Monday, September 29, 2014

We are now in Italy - Fiumicino actually.

After two years of saving and planning, we are now here in Italy. The flight is a form of torture in Sue's mind and I would probably agree to some extent. Economy class on a plane for the duration 31 hours from our front door to the hotel door in Fiumicino is not the most pleasant experience. It reminds me of those livestock trucks taking sheep or cattle to slaughter. Having said that, Singapore Airlines make the trip as pleasant as possible with great smiling service all the way.

Rather than going into Rome (we've been before) we decided on staying at Fiumicino which is only 15 minutes from the airport. After flying from Australia, an overnight stay here is highly recommended. We stayed at Domus Lina, a well appointed guest hotel with host Enrico being most helpful - always cheerful and happy to chat and offer advice.

Fiumicino is on the outlet of the Tiber river and is known as a fishing village. We were here in 2006 to visit the ruins of Ostia Antica, an ancient port for Rome. The ruins are said to rival those of Pompeii. Not having seen Pompeii, I can't confirm this but Ostia Antica amazed us. Check it out via this link,

An early photo in the foyer of our hotel - Fiumicino.

The trip from Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci was hassle free with Roberto our driver holding a sign up with our names on it. He took our gear and loaded it on the Lancia people mover. As we drove off to the hotel, he started crooning "That's Amore" and when he unloaded my bike bag, he broke into Queen's song, "I want to ride my bicycle".

Looking down the Tiber River towards the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Have to say the hotel we are staying at for the first night is a delight and our host Enrico has already been most helpful with a recommendation for dinner tonight that takes in the local seafood produce. More on that later as I'm writing this after our initial stroll to explore our surroundings.

From our balcony window is a small fish market. Sue wishes we had a kitchen instead of an hotel room.
Such is her passion for the culinary arts.
Looking across from our other balcony.

All along the Tiber in Fiumicino are the fishing nets from the boats that bring in the local produce.
It doesn't take long for the local scamster to pick out the tourists.

Still very much jet lagged and out of time-sync, we found ourselves enjoying a beer and sharing a procuitto and cheese panini at 11.30 am at a small cafe overlooking the Tiber River. The cost was a mere 8.50 euro or approx AUD$10 for the two of us. It's was a sunny 25 degrees when we took shade under the coolness of a peppercorn tree to watching the passing locals. People were riding their bikes, walking dogs and generally enjoying a family Sunday.

The restaurant recommended by our host, Enrico.
We retired to our hotel room around 2ish with Sue taking a nap (for 5 hours) and me a little later. Both of us had one of those deep sleeps that you need after a long haul flight. We were both looking forward to experiencing our first evening meal in Italy and we were not disappointed. This is where I let Sue take over because she is so much better describing food and flavours much better than moi.

Ooh, Leon being Leon, had pasta with porcini fungi. Tis the season for  porcini in Italy. It was very rich and he loved it.  This place started life as a fishing village and the fishing boats still leave at 4am and bring their catch back here. I had fritto misto, although that wasn't quite what they called it.  Tiny little calamari, fresh very sweet prawns and baby fish still on the bone. Incredibly fresh and delicious. Yummy salads also with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic bottles put on the table for us to dress the salad ourselves.
As you enter the restaurant, you pass by the fountain but above you is a mass of vines with grapes of rosso and bianco.
Semi freddo with almond praline. They had taken the caramel to very dark so its bitterness offset the sweetness of the ice cream. It was sensational.

Espresso, limoncello. Whats not to like?
Where we sat, across from us was their fine dining areas but no one was there. Maybe Italians just enjoy the casual style of eating. We do!
Just one last photo of Fiumicino of yesterday.
Sue and I are sitting on the balcony of our hotel on a balmy 24 degree night after dinner, listening to the constant chatter of people walking by - the occasional cry from a baby being nursed by it's mother  contrasts with the street talk of teenagers. We also hear the clatter of diesel powered small cars that are so unfamiliar in the streets of "Melbourne - Our Home by the Bay". It's time to go to bed to meet the challenges of another day in a country where we are the strangers trying to be understood,


  1. Welcome in Europe! Hope you'll have a lovely time. Looking forward to reading all about it! Martine

    1. Merci Martine - will you be in the Loire before Christmas this year?

  2. I have been busy and will come back later to read all about this amazing trip. Glad you made it through the 31 hour "torture" safely! Have a wonderful trip!

    1. I think our lives get busier every year and somehow its our time saving technology that adds to our busy lives.

  3. I love Rome, but it is busy, crowded and full of crazy drivers. What a great idea staying outside Rome, in a beautiful harbour town that has luscious fish restaurants.

  4. What fun to have your stories to look forward to each day! Enjoy...Louise


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