On my next visit to Italy, I travelled with 4 friends and this time we chose to stay in Monasteries. These monasteries are open to all, they are family friendly, clean, safe and a well priced alternative to hotels.
Staying in a monastery is not only an excellent budget option accommodation but they are also a great experience. They have a peaceful atmosphere and you will always meet fellow travellers from all over the world.
You do not need to be catholic to stay in a monastery however keep in mind that many of them have curfews. So, if you like to party late then they may not be for you. When I travel I have very full days so late nights are not part of my travel plans. I am happy to retire to my accommodation after the evening meal which in Europe is not early.
There are hundreds of them throughout Italy and all the ones we stayed at were located right in the heart of each city. They are ideally situated in both city and regional locations. They are 3 star rated.
The rooms in all monasteries were always quite big, very clean, modest and safe with private bathrooms. They are mostly run by the monks and nuns – many of whom usually only speak Italian however they are always very helpful and friendly.
The rate/price includes breakfast, which is usually continental style. In some of the monasteries the evening meal is also available for a very small fee.
Each monastery we stayed in was within walking distance of most main attractions and public transport, either bus or train was always readily available. We met people from all over the world. We met singles, couples and entire families. We often learned of different areas and how to get to places easily. In Rome we met several families from France who were traveling together. Also at the same monastery we met the most delightful family from London.
In Florence there was a group of people from Germany. Yes, we often met up with Aussies also. Mostly, everyone is happy to chat and share experiences.
On this particular trip we travelled by trains, so when we arrived in each city that we were staying in, the monastery was always easy and convenient to get to.
It is not always easy to find a monastery so to be safe I recommend booking online. They are also very popular so turning up to one without a booking could be a problem. So if you are comfortable to book online here is the site for the company I have used several times. I highly recommend staying in a monastery.
I will write an article on each monastery that we stayed in.