My first trip to Rome and my first use of Airbnb were made all the better by Simona's apartment, it's amazing location and the assistance both Simona and her brother Massimo provided.
Before I even arrived in Rome, Simona's communication and assistance was reassuring. She helped us book a private car to pick us up from lesser known Ciampino airport. Massimo was there to greet us and show us around the place.
The apartment was immaculately clean, a good sized living/dining room is open plan to a kitchen with everything you might need. In my experience of staying at hotels and apartments before, the word "double" for a bedroom gets thrown around to often, that was not the case here with two good sized rooms, both with air con and sharing a lovely balcony over looking the apartment blocks garden with views to the Vatican Wall. There is another balcony with access from both the kitchen and living room from which we saw a helicopter landing in the Vatican City arriving late Sunday evening which we wondered my have been carrying Pope Francis himself!
The location of the apartment was ideal to take in all the different sides of Rome. We spent our first day carrying out a full lap of the Vatican City. Rome is awash with great restaurants but one of my favourite culinary experiences was a trip to "Bonci", just next to the Cipro metro station. Very cool and even more delicious, although I couldn't convince my mother to try the tripe pizza!
The following days we were able to take advantage of the short walk to the Metro (10 mins) and even shorter walk to the bus stops to guide us around the city,. As good as the transport links are, we were able to carry out the Vatican Museum tour and walk straight to the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spainish steps enjoying a few stops for Vino, gelato and even a Frito Misto overlooking The beatiful fountains at Navano. After conquering the Spainish steps we admitted walking defeat jumping on the Metro at Spagna back to Cipro.
Massimo spent at least 30 minutes discussing Rome and all we could do there that you won't necessarily pick up in a guide book. Nothing was to much trouble, even messaging me to celebrate the victories of our football teams Lazio and Newcastle over the weekend :)
I will be heading back to Rome and I am sure be contacting Simona and Massimo again. A city of history, cuisine, culture, fashion, friends and family. The latter of these qualities summed up by the meal I shared with my mother at Rustichella on our first night where we had the pleasure of watching, and listening to, what looked like three generations of family share a game of football outside the beautiful church which the restaurant looks over. A memory of Rome I will not forget any time soon.
Grazie Simona and Massimo