In April 2016 we spent a week in Italy and our first stop was Rome. We arrived via a direct flight from Chicago. We cashed in many, many miles for 2 roundtrip business class tickets so we were able to catch a little shut eye on the long flight over.
We went straight from the airport to the apartment we rented through VRBO, which was located on the Campo de Fiori, which a small public square that houses a bustling market during the day and is very close to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. The apartment owner, Enrique, met us outside, gave us the keys and showed us in to the building and up the elevator to our top floor apartment. As they were still cleaning it (it was around 9am), we dropped our bags and Enrique gave us a little walking tour of the market and showed us the nearest wine store, a restaurant he recommended and a good place for a morning cappucino.
After that we returned to the apartment for a quick tutorial on making sure we knew how to get in and out and use the elevator. The apartment was perfect for 2 people – we had a spacious living room, bathroom and bedroom. The kitchen was small butI/we weren’t cooking and only needed the small fridge to store some wine and cheeses. The best part was the huge outdoor terrace overlooking the Campo de Fiori – we spent mornings here sipping coffee and watching the marketplace set up and the late afternoons sipping wine and watching the marketplace close up. We couldn’t have asked for a better location.
We quickly changed out of our “airplane clothes” and freshened up and headed out to walk around and get our bearings. Our first stop was the Piazza Navona which was a huge piazza with an interesting oval shape because it used to be a former arena for chariot races. We then walked over to the Pantheon which sat hunkered down in the middle of another large piazza. We walked around and through the ancient building, which was stunning. We then grabbed a light lunch, picked up some minor groceries (i.e., wine, cheese and crackers) and headed back for a nice jet lag nap. Later that evening we had dinner at Grappolo D’Oro restaurant nearby which I can’t recommend. It was dark in the restaurant so I didn’t even bother taking pictures and it wasn’t really worth it anyway. The food was edible but very mediocre with heavy, gummy pasta and so-so service. We called it an early night after that so we could wake up fresh the next day.