We booked a weekend break in Rome at short notice, using Abbotts Travel after being recommended by a friend.
As a first-time client, we were very impressed.
Julie sorted everything out for us, from the hotel booking to flights and airport transfers, all with great communication.
It was our first European city break together so we wanted it to be special and memorable. It certainly turned out to be both.
We flew into Rome’s Ciampino Airport and were met by a friendly driver in a lovely, spacious limousine. He whisked us through the Friday evening rush-hour and into the heart of the city, stopping at our hotel, The Inn At The Spanish Steps.
On arrival we were greeted by Steve (from London) and his staff, who made us feel instantly welcome.
Our room was gorgeous, nicely decorated with an Emperor size bed, an en-suite bathroom with shower and wonderful views over the bustling Via dei Condotti, which leads to the famous Spanish Steps.
We sampled our complimentary bottle of Prosecco before enjoying the evening buffet on the hotel’s top floor. Even though it was night time in mid-November, we were able to sample the outside terrace in the mild temperature and daytime temperatures throughout were generally a very pleasant 17-19C.
Up and out very early the next morning, I left my lady to her sleep and I explored the area in the early sunshine. The Spanish Steps were empty apart from a bride and groom having their photo taken as the sun started to kiss the market square, which was a very atmospheric and romantic sight.
Inspired by the romance in the air, I returned with a single red rose for my beautiful companion, before enjoying a hearty breakfast at the hotel, followed by our exploration of the historic and beautiful city.
Over the next three days we walked everywhere. Perfectly located in the heart of the city, we were only a 30-minute walk from most of the obvious tourist attractions including The Colosseum, The Forum and The Palantine (all with a guide to “beat the queue” at €25 each - but worth it!) An evening visit to the stunning Trevi Fountain, the beautiful and historic Pantheon and the bustling and vibrant Piazza Navona were not to be missed.
We strolled along the footpaths along the River Tiber to the Vatican, where we witnessed the Pope giving his Sunday blessing, before heading back via the Castel Sant’Angelo. Seeing the river from the Bridge of Angels lined with its gorgeous statues was impressive.
We ate outside in the evenings and spent some time shopping in the amazing array of designer-shops.
But we also witnessed the “real” Rome as we explored the back-streets and had coffee and cake in little cafes and trattorias off the beaten track.
As our funny and informative guide said during our visit to The Forum, “if you stop outside a trattoria and see Nonna (grandma) with a meat cleaver in one hand and a cigar in the other – go and eat in that one!”
It was finally time to leave the hotel and head back to the airport, after three wonderful days. Having experienced the warmth of this incredible city, filled with so much history, we would absolutely love to go back! And of course we will be using Abbotts Travel for all our future bookings.