During my trip to Rome, Italy, I chronicled my adventures through my Instagram Stories each day, but I did not provide a detailed account of all the inner workings, the joys and travails of my trip because of limited internet access and time, so I am doing this here, through writing a blog post each day with accompanying photos. I did “blog” using just the offline Notes app on my mobile device, then am only now putting them on my website blog.
This was the first transatlantic flight I had taken in over a decade, so I splurged and upgraded to a business class seat via Alitalia/Delta. I felt a bit out of place amongst all those in first class that looked like this was old hat, but I basked this new experience. There was extra leg room, including a seat that reclined into a bed, each seat received noise-cancelling headphones and a bag of toiletries, and food and beverage were available at any time. We received dinner on real plates and silverware, and the wine cart brough through the aisle had full-sized bottles, poured into real glasses instead of plastic. I should also mention that the food was very good, as we received a 3 course dinner, several snacks overnight, and then breakfast in the morning. I spent most of the flight watching movies, trying to sleep, and trying to refresh my 3-week study of speaking Italian.
My flight from Boston Logan airport left around 3:30pm on Wednesday, and after layover in New York City’s JFK airport, I arrived in Rome FCO airport around 10:30 AM Thursday Italy-time, and went through automated customs. Then I picked up my baggage, pulled out some Euro currency from an ATM, and made my way to find my transport to the hotel. I saw a sign that said Rachel Brask and introduced myself. He took my bag and we walked to the van he drove.
One of my first observations from just the drive is that many of the buildings have old stone architecture to them, and most of the windows are tall with large, functional shutters. I also noticed that for every window that had a balcony or ledge, many of them were covered in greenery: small potted trees, plants, and flowers on the ledges. If this were America, I’d be more used to seeing a single grill and mostly a bunch of extra boxes and bikes stored on the porch that people couldn’t fit in their apartment.
My driver pulled up to the gallery where the cross-cultural art exhibition is being held, Area Contessa Arte. I dropped off my painting and communicated a little with the gallery director. Then my ride dropped me off to my hotel, HOA Guest House. I was greeted by the bed and breakfast owner, Annamaria, and was shown around the facility. The aesthetic of the B&B is very contemporary modern, minimalist but functional with some antique charm to it. Very clean, crisp, and updated.
I had planned to go out and explore the city during the afternoon, but I had underestimated just how exhausted I was after being awake for 24 hours. I settled into my hotel room, and then slept for about 16 hours to make up for sleep from the deadline-driven work week and night prior from travel, as I was not able to sleep very well on the plane.