Would you consider renting a hotel room…from a nun? More and more people are turning to convents as a more affordable way to get some shut-eye in the Eternal City, not to mention the warm hospitality, clean, private bathrooms and serenity that is conducive even to praying.
Although this trend started in 2000 when 25 million tourists and pilgrims visited Rome to celebrate the Holy Year, convents all over Italy have begun welcoming more than just nuns to share their quarters.
According to a Associated Press article one of the first convents to rent out its rooms was the Fraterna Domus (Via del Monte Brianza, 62; 39- 06-68802727; e-mail mailto:DOMUSRM@TIN.IT), located near Rome’s Piazza Navona. With rates starting at $64 per person per room, and $104 for a double, this is a bargain considering its prime location and proximity to many tourist destinations.
One of the drawbacks may be that most of these bed and breakfasts do enforce a strict curfew, usually ranging from 9 to 11 p.m. This may be a turn-off for younger travelers who want to experience Italy’s all-night clubs and discotecas, but for the more laid-back tourists, a good night’s rest may be welcomed after a long day of touring.
So if hotel prices are too steep, and the curfew doesn’t scare you away, staying in a convent may just be the answer to your prayers. Also check out http://www.monasterystays.com/ and http://www.santasusanna.org/ for a listing of convents and monasteries in locations throughout Italy. Still want to stay in a regular hotel? See our Special Report: Rome for some of our recommendations. — Laura Cimperman