Eat at the Train Station in Rome

Travel food is made for the masses to put off hunger until there are better options. Walking past the standard fare Roma Termini train station in Rome around to Mercato Centrale Roma is well worth the steps.

Options are considerable ranging from pastries, Roma special artichokes, sushi, gourmet burgers, to hand carved roast beef. If you have picky eaters of any type described by C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters they will find themselves indulged at Mercato Central Roma.

The Giants ate well with positive reviews:

Colosseum, Palatine Hill & Roman Forum


Book the trip today!

Go to Rome and take a tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. The Giants used and found the guide to be pleasant and knowledgeable. The Giants would use them again, and they would be willing to try a different company. Nothing seemed to be exceptional when compared to the many other groups visiting the sites.

Only in person can such grand sites be taken in. Plan the trip today and include access to the underground part of the Colosseum if at all possible.


Palatine Hill:

Roman Forum:

TheRomanGuy guide and company:

Surprise of the visit to the Colosseum was that it smelled of sewer in many areas around the outside walls.

Hotel della Signoria in Florence Italy

Looking for a place in the heart of Florence, Italy close to high end shopping, street venders, the leather market, and the sites? Good service, clean rooms, and included good breakfast (at least with our booking) can all be found at Hotel della Signoria. Easy walking distance to Duomo, Galleria degli Uffizi, and Ponte Vecchio.

Hotel della Signoria

This centrally located hotel in Florence still uses keys made of metal rather than key cards of plastic. There is something substantial to carry a key, and there is some added stress of worrying of losing that one key. The Giants found out half way through the stay that most guests left the room key with the front desk while not in their rooms.

Breakfast on the top floor that was included with the Giants stay included made to order eggs, attentive service, many options for travelers from cereal to cakes (and a full English breakfast), and excellent views of the red rooftops of Florence.

Giants rating of breakfast as compared to other “included” hotel breakfasts:


One of the Giants rooms had an awkward set up for the shower. The room is for two and if those two do not have a close relationship things could be delicate. The clear shower door is placed center of the room rather than off of the bathroom/commode area. This open placement of the shower was the only negative the Giants could find.


One other warning: ⚠️ if you are driving plan ahead. Getting a car to the hotel takes a phone call to the valet, the valet running to meet the group about a 1/2 mile from the hotel, competitive driving of the car to the hotel, and a drop off. Checking out the car is a lesson in patience since it will be stored offsite and take up to 45 minutes for it to be delivered – and then the adventures of driving through dense pedestrian traffic is all yours.

Giants hotel rating:

Florence, Italy 7/10/18-7/12/18

Bianco’s Vespette e Forchette

Based on style, presentation, and proximity to Vatican City Bianco’s Vespette e Forchette is a restaurant that knows its target audience -tourists. Given the Giants experience this Italian food restaurant in Rome, Italy looks to specifically trying to attract guests from the United States. The decor has stone and brick for a romantic look with scooters to make the place “hip.”

The service was quick and friendly only including three glitches:

  • In Italy there is an American tax where each water loving patriot pays €2.50 to €7 per bottle of H2O. Most prefer still water over carbonated water. At this place the Giants ordered a bottle of still for the table after the request for table (tap) Water was turned down. After taking the order the server said that their still only had a “little natural gas.” Each backpack full with soda and real non-gassed water the group complied with the tax levied. “Little” was full gas and that’s water was consumed by only three Giants.

  • Two appetizers were ordered. No need to do this since olives, bread, and little pizza balls were brought out before the meal.

Sadly one appetizer showed up with the meal after the complementary offerings. Would have been better if the appetizer had arrived early. Happily the second appetizer was forgotten by the waiter and not delivered or charged.

  • The bill was promptly delivered when requested, which often is not the outcome in many European restaurants. The glitch was that getting the staff to allow a credit card to be run was not achieved in the next ten minutes while the Giants stressed making it timely to a special Friday Night at the Vatican. The bill was paid cash by leaving it on the table.

The food was fine, and not something to rave or complain about.

Finish cooking your steak yourself seems to be all the rage in Europe in 2018. Not complaining, simply informing.

Giants’ rating:

Sit, Pic, and Go

Plan 10 minutes for the Spanish Steps and you will get the visit and pictures that you need.

Can you find the Smallest Giant in the picture?

Trevi Fountain and Pantheon are both in walking distance of the steps.

Giants rating:

When in Rome you will see that the Romans aren’t visiting the Spanish Steps. You should visit them though, that’s what everyone says.