The ferry was surprisingly nice.... it was actually a re-fitted cruise ship complete with casino, swimming pools and disco, though it was off-season so though 3200 persons could ride the ship, only 150 or so did. Mostly it seemed to be in use for commercial vehicle traffic (we could smell the load of pigs in the hold below), but it was very comfortable and warm, and our cabins were a perfect place to rest with jetlag while we continued our voyage.
Also en route to Roma was a young American student travelling by himself for 4 months before college. He is doing something called "couch surfing", staying with host families for a night or even a week in different cities across Europe. He is enjoying his experience, and recommends the way to travel as very affordable as well as a great way to meet local people in each place... what a great idea - he is off to Hungary and Austria before returning home to Seattle. We enjoyed his company as we ran from the ferry port in Civitivicchia in the pouring rain to the train for Rome, which wasn't the easiest with our backpacks and carry-ons in the dark, rather lost but determined.
Now we have another gem of a lodging here in Roma, two triples which are spacious and friendly. Apart from the elevator that is - Rick and the boys had to be rescued by the fire department after dinner tonight (honest to god, not exaggerating here, pictures to follow). That was good for some excitement. But after the delicious dinner of Italian pizza and desserts, they didnt mind, as they said that could have been their last meal and they would have been happy. Italy - pizza, calzones, bruschetta and gelato, all adding up to heaven. Bikini? Who cares!