If you pay €50 for a hotel room in the centre of one of the most famous cities in the world, your expectations are probably not going to be dramatically high. There shall be no visions of dancing fountains, whistling doormen or pyramids of Ferrero Roche placed delicately on your pillow. Nor should there be. €50 is a fantastic price, and you shall probably spend that much on gelato alone during your visit to the Eternal City. So it is with a certain cautious optimism, a trepidatious excitement, that you present yourself at the plain door that sits happily below the green “Hotel Galli” sign. No, there is indeed no grand entrance, one must make do with a buzzer that you desperately hope isn’t actually connected to someone’s apartment above.
I would advise that no traveller heads to any country without attempting to learn at least some of the native language, but luckily one can make do at this hotel with only the most basic of phrases. After attempting to explain to the voice on the intercom that you would very much appreciate a room for the night, you shall be buzzed in and directed to the second floor. It shall be with a certain puzzlement that you pass another hotel on your way up, as this is in no way a large building, yet somehow they have managed to compete with Las Vegas in the number of hotels they offer in such a confined area. (At least 3 in this one building alone.) You shall also notice the elevator that the stairs snakes around, happily noting for future reference that it is big enough to accommodate even the largest person who may wish to ride it, unless of course they are past the age of 6.
Upon arriving in the beaming reception on the second floor, you shall be met with a warm smile, and a very honest hotel owner. I have become convinced that this happy Roman is possibly the person upon which all stereotypes of Italian mothers are based. You sense that at any moment she may feel no choice but to give you a spontaneous hug, either as a welcome to her glorious city, or as a warning that you better pay good attention when she instructs you that checkout is strictly at 10am. I jest of course, as she was a pleasure to talk to, and through a mix of her passible English and my honest attempt at learning more than 5 Italian words, we departed happily up to my room (located two floors above), with my new momma insisting on carrying my hat like some sort of priceless family heirloom. Upon arriving at the 4th floor, I was presented with a set of keys that once was once used to lock up slaves in the Colosseum, and you suddenly remember that you must pay excellent attention while your Italian relative explains the various tricks that you must perform with the keys to open each of the old doors that you must get pass to enter your room. (Panic will strike tonight when you can’t remember which door requires two turns to the left, then one to the right. However, panicking and rattling the keys in every direction possible seems to work too…)
And to give a serious appraisal of the room, I can honestly say that I cannot complain one bit. Everything worked, from the aircon to the tv, the bathroom was clean, the beds comfy, and while the fridge may have seen better (and cleaner days), it too worked, an essential companion in a muggy Italian city. The only obvious problem is the area around Termini, and while this may not be one regularly talked about in travel books, it did not seem unsafe, though still an area not to let your guard down. And one final point to remember is that Rome charges a tax of €2 per person, per night in all hotels. However, for the price I paid, I really cannot complain. It’s worth it for the hugs alone.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.