Monday-We checked out of the Hotel Sonya around 11 am. They called a taxi for us, which showed up in about 30 seconds. He drove us about 4 miles across the city, no significant traffic to speak of , and got us to our hotel in about 15 minutes. I had always had this image of Rome as always snarled with traffic with horns honking and chaos everywhere, but it hasn’t been like that at all. Very rarely do you hear a horn honk, and despite the lack of many stop signs or traffic control, traffic seems to move along pretty well.
We found our hotel pretty easily, but we were a little early to get into the room. We dropped our bags there, then walked around the neighborhood, had lunch, then came back and got into our room.
That evening we met our new guide Tommaso and our 24 travel companions for this segment on the trip. While on the last tour we had a lot of folks from the northwest, this time it is Kansas/Missouri and Texas that dominates the group. Tommaso took us for an evening orientation tour, which included some of the same places Donald took us the last full day of the other tour like the French Embassy, Campo d’Fiori, and Plaza Navona, but this time we were seeing them in the day, giving us a different perspective on these favorite haunts of tourists to Rome. We walked back to our neighborhood in the Trastavere to a local restaurant that served us dinner with wine. We got to know our travel people a little better, then staggered home .