A hot tip for Rome travellers - even Rick Steves recommends. Not many people know, but there are quite a few convents in Rome that make accommodations available to tourists.
These accommodations are run like a business - not a "convent."
Moreover, the nuns really don't care if you are Catholic or not - the curfews at many are now Midnight. They are the most inexpensive, and pristine facilities you will find anywhere in Rome or close to the Vatican.
The Italian government has made it easier for convents and monasteries to house travelers. Low-cost mortgages and home-improvement loans are available to religious institutions that offer lodging, said Massimo Serafini. Serafini is director of Italy's Center for Religious and Cultural Tourism, an agency that helps convents and monasteries throughout Italy to get into the tourist business.
Here is a list:
ROME Convents Historic Center:
LE SUORE DI LOURDES
Via Sistina 113 00187 Rome.
Tel. 06.474.5324; FAX: 06.4741.422.
Via Sistina, which runs from the top of the Spanish Steps to Piazza Barberini, has been the center of action in Rome since the 18th century and is still an elegant shopping street. The rates are: 70 Euro for a single room without bath; 35 Euro per person for a double room. Only breakfast is included and no other meals are served. Le Suore di Lourdes is a great find. Curfew is at 10:30 PM.
CASA DI SANTA BRIGIDA
Piazza Farnese 96 00186 Rome.
Tel. 06.6889.2596; Fax: 06.6821.9126; E-mail: email@example.com; Web: www.brigidine.org
Piazza Farnese is near the Campo dè Fiori and within walking distance from Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica. The rates are 110 Euro for a single room; 190 Euro for a double room. Breakfast is included. All the rooms are with attached baths, AC/heater and there is no curfew. On the day of arrival, all guests should check in before 10:00 PM.
Via del Monte Brianza 62
Tel. 06.6880.2727; Fax: 06.683.2691; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
It is centrally located between the Tiber and Piazza Navona. Recommended by the Vatican Tourist Information Bureau. The rates are: 48 Euro per person for room with breakfast and 78 Euro for a double room. All rooms have private baths. Other meals are available on request. Curfew is at 11:00 PM.
SUORE DI SANT'ANNA DELLA PROVVIDENZA, Albergo Giusti
Via Giusti, 5 00185 Rome.
Tel. 06.7045.3462; Fax: 06.7045.3513; E-mail: email@example.com
It is located midway between San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore.
The rates are: 50 Euro for a single room; 90 Euro for a double room; 120 Euro for a room with three beds. Breakfast is included. A lunch bag is offered for 6 Euro per person. Dinner is offered for 15 Euro per person. All rooms have a private bathroom, TV and AC. Remains open 24 hours, no curfew.
CASA UNIONE MISTERIUM CHRISTI
Via Merulana 174 00185 Rome.
Tel. 06.7049.2421; Fax: 06.7707.7707.
The rate is 40 Euro per person for bed and breakfast. Curfew at 11:00 PM.
VILLA ROSA, Dominican Sisters
Via Terme Deciane 5
Tel. 06.5717.091; Fax: 06.5745.275; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Located between the Piramide and Circo Massimo and easily reached either by bus or subway. English spoken. The rates for bed and breakfast are 50 Euro for a single room; 90 Euro for a double room and 105 Euro for a room with three beds. No other meals are served. Closed for the month of August and for Christmas and the New Year.
There is no curfew.
Piazza Madonna dei Monti, 3
Tel. 06.485.778; Fax: 06.487.1064; E-mail: email@example.com
Located near the Colosseum. The rates are: 42 Euro for a single room; 67 Euro for a double room and 100.50 Euro for a room with three beds. The prices include breakfast; other meals are available on request. Curfew is at 12:00 AM.
CASA SANTA FRANCESCA ROMANA
Via dei Vascellari 61
Tel and fax: 06.5812.125
Visit their website for more information at www.sfromana.it
CASA IL ROSARIO
Via S. Agata dei Goti,10 00184 Rome.
Tel. 06.679.2346; Fax: 06.6994.1106; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Located near the Quirinale Palace and Piazza Venezia. The rates are 50 Euro for a single room with bath; 40 Euro without bath; and 86 Euro for a double room; and 117 Euro for a room with three beds. Breakfast is included in a cafeteria-style dining hall - no other meals. You may hand-wash laundry and hang it to dry on the rooftop terrace. They also have a single Handicapable room with access! Curfew is at 11:00 PM
ROME: Convents Near the Vatican
CASA D'ACCOGLIENZA S. SPIRITO
Suore Francescane dell'Addolorata
Borgo S. Spirito 41
Tel: 06.686.1076; Fax: 06.686.5664; E-mail: email@example.com
The rates are: 40 Euro for a room with two beds, 35 Euro for a room with 3 or 4
beds, children up to 12 years of age pay 12 Euro; students or young adults up to
25 years of age pay 25 Euro. There are no single rooms. Prices are per person;
only breakfast is served; curfew is at 11:00 PM during the summer and at 10:00
PM during the winter.
ISTITUTO MARIA SANTISSIMA BAMBINA
Via Paolo VI, No. 21
00120 Città del Vaticano
Tel: 06.6989.3511; Fax: 06.6989.3540; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The
rates are: 52 Euro for a single room; 46 Euro for a double room; 43 Euro for a
room with three beds. The prices are per person. Breakfast is included. Other
meals are available on request.
PICCOLE SUORE DELLA SACRA FAMIGLIA, Casa Di Accoglienza Paolo VI
Viale Vaticano 92
Tel: 06.3909.1411; Fax: 06.3909.1427; E-mail: email@example.com
The rates are: 32 Euro for a single room; 55 Euro for a double room; 73 Euro for
a room with three beds; 85 Euro for a room with four beds. No breakfast or other
meals are served. Curfew is at 12:00 AM.
FIGLIE DELLA CARITA' DI S. VINCENZO DÈ PAOLI
Via Ezio 28
Tel: 06.321.6686; Fax: 06.323.0261, located near the LEPANTO subway stop.
The rates are : 40 Euro for a single room; 75 Euro for a double room. 93 Euro
for a room with three beds. The prices are per person, breakfast is included.
Other meals are available on request. Curfew is at 11:00 PM.
ISTITUTO SACRO CUORE, Villa Lante
Via S. Francesco di Sales 18
Telephone: 06.6880.6032; Fax: 06.689.3848; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The rates are: 35 Euro for a single room; 64 Euro for a double room. The prices
are per person, breakfast is included. Other meals are available on request.
Bathrooms are along the corridor. Curfew is at 11:00 PM.
MAESTRE PIE FILIPPINE, Casa Auxilium Christianorum
Via Giuseppe Missori 19
Tel: 06.635.201; Fax: 06.636.347; Website: www.mpfmissori.it E-mail:
The rates are: 45 Euro for a single room; 74 Euro for a double room; and 105
Euro for a room with three beds. Prices include breakfast, no other meals are
served. Curfew is at 11:00 PM.
Viale delle Mure Aurelie, 7B
Tel: 06.393.6351; Fax: 06.3936.6943; E-maiI:
email@example.com The rates are (per night, per room,
including breakfast): 62 Euro for a single room with bath, 57 Euro for a single
with private bath outside room, 47 Euro for a single with common shower; 94 Euro
for a double room with bath, 89 Euro for a double with private bath outside
room, 69 Euro for a double with common shower. Curfew is at 12:00 AM during
summer months and 11:00 PM during winter months.
CASA MATER ECCLESIAE Salita Monte del Gallo 25-27
Tel: 06.637.46.53, Fax: 06.39.37.90.50, Website: www.teatinas.com
The rates are: 47 Euro for a single room; 75 Euro for a double room; and 105
Euro for a room with three beds, 127 Euro for a quadruple room. Prices include
breakfast. No other meals are served.
Curfew is at 11:00 PM and the house opens at 6:30 AM.
Casa per ferie. SANTA MARIA ALLE FORNACI
Piazza S. Maria alle Fornaci 27
Telephone: 06.3936.7632; Fax: 06.3936.6795; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The rates are: 70 Euro for a single room; 95 Euro for a double room; 70 Euro for
a double room with single occupancy; and 130 Euro for a room with three beds.
The prices are per person, breakfast is included. No other meals are served.
San Francesco convent
San Francesco convent, Via Niccolo V 35
Tel. +39.0639367632 - Fax +39.0639366795
Run by a Franciscan order headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y., it offers 16 single and double rooms with shared baths. A rooftop terrace with garden tables and chairs looks over the Vatican walls onto the dome of St. Peter's
There is no curfew.
Via Leone XIII 459
Tel: 06.6601.7458; Fax: 06.6604.9467; E-mail: email@example.com
The rates are per person including breakfast: 68 Euro for a single room and 104
Euro for a double room. Other meals are available on request.
Via del Gianicolo,4A,
Tel. 06.6880.3349; Fax: 06.6880.3311; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Halfway up the Janiculum Hill (Gianicolo) from colorful Trastevere, in a quiet
spot with a pretty garden across the street from the medieval church of
Sant'Onofrio and near the North American College where many Americans study for
priesthood. Full board is 77 Euro per person and half is 67 Euro. An overnight
stay including breakfast is 50 Euro per day. Single rooms are 8 Euro more. All
rooms have private baths. Curfew is at 11:00 PM. English and French are spoken.
They are recommended by the Vatican Tourist Information Bureau.
These accommodations are not for the lovers of the night life as most have curfews ranging up to Midnight (1 listed here has no curfew) - they are perfectly suited for the tourist traveller, student, budget-minded folks - far exceed in value what is offered in hostels, B&B's, or inexpensive hotels.
Update September 26, 2011
A friend is going to Rome and asked me about accommodations, so I checked to see if this convent we stayed in in 1996 was still operating. Lo and behold, it is. My friend has booked a room and reports that they have updated at least some rooms with toilets and tubs or showers en suite. And she reports that it is much cheaper than anything else she found in Rome, less than $100 per night. It is wonderful and next time I am in Rome I will try to stay here or another convent (there are several in Rome). It is a convent run by an order of Ukrainian nuns primarily for the purpose of hosting pilgrims from the Ukraine. When they have rooms available, they will also accomodate tourists. Booking this was an adventure as it was done before the internet was so widespread and I did it with a FAX machine and my handy Italian dictionary (few of the nuns there spoke English). I am sure they got some chuckles from my fractured Italian, but arrangements were made. The rooms were spartan but comfortable and the toilet and bath were down the hall and shared, but very clean and quite adequate.
Several things make this stand out as one of the best accommodations we have had in Europe, although it was far from the most luxurious. The location was within easy walking distance to the Forum and Colloseum; the price was extremely reasonable (about $50 per night for two people including breakfast); the breakfast was simple but the bread was fresh from the oven. The most impressive thing to us was that as we made our way to the refrectory for breakfast, we could hear the nuns singing their morning prayers. What a great atmosphere and start to the day in this great city! They had a 23:00 curfew, but one evening some young people got lost coming home so the staff waited up for them and even phoned around trying to find them.
This is not something much discussed on VT although I have seen sleepinginairports.com mentioned on the forums. This website however does not give much current information and I was not at all sure it could be done. It is not for eveyone but for us to stay up till 10 or 11 and then go to bed for at best $100 for a short nights sleep, our flight was at 7, if we caught the first Leonardo express we would get there at 6, leave at 5:22, get up at 4:40? No thank you. So we got the 22:22 train to FCO along with 50 others that were doing the same thing. Was it a problem? NO
We took a little food and some wine (in a box) no opener.....it was good, hey
No one gave us any trouble at all. People were camping out at the airport and smoking under no smoking everywhere signs! I thought we were already pushing the limits even being there but to smoke? lol only in Italy.
so it wasn't exactly comfortable sleeping, the people in the darkened hallway with the big wide windowsills had the better idea but we thought it would be too cold. HA that airport was FREEZING, take a blanket or sleeping bag or 2 coats. Still I would do it again.
very uncomfortable seating/sleeping area
This is the view from the private room they gave me cheap on my return to Rome when the women's dorm was full of hunky young Spaniards.
The swallows were flying so I lay on my bed with the shutters full open and watched how they swooped and dived and never bumped into anything.
When I left I said to the signora - "Arriverderci, signora. Grazie."
She gave me such a big smile because I had learned three words of Italian in three weeks.
For a more homelike environment while you are visiting Rome, try renting an apartment. I stayed for one week and found my apartment, just off Via Vittorio Emmanuel to be the pefect location and accomodation for my home away from home.
On the 3rd floor of a 500 year old building, the "Red Apartment" had a kitchenette, equipped with dishes, cooking needs and a stove top and refridgerator (no oven). A comfortable bedroom and bathroom, TV, phone (local calls free, phone card for long distance), and nice sitting area completed the small studio apartment.
My apartment was on the 3rd (4th by American counting) and top floor of the building. I had a small terrace and the kitchen window looked out on a central courtyard area of the building.
The one downside was the 83 stairs to climb everytime I came "home". After a long day of walking around Rome, those stairs started to become a nuisance. Particularly difficult to lug a heavy suitcase up!
Sleep In Italy AND my landlord were both incredibly helpful with my visit.
Our first night in this hotel was terrible - we didn't have any hot water at all and the halls of the hotel including our room was freezing cold. We reserved the hotel three months ahead of time and the hotel management knew we were arriving at 7:00 pm at night and the management did not bother to turn on their heating system or run their water.
I ended up taking a cold shower. The bathroom didn't work either. The shower handles were broken and the water, of course was freezing! Just imagine taking a shower like that glass of water you put in your efrigerator overnight.
Exhausted as we were from our long international trip plus a long day at the Colosseum, I ended up sleeping in my thick green jacket with my wool socks on. However, no matter how much I wanted to sleep, I can hear the noises of a party going on at the main floor. The party was over at 12 midnight and came the pestering noise of tables and chairs being dragged on the main hallway.
I basically had to turn my IPOD and stuffed the earphones to get that much-awaited sleep!
The second night, the hotel management patched up with us and gave us a party with free food to make up for the bad first night.
The owner-manager gave us the best party we had in Rome with finger foods of delicious pizza cooked in the wood-burning stove. We were served with wine, baguettes topped with white beans, baked bell peppers and eggplants, pancettas and other drinks.
The management apologized for the inconvenience and said it will never happen again!
Here's the unique qualities of the hotel: The hotel looks more of a villa and it is located about 20 km from the capital- but the drive is beautiful. The hotel has a swimming pool and lots of parking for cars, including big tour buses. The hotel has an adjacent new hotel (but we stayed in the older building). The eating area is separate from the main hotel and it has a beautiful location.
The food were actually deliciousand the service at the restaurant was excellent.
I would recommend this hotel during the summer season because it is a very secluded place. It is a good place for relaxation because it is surrounded by trees and you have the feeling that you are in the province of Italy. But, I won't recommend this hotel to stay during the winter time because I didn't like you experience not having the hot water and sleeping in a cold room! (But you can still stay during the winter season if management will turn on the heat before you get there!)
This place we stayed at for nine days was pretty good. It was built as dorm rooms for the Olympics in Rome. Desk people were friendly and helpful. The room was small but good for the price. A bus station across the street that is three stops to a metro subway if you like, and cab service to most anywhere in town was about five Euro. Great resturant across the street and a car rental acroos the street to the right of the resturant at a hotel.
We stayed at a 6 bed room and the rooms were all cleaned daily with sheets provided. Breakfast and coffee is served from 8 am to 10 am daily and kitchen facilities is available. Bathrooms were clean (my utmost priority) and plenty of hotwater available even though I have come back in the middle of the night and wanted to have a shower.
All in all - I loved this place - and I have no qualms recommending it to anyone.
NOTE:There is no curfew set to this hostel which is great!
After that very bitter taste of booking of a hostel for Rome, the optimist in me tried booking on-line again to another hostel close to the Termini (and might I say cheaper) and received confirmation from a staff almost immediately of my stay and arrival time.
Upon arrival, I then found my wallet missing (see Rome intro pages for details) and again, staff at the hostel (who could all speak English btw) were helpful enough to bring me along to get phone numbers for the Campigno airport and Ryan Air for lodgment of missing item as well as letting me use the phone for local calls.
When I was looking for hotel rooms the prices for the city centre were around £40 per night, which I thought too expensive. So I looked further afield and found Villa Santa Cecilia - £30 for a large en-suite room plus breakfast.
Having arrived in Rome, the Hotel took a bit of finding! It is in Vitinia which required a half-hour metro train journey out of the centre. Then it took some finding from Vitinia Station. It helped once i began to pronounce the name correctly! The c's are pronounced like ch's :-) 15 minutes walk with a suitcase!!
Santa Cecilia is pleasant enough. The proprietor speaks good English fortunately for me.
No particularly unique qualities. I don't think there were a large number of hotels in Vitinia, but from the breakfast terrace you could see another being built on the opposite hill.
Vitinia is on the way to the Roman port of Ostia so, in effect, you have half an hour less travelling time to Ostia if you like that sort of thing :-)
In future I would pay more to stay in the centre of Rome. I missed too many events becasue I had to catch the last train.
This small hotel is located at the second floor. You first have to climb 6 stairs, or take the very small elevator, wondering where you are going to. And then you will find yourself at the lobby of hotel Iride. The hotel has 20 rooms, all with private bathrooms. It was not very special, but good enough.
The hotel is located close to the Termini station and in walking distance of the Colloseum.
Our room costed 65 Euro a night in january.
The rooms are very high. And they have placed the television up high, we expect as a prevention for theft. As our remote control was not working Tom had to climb up a chair to move the channels. Luckely Tom is a lot bigger, because Gonnie couldn`t reach the buttons.....
Very often hotels are not as they are advertised on websites. Hotel via Del Corso was not one of these.
We simply had one of the best hotel experiences here.
Our room was booked as a double, with balcony. Well, it was more like a mini- suite. Beautiful polished wooden floors and tasteful furbishing. We had a walk in closet, and spotless bathroom with bath and shower. Good lighting was welcome.
The bed was larger than usual (for hotels) and having the balcony was lovely. The balcony was not very large, but we had a view of Via Del Corso and spent some late evenings sitting here with a long cold drink, watching the world go by. There were noisy tourists passing by late at night, but once we closed windows- it was fine.
Television and free Wi-Fi available. & Air-con. Bar Fridge and tea & coffee facilities in room.
There is a comfortable lounge downstairs ( with free internet alcove) and really unusual ceiling.
The breakfasts were served on a sunny rooftop area........and the selection from the buffet was a choice between hot or cold. The hot breakfast was tasty- crispy bacon and eggs to order. Sausage was Italian. The cold selection was huge. It was quite difficult to make a choice. All very well presented by the lovely lady in charge.
Staff at reception were lovely...........they were genuinly friendly and always ready to give advice when needed.
I loved the area- it was close to Piazza Spagna, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and of course, the Via Del Corso is lined with tempting shops, trattorias, bakeries, and lovely just for a stroll.The Piazza d Popolo is at the far end of Via Del Corso.
I think that I may just be either lucky or have lower expections, but I have very seldom had a bad hotel experience.
This hotel was excellent value. I recommend it with confidence.
The sunny rooftop breakfast and relaxing area
Balcony (plus views)- see as far as Piazza D Popolo
Proximity to most attractions
Very helpful & cheerful staff
The SIZE of the room!
This well located hostel is an island of calm in a busy city. It was easy to find and conveniently located. I arrived after a long night train tide and was put at ease by the friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere. I was traveling alone so went the dorm route. I am in my 50s so this is often looked on a bit eccentric at many hostels. Not here the dorm was clean and spacious. The staff was very aware of security and privacy.
The feel was friendly and alternative. The lounge was inviting and internet was available wirelessly and at a communal computer that worked well. The restaurant provided a great breakfast. I would recommend this place to my mom so if you are in Rome check it out.
This hostel/hotel is not a luxury hotel (thank god for that). It is a clean friendly and attractive hostel. I found the staff extremely helpful and plugged in. Atmosphere is hard to quantify but this place has a great relaxed atmosphere. From the delicious healthy food in the café to the décor exuded “relax and make yourself at home we got it covered”.
I used the dorm this time as I was alone. They offer private rooms and I will be getting one of those the next time Barbara visit Rome.
If you want to stay here be sure to make advance arrangements as they tend to fill up.
If you enjoy a more dynamic and casual accommodation I wholeheartedly recommend the Bee Hive.
My partner and I decided to spend a month in Rome to get more of a local experience. So we decided to rent an apartment and found Roman Reference online. They have a wide range of places to choose from and were very hepful finding the right one for our needs. They sent a car to pick us up at the airport. Guglielmo was waiting for us when we arrived and showed us around and gave us the keys. The apartment was spectacular and immaculate - far exceeding our dreams. The location was great - just off of Campo dei Fiori where we could buy the freshest produce, meats, fish and pasta and cook it up in our well furnished kitchen. The apartment and experience far exceeded our expectations and was much cheaper than staying in a hotel.
The apartment we stayed in was in a 14th Century building just off of Campo dei Fiori. It gave us a great feeling of Rome.
On another note, I did want to share with you one of my web discoveries. Many convents throughout Italy offer modest accomodations. It represents for them a major source of income, and for us travelers it means being able to stay within a two-minute walk of Vatican City for about US$50/night!
Cooperativa "IL SOGNO" is an agency that takes a deposit on-line from you to reserve this type of accomodation. You pay the rest directly to the convent when you check out. Rooms are available not only in Rome, but also in other major Italian cities, such as Florence for example. Convent rooms often are spacious enough to accommodate a small to moderately-sized family in one room. In some cases, the room actually could be a suite, with separate sitting room. In most cases, it will be spotlessly clean and spacious. No one will ask if you are Roman Catholic, and you are not required to participate in any religious services.
But the convent option is not for everyone. At many locations, the nuns speak no English, and accept only cash payments. There is a curfew at 10 p.m. each night, and even married couples will have to sleep in separate beds.
Please note that I cannot personally recommend this option as I chose to rent a small appartment in the Trastevere instead (see previous tip.)
If you are interested in this, here's the link:
Testa Gioacchino (has recently changed it's name to just Testa) is an apartment in a residential area in Monti Tiburtini, about 15 minutes metro ride from Termini.
Testa is about 5 minutes walk from the metro, in the middle of a very residential apartment complex. It's next to a bank and a pharmacy and is owner by an Ethiopian couple and their little baby son.
We paid about 65 Euro a night for a double room w/out bathroom (but the bathroom was literally right outside our door) The breakfast was a croissant and three tiny pieces of toast and jam (but this sort of breakfast is typical).
The room was bare, but clean. The sheets were fresh but the television didn't get very good reception.
The bathroom was great. Very large, clean, hot shower. (I must say however, I could not figure out the shower our first night there and was INCREDIBLY frustrated with a freezing cold shower. After an hour of waiting for the water to heat up, I tried to get out and the shower door fell off! However, this is a one-time thing and in the morning, the owner showed me how to use the shower properly. Don't let this deter you, however)
Overall, this is a good place to find a clean shower and a clean bed. A little far out (so put aside at least 2 euro a day to get to Centro Storico of Rome and to get back again)
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