I found Suore Carmelitane - Villa Montemario's website by accident whilst trying to search for a suggested Religious Institution mentioned on a tv program titled Europe on a Budget. As soon as I saw it I thought yep, that's where I want to stay. I then tried to research the hotel but was unable to find any reviews on it however I knew it would be fine and decided to book myself a room.
This process was a bit daunting as is the case with most Institutions the staff spoke very little to no English so the first few emails I received were in Italian. Later I noticed that I would receive a message written in Italian and then translated in English. I followed suit and returned my messages the same way. Don't be put off by this situation, it's actually quite easy once you get going. I just found a translating site on the internet to help rewrite my messages.
Their website indicates that you should make a deposit into their bank account when booking the room but on clarification I was able to pay when checking out. The hotel arranged a transfer from the airport for me at a price of 45 euro.
I booked a single room with an en suite and breakfast included for 45 euro a night. I had prepared myself for the famous European low standard room with a teeny tiny en suite so when I opened the door and saw a large room and en suite to match I was quite surprised. It was very simple, with a phone, colour tv and no air con but it was nice, comfortable and clean.
The bathroom didn't have a shower curtain and I was a bit concerned about slipping when hoping out but it worked out just fine. The breakfast was very simple, sweet croissants, bread, biscuits, tea and coffee.
Buses stop right in front of the hotel so you can hop on and take it directly into the city, depending on traffic it may be a 20-30 minute trip. Just make sure you buy your ticket from reception the day before as there were never any staff about in the morning when I was heading out.
There are lots of shops and restaurants within walking distance. Brush up on your Italian, this isn't a mainstream tourist area so when you walk into stores your going to need to dive right into their culture. I felt like I had stumbled onto a hotel and neighborhood not commonly used by travelers abroad as I saw very few tourists about. I stuck out like a saw thumb but it was a lovely area just like the Italy I had imagined. Also as a women traveling on my own I was concerned about wandering the streets late at night but when you see old grannies walking past you at 11pm you know your just fine.
If your not into backpacking and don't want to pay for an expensive hotel than give this place a try. The nuns are lovely, the staff are friendly and keep your ears open, I remember one morning coming down to reception and hearing someone singing sweetly. My guess, it was one of the nuns in the Chapel. A great little find!
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