After a long car trip in Italy, we had made reservations at a hotel that had shuttle service to Fiumicino Airport and that is why we chose the Comfort Hotel. We got to the hotel the evening before our flight so we could turn in our car at the airport and not have to deal with it in the morning before our flight. In case you're thinking of driving in Italy, you absolutely MUST have a GPS with European maps. Just as in some of our country's towns, streets and highways have different names, but it is much more difficult in Italy, even though we speak Italian. While it would seem obvious that it is necessary in driving in rural areas where there are often no street signs or numbers, which we like to do, it is also absolutely necessary in urban areas.
If you drive to this hotel, note that we drove by it and could not find the entrance to the parking lot and had to drive on because there was no place to park on this narrow street. We went around the block and I let my wife out to go in and figure out how to get into the parking lot since there is a closed gate by the sidewalk. When I came around again, she had them open the gate so we could go in and park and unload our luggage.
We then went exploring Lido di Ostia, the ancient port of Rome. Because we always try to fill up near the airport, we waited to long even though our GPS showed that there were filling stations near the airport. We stopped at the first one and were told our credit card would not work to fill up our tank and to go on down the road to the next one. (We thought that was really odd, but drove off as they refused to sell us gas except to buy specific amounts. I asked how we could fill up the tank if we had to buy, for example 10 Euros at a time. They just told us to go to the next station. We drove down the road to the next station and got the same message. At that point, it was the last station and we wanted to get through. But if you are faced with this situation, and have been driving the car and have filled it up several times, then you can estimate what it will take and pay them a little less in cash to put in that amount. Then pay them a couple of Euros more until the tank is filled up. They have a scam going at these last stations where they are going to get to keep some of your money and they don't speak English, and amazingly enough, they acted like they didn't understand Italian. They may very well have been immigrants as they did not look Italian or act Italian. Regardless, the point is that you should fill up in town at a full service station and top off the tank with your credit card. It will still show full when you get to the airport if you're driving a Fiat or other small car like we were.
As to the airport, the car return is up a spiral ramp that is confusing as it can be. Not only that, there are two different floors where Hertz cars are returned and even after getting to the first one, I was told to go to the next floor and had to drive the wrong way on the ramp to get up to the next floor, to avoid having to go all the way back out of the airport and coming back around. I agree it wasn't a good plan, but after being ripped off at the gas station and sent to the wrong floor, I wanted to get out of there. But check carefully which car rental company you're using and call them to double check exactly where they are. The car rental places in Rome and in most other places we've used in large Italian cities all speak English, except in Como where the car rental clerk didn't speak English, but Como is a very small town.
By the way, if you want to get to the shuttle to this hotel, it is also not easy to find. Instructions from the hotel were not clear and people at the airport didn't know. But we were given a shuttle space number and it is way down past the buses that you see parked parallel to the curb.
When we finally got back to the hotel, we walked downtown and found a wonderful pizza shop, a gelateria, and a mercado where we bought snacks and food for breakfast the next morning.
The hotel is a modern hotel that was fine. The bed was comfortable. We had our own balcony and we sat out there with a bottle of wine we bought in town. We had walked all the way to the Tiber River and over the draw bridge and had a good time exploring the river and downtown, including trying to get to the beach. But it got dark and we had to get back as the streets were narrow and dark coming back from the beach and probably not one of the safest things to do. I'd stick to walking down that direction in the day light. But we were not bothered. It just felt uncomfortable walking on unlighted streets without even streetlights and not being able to see exactly where we were walking.
So you wanted to know about the hotel and you're not driving, and you're wishing I had skipped that part. OK. Here it is. We got a reduced rate at the hotel because the lower rate did not include breakfast which was fine. The hotel has an elevator. If you think that is an unnecessary bit of info, then you haven't travelled that much in Italy. Always make sure the hotel has an elevator if you have luggage. We only carry back packs, but we've had to carry them up a tight spiral staircase in Florence because the building had an elevator, but the hotel customers weren't allowed to use it, which we only found out after we got there!
Back to the hotel, the staff speak English and were very polite. and insisted on speaking English to us while we insisted on speaking Italian to them because we wanted the practice. So if you don't speak Italian, have no fear, they're going to speak English to you if they see from your registration form that you're from an English speaking country. The hotel staff are the ones who told us about the great little pizzeria a few blocks away where we had a great meal and pizza lessons from the owner who disputed the idea that pizza originated in Napoli (Naples). And we had to admit his pizza, which he sold by weight,(or you could order a whole pizza), was really great. We bought several different varieties by weight so we could try different kinds. Locals were constantly coming in while we ate ordering pizza to go, so we knew it was not a tourist spot. In fact, in walking around town that evening, we were the only tourists we saw in town, except at the hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Comfort Hotel Roma Airport FCO is less than five miles from the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport. This Rome, IT hotel is minutes from local points of interest like the Nuova Fiera di Roma multipurpose venue and the Porto di Civitavecchia (Port of Rome). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Comfort Hotel Roma Airport Fiumicino Rome