A couple of years ago my wife and I had the wonderful experience of visiting Rome. I don't need to mention how impressive it is to wander down cobbled streets lined with ancient buildings, all in varying and time-worn pastels. The Colesseum was all I every expected as was the Vatican and all the other sights, sounds and museums.
We didn't fare as well in the restaurant department. As it turned out our best dining came at the train station, a place with Roadhouse in the name. A copy of places like Logan's Roadhouse, The Texas Roadhouse and the others that proliferate our great country. They served wonderful Argentine steaks. The service was good with mostly English-speaking waitresses. The prices were fair. What can I say.
Near the Vatican we entered a street with a number of cafés. A sweet little old lady came out of one and enticed us to enter. We ordered spaghetti (hey, we wanted the real thing!). For two plates of passable spaghetti with meatballs, a coke and a small bottle of generic wine it cost us $100 +. My Italian wasn't up to sparring with this nice old lady who suddenly lost her ability to speak English. And then, although Rome doesn't have much of a subway due to all the artifacts they constantly dig up, we wanted to try it. We've been warned all over Europe about pickpockets and I thought I was well-protected. Wrong! A couple of women somehow managed to get crowded up against me in the train and when my wife realized something wasn't right, the train stopped and the hopped out holding up their hands to show that they had nothing.
Unfortunately, in Paris I had bought an hour hand for an antique clock I own. The vender had wrapped it in a small package and sealed it with plastic tape. I had this in a deep inside pocket of my coat, and when I checked, it had been unzipped and the packet was gone. The worst is that they probably looked at their booty in disgust and tossed it.
It was my own fault of course for carrying the thing around in my pocket.
We stayed at the Mercure Corso Trieste and it was a perfect experience for just over a $100 a night. Neaby was a small café where we did enjoy good dining at a reasonable price.
But watch out. We had lunch at a sidewalk café in the center of Roma. While I went to the restroom the handsome waiter took my wife for a tour of the kitchen and kissed her TWICE! And then when he presented the bill he said, "The tip is up to you." Little did I know he already had his tip.
Would I go back? In a heartbeat. Almost as great as Paris. Almost.