After 10 days in the lovely little village of San Gemini in Umbria, most of our family headed south to Rome (our son, Ryan, and daughter-in-law, Rachel, headed north to Paris and then on to Berlin to visit old friends there).
The remainder of our group boarded a train in Terni and one-and-a-half-hours later we arrived at Termini, the central station in Rome. Not enough can be said about how great train travel is in countries like Italy, France, Spain and England, compared to the U.S.
An odyssey in three taxis via narrow streets that crisscross old Rome like fractures in a cracked plate brought us to our apartment near Piazza Borghese. It was a very nice, large and comfortable flat with plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms for us all. It was almost too close to the most popular tourist sites, but that made it nice for the kids, even if the crowds were significant in some places.
Walking was by far the most efficient mean of getting around, except for cross-town travel, for which the Metro was excellent. It was the first time on a subway for our grandkids and they seemed perfectly comfortable with the dense crowds and hustle into and out of the subway trains.
Our first group activity involved a Metro ride to the Coliseum for a tour of Old Rome with Lucia, a very pretty Roman woman who spoke English with a strong Liverpool (Beatles-like) accent. Born and raised in Rome, she spent several years in England before returning to her hometown and becoming a guide for Nancy Aiello Tours (<a href="http://nancyaiellotours.com/">nancyaiellotours.com</a>).