Thursday, October 19, 2023

Roma, California, Napoli

 A Quick Trip!

Well, it started out well - we flew to LAX on this plane from Rome after flying there from Catania the day before. A museum visit with one of Heather's colleagues and some great porchetta sandwiches set us up for the 12+ hour flight the next morning.

We'll NEVER understand why/how the food on ITA Airways can be so awful!? Most people think Italian food is the world's best so how can they serve crap like this? The Italian tourist people should investigate!

We arrived at LAX, rented a car and enjoyed 4 days of festivities around a family wedding, including a Sunday BBQ. Thanks Bob! And congratulations Amanda & Scott!

We headed back from the land of "everything costs extra" on Monday. We paid $10 a day to park a car under the hotel, $8 extra each morning for someone to make us cappuccino (both were included in a stay Zio Lorenzo did earlier this year in another SoCal hotel, so perhaps it's just the Hyatt people that are so greedy?) This at a place where the (only) guy at the reception desk was dressed more like the janitor and had to be asked to put down the phone, stop swinging his keys around and check us in! I guess good help IS tough to find these days?

Then there were the ITA Airways folks at LAX check-in where the same small roll-aboard bags we came from Rome with + a small backpack somehow became too heavy (more than 10 kg total) to take guessed it...we coughed up more money! $140 to be exact AND we still had to check one of our roll-aboards. So we PAID for the opportunity to wait at baggage claim, wonder if our bag would get lost or if someone would open it and help themselves to the contents - all things that have happened to us in the past. This was NOTHING but a matter how many flimsy reasons the check-in folks came up with...and worse...the flight was far from full and we'd carried these same bags onto a (notoriously greedy) Ryanair flight from Catania as well as ITA from Rome. No issues or extra charges on either flight, nor with our return to Catania from Napoli with the same bags.

Next it was off to security where the LAX TSA staff seemed to have been trained by the Gestapo. They barked orders through megaphones and acted as if every passenger should be 100% familiar with their security procedures, no matter what they might have gone through elsewhere. A nice farewell from the USA...not!

Back (finally!) in Italy after more bad airplane food (created we assume in LA so maybe we shouldn't complain?) we took the nonstop train from the Rome airport to the central train station and then boarded a high-speed train to Napoli. Less than two hours later we had a "room with a view" as they say!

And a nice greeting when we checked-in to our Napoli hotel, staffed by smiling, friendly people in suits and ties - real pros who take pride in their work, though we DID have to pay room service ($7) to bring up some glasses and a corkscrew to the room so we could enjoy this nice gift.

Breakfast wasn't included with this one-night stay but with one of these just steps away, who cares? Our next stop was here to enjoy a real espresso and stock up on espresso to take home, then on to the MANN before pizza for lunch. Some walking around Spaccanapoli filled the time before we caught our flight back to Catania.

Needless to write - but we're glad to be back home!

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