Here I am with Roberto Cioce, Hotel Manager, a most delightful gentleman who has become a friend. Now that I am retired, I am not sure I will ever get back to Rome but I have delighted in staying at the Hotel Napoleon during my two visits, in April 2008, and for my birthday, in October 2009. I would recommend this warm and pleasant hotel ( which came highly recommended on TripAdvisor ) to anyone visiting the Eternal City!
With the ultimate concierge, Francisco Quirinis, who is the best I have ever met, anywhere in the world. He is handsome, magical, charming and can accomplish anything.
I was so amazed that Pietro, the bartender, remembered me, as did other staff, a year and a half later. It is such a family hotel and the employees stay for years.
My friends and me, enjoying the "wine appreciation hour" to the fullest!
The Coliseum, within walking distance of the Hotel Napoleon.
We headed out to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican on my birthday, October 3rd. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny. This building was across the street from the ticket entrance to the Sistine Chapel.
We already had our tickets but there was a long line and, of course, this group of boys were being boys and had tried to make a pyramid up the wall.
Pretty apartment buildings across from the entrance to the Sistine Chapel.
Sturdy shrub growing through the bricks!
Beautiful stained glass
Vatican Square and St. Peter's Basilica
Driving back to our hotel, we saw this bride and groom on a hillside!
My birthday lunch - yummy grilled vegetables and very good house pinot grigio!
Sign above the restaurant entrance to downstairs - I found it quite comical - I guess it referred to the low overhang but I wasn't totally sure!
My birthday dinner at Orso 80 in Rome. I discovered this restaurant last year when I was in Rome for my 64th birthday. It is a delightful family run restaurant, famous for its local dishes. On TripAdvisor, it is rated #127 out of 1593 restaurants in Rome.
We ordered the Roman Antipasto for the table, deciding to wait to order anything more and that was a wise decision. We could not have eaten another dish. Plate after plate of fabulous antipasti ( fifteen in all ) arrived - grilled eggplant, proscuitto, grilled zucchini, olives, meatballs, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, shrimp, salami, mushrooms - I can't remember everything! Topped of by an excellent Italian red wine, recommended by our waiter, we were totally content.
My first plate - there was a second to match this.
This was an amazing surprise, out of the "small world" catergory. We were sitting at our table, when this lady approached and asked if I was Carmen Henesy. I thought she looked vaguely familiar. She said she was dining with her companion Delta flight attendants when we passed their tables. "I recognized your by your eye shadow." ( I always match my outfits...have done it for about 50 years! ). Anyway, Jennifer and I attended a Spanish child forensic interviewing course in Huntsville, Alabama together two years ago! We've corresponded since but haven't seen each other. It was such a surprise to run into her in Rome at the very same restaurant!
We left the restaurant and decided to walk to the Piazza Navonna for a nightcap. There were little vendors in the street and my friend, Phil, bought me this sweet bracelet for my birthday. Since my friend, Brenda, was wearing a red dress, I let her wear it for the evening. She modeled it for this picture, with our bottle of wine.
It was pretty crowded at the Piazza Navonna so we spent about an hour, sipping wine and listening to strolling musicians. Lovely!
Someone must have hugged off part of my eye makeup! After a little wine, who cares?
Our time in Rome flew by all too quickly. Fortunately, I was there last year and had been several times before so sightseeing wasn't so much an issue. I was able to relax and just take it easy.
We left early on Sunday morning for Civitivecchia to board Royal Caribbean's huge Navigator of the Seas for our six day Mediterranean cruise. More on that and pictures, of course, in another episode.