We got to Rome around 1:30 this morning and took a taxi directly to our accommodations. We had both been to Rome before, so we decided to forego the typical tourist stops and instead visit only Ostia Antica - very impressive and well-preserved ruins in the outskirts of the city. Because of this itinerary, the most important consideration for our accommodation was proximity to the airport, train station, and the ruins themselves. Hirsh found a fabulously located room and that was about all it had going for it. It was gross. It was basically a filthy plywood shack in someone's backyard. We may or may not have shared the room with bedbugs and a thin coating of Hepatitis. But we were so tired we just rolled with it. It's all part of the adventure!
The ruins were so worth it. We had read about them and heard glowing reports from some friends back home (thanks for the rec Chris Waldon!), and they did not steer us wrong. The grounds are very expansive and not very crowded (a true delight), and we spent almost all day here.
We especially loved the inlaid mosaic tile patterns on the floors. They are incredibly intricate and advanced. In the old market area, each stall had its own specific mosaic pattern which indicated what was sold there.
After a very hot day in the ruins, we boarded the train for a hot and sweaty and loud ride to Naples.
We arrived in Naples late just to spend the night there. To say Naples is gritty would be an understatement. It's downright sketchy and dangerous, especially at night around the train station. Since pepper spray is illegal in many parts of Europe, we came armed with a handheld security alarm. That thing was in Sarah's hand and ready to activate for the walk from the train station to our room.
We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Airbnb flat. Our sweet host was a man in his mid to late 30's who, of course, lives with his mother and his cat. It's the Italian way! The room was artfully decorated and even came tricked out with a constantly changing multi-color light in the shower. He advised we were welcome to have a dance party. 😉