April 21st, 2019: Florence to Rome by high-speed Trenitalia train and the loss of my backpack!!!

This morning we took the high-speed Trenitalia train directly from Florence to Rome. The quick trip took only 1 hour 26 minutes, speeding down the Italian peninsula in central Italy! From Rome’s Termini train station we hailed a Roman taxi to take us to our wonderful Airbnb walk-up on the narrow Via Baccina, just steps away from the imperial Roman Forum and Trajan’s Column – visible from our apartment window!

Our quick jaunt down the Italian peninsula from Florence to Rome took only 1 hour 26 minutes by high-speed train
Our floor 4 apartment on Rome’s tiny Via Baccina. From our apartment window, we could look down on the Roman Forum, including Trajan’s column and the Forum of Augusto, dating from 20 B.C!

Upon stepping out of the taxi and entering the beautiful Italian apartment building on a beautiful central Roman street, I realized my mistake immediately before taking the first step up to our 5th floor apartment – I had left my backpack containing my newish Sony digital mirrorless camera, my watercolor sketchbook, my iPad and my itinerary for the trip in the back of the Roman taxi (luckily Mandy had a copy of our detailed itinerary on her)! OH NO! I quickly ran back out to the street to see the taxi quickly turning from the narrow Via Baccina onto the equally narrow Via Tor dè Comi. We had no choice but to continue on up to the apartment and report our misfortune to the housekeeper, who was at the door to greet us.

Central Rome’s Via Baccina as seen from our apartment front door
The front door to our beautiful Roman apartment

Our gracious housekeeper soon called all three of the major Roman taxi companies, but no one reported a missing gray backpack. I knew that in order to file an insurance claim on the lost contents, I would have to acquire a report from the Roman police.

I headed out for the main police station almost all the way back (2 miles) to the train station, up and down over long Roman hills. When I arrived there was only a guard present – because it was a Sunday – most of the station’s police were off. The guard gave me a small printed map leading to a police station ironically much closer to our apartment. This police station was inhabited by some helpful but very serious English-speaking Roman police officers. After talking to one officer in particular for over 30 minutes, I had in my hand an official stolen property report from the Rome police, stamped and signed and official-looking by the nice Roman police officer.

Luckily for me, neither my wallet nor passport were in the backpack, for I kept those more important things carefully squirrelled away in an inner zippered compartment of my suitcase. Gone though were some of my critical medications, so I soon found myself heading for the nearest Italian pharmacy. Italian pharmacies are great, because Italian pharmacists are on par with doctors – they can fill an order without a prescription, which saved a lot of time and hassle. I simply described the medications I had lost and voila! – I had my new prescriptions in hand! A very good system.

Our Roman apartment had many levels. You came up a short flight of stairs to the main living/kitchen level, but the dining area was up another short flight of stairs, with a wonderful view out the adjacent window over red-tiled roofs and into the imperial Roman Forum. The bed loft was up a full flight of steep stairs and the loft itself was just large enough for the queen size bed, a bookshelf built into the stairs and room enough to walk around the other side of the bed.

The view from our 5th floor apartment window, looking toward the Victor Emmanuel Monument
Roman roof tile detail from our apartment window

We could also see the Monument to Victor Emmanuel from our 5th floor apartment, along with a good chunk of the heart of Rome. Trajan’s Column from the Roman Forum was situated at the bottom of our narrow, scenic street. We went out to view the column before our pizza dinner – such intact and intricate 2,000-year-old carvings from base to top over the impressively tall column!

The 120-foot tall monumental Trajan’s column in the Imperial Roman Forum
A detail of the intricately carved base of Trajan’s Column
Greater detail of the base of the intricately carved Trajan’s Column, standing at the base of our apartment’s street in Rome
Shaft detail of Trajan’s Column

Unfortunately for us after dinner, I went to bed early, feeling the early effects of a cold coming on. Ugh! (Mandy was to become ill too the very next day)


  1. Ann Harney says:

    Can you pack me in your suitcase next trip? I have a passport.


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