises.

Who knew that

  • Brad would become intrigued by the life of Caravaggio and the paintings of Jacques-Louis David?
  • Steve would take charge in a moment of crisis?
  • We would feel comfortable leaving them alone on Capri?
  • They would continue to act as our children when they are both clearly adults?
Thanks for the memories, guys.


1. Arrange multiple sources of funds and/or methods of payments. I set up four before we left Canada. One didn’t work in Italy, despite the assurance of my local bank branch; one was stolen in Naples. So we were left with two ways of financing our 24 days in Italy and France. No problem, but it could have been.

2. A washing machine in at least one place you are staying is a big aid in your packing decisions.

3. The mobile phone we bought in Rome made our life a lot easier and I didn’t have to be concerned about whether or not it would work in Europe. Of course, my decision was made easier by the fact that I didn`t have my own cell phone in Canada.

4. If you are booking a TGV trip in France you can save yourself a lot of money by following Kevin Widrow’s directions available on Slow Travel. Our PREM tickets from CDG to Avignon and return were €25 per per person each way (€100 total) While standing in line at the Europcar office in Avignon the American beside me said he paid $220 for his ticket through a travel agent.

5. Before I left home I made photocopies of several documents and cards we brought with us. In the future I will be sure to include the address and phone numbers of the proximate Canadian consulates and embassies.

6. Don't let an unfortunate experience be the focus of your trip. When we realized what had happened in Naples we took immediate action to work through the problem. Once we received our new temporary passports, all was OK. After a couple of days we didn’t talk about the incident again.

7. The Scavi Tour and our visit to the Galleria Borghese were two of the highlights of our time in Rome. Both must be reserved in advance, the Scavi Tour likely by several months. Both are well worth the effort.

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