We arrived at Da Vinci airport in Rome at 8:30 in the morning, local time. We took a monorail from terminal to terminal which was just like the one at the Orlando airport. After passing customs we found a GoAhead group outside the baggage claim area. Those who had arrived before us were all taking the separate tour of Greece & Italy. We were early, so the Greece & Italy tour folks left us before we met Niko, who got us on bus to hotel with other people from our group, once their later flights arrived. In the interim we all visited the money changer at the Banca di Roma exchange counter.
At about 11:30 we arrived at the Hotel President (a Best Western) where we met Rita Prevato, the tour guide. Since the hotel rooms would not be ready until a little after noon, we strolled around the block. Around the second corner we saw a cathedral which we later learned was San Giovanni in Laterna, the cathedral of Rome. As soon as the rooms were available Jane sought the oblivion of sleep.
While Jane slept, Allan went for pizza. Embarrasment over a lack of Italian vocabulary, compounded by a flood of long-forgotten idiomatic Spanish phrases, led Allan to find the most touristy pizza shop in the neighborhood. Eventually Allan got a slice of prosciuto & mozzerella pizza (prosciuto layered between crust, with no sauce) near San Giovanni. Allan then joined Jane in a nap.
At 5:00 that evening all of the tour participants met in the hotel lobby for the introductory meeting. Rita's itinerary didn't match our "final" itinerary, which had been mailed about a week before the trip. Her photocopies were also missing the second page with days 6-16. Rita told us we'd have early starts in the mornings and there was lots of walking in store. Of the 35 people on the tour, we were by the youngest by far.
Later we had dinner in the hotel dining room where we sat with Steve, a computer consultant from Denver.