We were only in Rome for 3 nights. Once I got off the train at Termini, it was like home again except for some new stores and eating establishments replacing ones I had frequented. Didn't get us lost finding our hotel.
Outside of the hustle bustle of the train station, the energy of Rome seemed dampened to me. The expressions of peoples' faces were more strained than I remembered 4 years ago. A lot has happened in the world and it was apparent this city was affected.
The numbers of people peddling stuff had increased exponentially. That day, it was umbrellas. You could barely walk 5 - 10 minutes at a time without having one pointed out in your way. Pretty irritating.
Our hotel was just outside of the city walls in a residential area. I stayed there 8 yrs ago when I spent 2 1/2 weeks over Christmas and New years. It was much cheaper then and the only place I could afford back in the day.
Not much has changed except now you get wifi and breakfast service is much more organized. I enjoyed returning there and showing D what I remembered of the neighbourhood.
We didn't do many "sights" this time around as we have seen most already. Just walked and wandered through the various areas following our nose. Rome is a great city for that and has a gritty "we make no excuses, we are what we are" vibe.
We drank lots of fantastic coffee and discovered a few great bakeries, memorable meals and an area of town we would consider staying next time around.