We flew Air Canada out of Montreal direct to Rome overnight, which worked well for us: it's not that much further than JFK, Canadian airport security is less annoying, and it was cheaper enough that Chad could upgrade to business and get a little bit of sleep. (I insisted on staying in coach, and probably got more sleep than he did; I remember tossing and turning a fair bit, but not being awake for really long, and I slept hard enough through landing that my seatmate had to wake me on the ground.)
We had dumb technology stuff when the SIM card that Chad bought in the airport somehow . . . removed his ability to connect to the Internet via apps, as opposed to just the web browser? Even when he was connected to WiFi? Also it didn't include texts. And my phone (which I temporarily reverted to Google Fi for the trip--I got a Nexus 5x a while ago when it was having a sale if you activated Fi for a month, and then switched it over to AT&T because Fi's coverage around me isn't as good yet) has texts, but no data, which the nice people on the support chat just confirmed is actually a problem that they will look into. So collectively we have a single functioning phone, which is more vexing than it ought to be, all things considered.
After all that, we allowed ourselves to be talked into a van ride from the airport to our hotel direct, for two Euros more than the train; potentially risky, in that they were a bit dodgy (the guy who gave us the quote found some other people and then told us not to tell them what we were paying, because they were paying more?!), but got us where we were going without having to navigate, which was really useful at that point.
Despite my getting miserably motion-sick on the drive, we managed to move into the "punchy" stage of travel when we got to the hotel, because we find it kind of hilarious? We wanted something really close to the wedding we are here for, and what we found for a reasonable rate turns out to be a single floor of a bigger building, with an elevator of the kind that you have to close the outside door behind you. Except we couldn't get it to work on the way up, so we lugged our bags up to the third floor. And the rooms clearly had the bath added later, because it's a startlingly-large step up into the bathroom, to give room for the plumbing underneath--I am seriously going to fall coming out of there in the middle of the night and break an ankle. The ceilings are comically high and there is a random possibly-gilt chariot over the bed, which I will take a picture of when Chad is not sleeping. But it has a working air conditioning unit and free WiFi and the proprietor was very nice, so hey. Not going to complain.
We had lunch at a place around the corner, which was not very good but was calories, which was really what was required at that point, and did have two more amusing points: mist puffed out over the outside tables at regular intervals (for cooling purposes), and the medium (or possibly "regular large") size beer being a full liter. Then we stomped around for a while, nothing detailed because we have a proper tour of the Forum / Colosseum / etc. planned for later in the week, just getting a sense of the neighborhoods. I feel pretty guilty because I've been so busy, I did not so much as crack a guidebook before we came, so I was like: a bunch of ruins, looking cool in the sun! Yup, that's definitely . . . some ruins. (It was the Forum.)
And now it's 5:15 local time and our dinner reservation is at 9:30, which is going to be hell for me to adjust to. Chad is asleep and though I was planning not to nap, if I'm not eating for more than FOUR HOURS, probably I should too.
Tomorrow: I try to take pictures of our room, and the buildings that have huge imposing doors . . . with everyday-use doors cut out of them that are about five feet tall; and we do museums and stuff. (Someone else arranged the tour, I'm not entirely sure what's on it beside the Vatican in the afternoon.)
End of day update: dinner here was really excellent, but finishing eating at midnight may pose serious problems.
Edit: small photo album of stuff in and around our hotel.