This morning we enjoyed our final breakfast in Rome prior to our departure back to the US. Take a look at that marvelous French Toast, Italian-style! I have to comment on something I love in Italy…the coffee is the BEST in the world!
Also worth noting is the wine (vino). The wine is quite good. In fact, simply order the house wine by the glass and you’ll be very pleased. All of the red table wine has been delicious and it’s inexpensive. My favorite pasta dish is Carbonara-style (which is egg yolks, bacon and Parmesan cheese). It’s creamy, with a heavy yolk and cheese taste and it’s delicious. After dining in Italy for the past week I’ll never be able to dine at Olive Garden or Carrabbas ever again! Nothing compares to Authentic Italian food, we are ruined!
Before I forget; on Hotels:
In Florence we stayed at the Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo at it is magnificent! The location, the rooms, the service and the complimentary breakfast are all top-tier. This is a very small hotel with only a few rooms which makes its special. You never feel crowded and it offers an extremely romantic environment. Note: travel rewards/travel hacking is not available here but the out of pocket expense was well worth it.
In Rome we stayed at a Marriott property (Palazzo Naiadi, formerly the Exedra Boscolo) and we travel-hacked our Marriott Rewards points. It’s a large, luxury hotel and believe it or not, I don’t recommend staying here! The room was nice but the hotel is large, very complex and confusing. The concierge desk is helpful but that’s not saying much as all concierge desks in hotels of this class are helpful. The front desk staff members were stuffy and never gave us that warm, fuzzy feeling we would expect in a luxury hotel by Marriott. This is definitely not a Ritz Carlton. Please don’t take these comments as arrogant or pompous. It’s just that when we travel-hack and parlay our travel perks into essentially, free trips; we typically stay at luxury hotels and fly business (or first class when flying domestic) class. It’s free due to the amount of points and miles I have in the bank, so why not go all the way and “live large?” We learned a lesson that I want to pass along, Rome offers a vast amount of small, boutique hotels. Stay at one of these! We’ve strolled past many of these hotels on the streets of downtown Rome and we regret not booking a room at one of them. We would have had to pay instead of using points but it would have been worth the expense. Also, DO NOT rent a car in Rome! Travel by taxi or WALK. Walking is the best mode of transportation in Rome. It’s no wonder that Italians are slim and in great shape. My wife tracked our steps on her Fitbit. On our second day alone we walked 24,572 steps which equates to 11 miles! We got away with consuming all the wine, pasta and gelato we desired and actually lost two pounds each!
Any questions about our trip or if you need any additional advice or tips, comment below.