Monday, March 4, 2013

Italy: Try a Convent instead of a Hotel


Monasterystays.com   your source for 
convent rooms in Italy

     Long term travel to Italy each year requires planning and budgeting.   Cities can be expensive and an apartment rental requires remaining in one location for a week or more.
   Over 5 years ago, I started to stay in convent hotels after seeing an article in one of the travel magazine. 

I don't want a religious retreat:
Convent hotels and monasteries are NOT for ONLY religious events.   I have never been asked to join in any services, although I am Catholic and at Easter in Cortona I was invited to come to a service, if I wished.     

Who Stays in a Convent:
I was surprised when I found Italians staying in my location in Spoleto and Rome.....  A mother and daughter from the USA who planned to walk the route St Francis took, in Assisi...... travelers from all over Europe and the very interesting nuns who usually manage the hotel/convent.   They were always patient when I tried to explain in Italian  at the level of a 5 year old, what I needed.  


Where can you find a convent hotel?    
There were two 'bibles'  for convent locations available, but each of these publications required me to contact the location and ask for availability.    Years ago many of the locations did not have Internet and reservations had to be made by fax.   And by the time these helpful books reached the public some of the information may have been out of date. 




Monastery Stays, http://www.monasterystays.com, has taken all the work out of reserving a room at a convent or monastery.

  •  properties are listed by city/town/region
  •  maps of the properties' location
  •  photos of the property
  •  list of amenities offered:  breakfast, Internet, heating....
  •  special requests are forwarded to the facility for you
I continue to use Monastarystays.com for some of my accommodations on all my trips Home To Italy.    After so many years the owners/staff  'know' that I need a location within walking distance of the train station!    Taking a bus in Italy with luggage is an experience I do not wish to repeat.   

Would any other reservation service suggest another facility because it is easier to reach by foot?  

Why I return to convent hotels:

Originally I started to use convents instead of hotels because they were affordable, clean, secure and friendly.  I stay now for the experience.     I have stayed on a canal in Venice where the facility ran an elementary school, in Spoleto with a facility that was partially (separate) for retired Italians, here I had one of the best dinners of my trip and in Rome with a roof top terrace with a 360 degree view......not bad for a budget traveler.


photos from the Monastarystays.com web site




1 comment:

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