On Saturday I trekked from Positano to Rome and got there in pretty good time. I was supposed to meet Seahorsd Car Service at 9:40 am and the driver was about ten minutes late as he was picking up other passengers. Similar to before, it was a private car and he drove us to Sorrento where we connected (not waiting more than a minute!) to the larger van to Naples. I was the first drop off at Naples Train Station and got there at 11:20 am (much earlier than what they quoted me when my ride was initially booked, 12:15 pm). I did not pre-book a train ticket to Rome since I wasn't sure what time I would get there so I paid full price for the ticket (45 euros). If you know what day/time you want to take the train, you can book cheaper tickets online in advance. Also, for the high speed train from Naples to Rome you do not need to validate your ticket but you do if you take the slower, local train I think.
When I walked into Naples Train Station (which seems pretty clean, not as sketch as I remember it from 15 years ago), I didn't realize there are different train companies! I just followed the signs for tickets and went to the left, which is red and has tickets for ItaliaRail. Anyway it was about 11:30 and the cashier told me the next train was at 12:55 pm. That didn't make sense to me since I heard there was a train every hour and then he mentioned it might be with the other train company across the way. However, their one way fare to Rome was cheaper (39 euros) but I didn't want to wait that long!
So I went across to Trenitalia, which I meant to take anyway. You can book tickets and look up schedules in advance online. I bought the tickets at the ticket office, if you do this, make sure you pick the right option when you get a ticket number to get help in person (there were three options and I chose the "A" line which helps with high speed tickets as opposed to the "I" line which helps customers with info). You can also buy tickets from machines but I wanted to talk to the cashier in person just to make sure I was getting on the right train! The high speed train I took was ending in Milan but Rome was the next stop. I got on the 12 pm train (they also assign you a seat reservation and I asked for a seat where it would be easy to keep my luggage with me and the guy put me in 18D car 7, which was great as it's right by the door and there's only one seat in the corner, not two so the extra space was good for my luggage). No one on the train checked my ticket! I'm sure they do but it just didn't happen to me.
After I arrived in Termini Station in Rome at 1:10 pm, I headed straight to the taxi stand outside as I hate lugging luggage alone on the subway. I handed the taxi driver a paper with my hotel address and off we went. Official taxis in Rome are white and this info from hotels.com was really helpful in terms of what to expect when taking a taxi in Rome. I am staying near the Spanish Steps as I wanted to be more central (the area around Termini is sketch) and the fare wasn't bad at all, only 10.80 euros.
Where to Stay in Rome
I love the cute boutique hotel in staying at! I booked it months ago and didn't know too much about it other than it was in the central and safe area of Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Steps). The hotel is sooo nice and small (meaning there's not that many rooms) and modern and stylish. Wedged between two restaurants, Piazza di Spagna Prestige is comfortable, clean and has everything you need. I'm staying in the Pantheon room and I remember thinking it seemed small but it is not at all! There are two twin beds and a nice bathroom with a rainfall shower. They give a nice small breakfast of baked good every morning as well as fruit and juice and the room also has a coffee machine. The guy at reception looks like he's barely out of high school but is very sweet and helpful and prompt. He gave me great restaurant suggestions (I went to 2 so far and will try another tomorrow).
What I Did in Rome
Since I've been to Rome before, I had zero desire to stand in line and sight see. However I did re-visit Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II. It's a Memorial and I love the grandios building of it all.
I walked around to see Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps too. Both were loaded w tourists! So I didn't stay long. Had dinner at Ginger, which is a modern casual Italian place that offers a twist to traditional dishes as well as salads and juices/smoothies. They also have fresh parm and cheese. Overall very good and recommend it if you want something a bit different and healthy near the Spanish Steps! Lunch seemed a lot busier than dinner (I tried to go for lunch but didn't want to wait so came back in the evening). Highlights of the meal were the grilled scallops (fresh and perfectly cooked on a bed of broccoli cream!), steak (omg so flavorful and juicy) and seared tuna steaks. The tomato pasta was also very good.