Guest House in Rome
Don and I knew we'd have less than 24 hours in Rome. I didn't search for a dream hotel, but we ended up with a fabulous stay in a guest house. It had a curious name and a huge door!
Tridente Suites sounds a little like Embassy Suites, or something American. But the door of our 6-room hotel, looked like nothing I've ever seen in a chain hotel. The guest house was named for its location. The Trident is a complex of 3 streets, that begin near each other and fan out to the south. (Think of Poseidon's 3-pronged trident spear... not the gum!)
Behind the Doors
It was around 3 pm, when our Uber dropped us off at the Piazza del Popola, where the 3 streets begin. We walked less than a minute down Via del Corso, which is the middle one. The pedestrian passage was bustling, but we easily spotted the giant doors to our hotel. They were wide open.
The hall looked fresh and clean, but vaulted ceiling gave away the building's age. So did the inside of the giant doors, when they were closed! I don't know the age of the 5-story building, but it was connected to a nearby church. I believe it once served as a monastery.
A woman in an office at the end of the hall, pointed us towards the elevator.
We only used the traveling cage twice, to carry our luggage. There was just enough room for 2 carryon bags and one person.
Stairs to Where?
We were up one flight of marble stairs, so it wasn't a big hike to get to the floor that held Tridente Suites.
I wondered what else was housed in the historic building. We were told that a music school was on the level above us. I hoped we would hear some music, but the guest suites were very soundproofed.
Our host Sarah spotted us through the glass doors and buzzed us in. She was gracious and professional.
The little sitting/lounge space also felt gracious and professional. There was nothing over the top memorable about the nicely renovated and decorated lobby, but the hotel was just what we needed. A clean and safe place, where we knew we could get a good night's rest, before starting 2 weeks of travel.
194 Square Feet
Sarah showed us to our room and I was excited to find it better than expected. We knew it would be small, but the space was set up well. And oh joy, there was a window with a view!
The modern bathroom was spotless. I have memories of Italian hotels, from when I was a kid. Shared baths down the hall... chain pull toilets and bidets that gave me the creeps at age 11. But no worries with our bathroom! I especially enjoyed the heated floor and towel rack.
Our bed and pillows offered a great night's sleep and they even managed to squeeze in tables and lamps on both sides!
The towels waiting on the bed were a bit fluffier than the ones from our last visit to Rome. From what I recall, The non-absorbent waffle style fabric worked more like squeegees than towels!
This and That
There was a decent sized TV, that we didn't use and a tea kettle that we did use. Don was happy to put the luggage rack to use. And I was pleased with the well-mounted mirror.
I was still jolted by the fact that our mirror, (triple the size of this one) had fallen from our bathroom wall the night before we flew to Rome. New appreciation for good mirrors! Plus, I needed to see just how wrinkled my clothes were after traveling for about 20 hours. Good enough for getting out to explore!
I was so excited about our window. We only had one, but it had shutters for closing out light and sound. Best of all, the glass panes could be opened, to let in the air and the festive sounds from below. Happy chatter from cafes... echoing footsteps... street musicians.
The view straight across showed lots of windows. Good for snooping if you like that. But it was the view down, that was fun.
Our Street - Via del Corso
On Good Friday, the via below was busy with holiday crowds, moving in both directions. Via del Corso is the center of the 3 streets that make up the Trident.
To the north, we could see Piazza del Popolo from our window. The large urban square is inside the northern gate, which was the main entrance to the city, during the Roman Empire.
Piazza Del Popolo
My eyes were drawn to the Egyptian obelisk in the center of the square. A nap was tempting, but I ignored my jet lag and headed down the via towards the Piazza.
I know this is a blog about hotels, but somehow this piazza was an unexpected bonus! I think I'll always remember this festive area as part of the hotel. I had no idea it was so huge, when I'd looked on the map.
Here are a few more pics of the lively square, on a lovely Friday afternoon.
(click for info)
After wandering the Piazza, I headed up the stairs to the east and found an even better view.
I think I was on some kind of jet-lag-giddy-high, when I climbed those stairs. The good weather and all the views were energizing. I started to head back, but suddenly realized how close I was to something that I hadn't seen in almost 55 years!
At the top of the hill, I found the entrance to Borghese Gardens. I last visited the gardens in 1969. I was 11 and the gardens were magical. So on Good Friday 2023, I set off looking for things I remembered.
I raced around the gardens absorbing all the colors and characters. It felt just like the sunny day that I remember with my family.
I loved the statue and the funny horse... I loved the Sphinx-like statue on the stairs.
I had meant to be gone less than an hour, but time got away. I raced towards the steps leading down to the Piazza. I made my giddy-self slow down a bit on the worn and slippery the marble. No need to start the trip with a sprained ankle.
I headed back to Via del Corso. It was easy to spot, nestled right between the Twin Churches.
Santa Maria in Montesanto (L) and Santa Maria dei Miracoli (R) have almost twin names. But if you look closely you'll see differences.
#4 Via del Corso
Via del Corso runs from Piazza del Popolo, all the way through Rome to Piazza Venezia. Our building address #4, was a reminder of just how close the hotel was, to Rome's old entrance. I headed back to the giant doors, just in time to spot a couple musicians leaving.
Twin cello cases, walking towards the Twin Churches! I wish we'd heard them practicing.
While I was gone, Don had enjoyed a rest. He was ready to get out and explore. My feet begged me to give them a break, but I knew there were just too many wonderful places, just steps away.
We spotted all the above landmarks as we wandered on foot. We completely missed the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, which were even closer.
Our meandering got us to the Vatican by dusk. Seeing St. Peter's dome made me forget my weary legs.
I was surprised to see the Vatican City so peaceful on Good Friday evening. I smiled to remember my glee at age 11, when my family visited and had a wonderful surprise.
I remember it was a Saturday, when our family stepped inside and found crowds filling the cathedral. Suddenly we spotted Pope Paul, being carried on his ceremonial mobile throne. We had no idea what event was taking place, but we lucked out!
The event ended shortly after we arrived and the exits were jammed with people. My family found a quicker way out, which took us to some lovely gardens. We didn't realize we were in a private area of the Vatican, until we had to pass the Swiss guards to get out. Oops.
Don and I wandered back towards the hotel, enjoying the positive holiday energy, filling the walkways. We heard no English anywhere. We stopped at Cafe Rosati, which I'd noticed earlier on the west side of Piazza Popolo. The patio tables had heavenly views of the Twin Churches and Piazza.
We were dressed in the same clothes we'd worn when we left Texas, the day before. But, the lovely restaurant welcomed us and our first meal in Italy was perfecto! It was such a treat to walk just a few steps to our via, between the Twin Churches and know our bed was waiting.
We slept well despite crashing storms in the night. We woke to wet streets and sunshine. Perfect.
I couldn't believe we had to check out early to catch our train. We had only booked one night in Rome, to allow for rest before our travels. We had wanted to avoid the crowded city, yet suddenly I didn't want to leave.
We had to cross to the east side of the Piazza to call for an Uber near the Canova Ristorante. I was sad we couldn't stop for breakfast. Like Rosati's, the tables had lovely views.
But I was even more intrigued knowing the cafe had been a favorite of director, Federico Fellini. Next time!
I will remember our giant door and our comfy bed and the window overlooking Via del Corsi. Trident Suites felt clean and quiet and very secure. Not bad for $175., in Rome! But obviously, from my rambling write-up, my memories will mostly be about the magical location. I felt like I was stepping back in time, as memories surfaced throughout all our wandering. I honestly had expected to just rest up on our first night in Italy, but our comfy hotel allowed us lots of adventuring and some good dining, all within walking distance!
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!