Can anyone recommend a convent or monastery in Turin, Milan or Florence? I've checked Monastery Stays and there are either few or no suggestions. There was only one listing for Florence on Santa Susana's site and only two listings for Florence on Monastery Stays - neither particularly close in. Suggestions or recommendations most welcomed. Jim
This is the official Catholic Church website for religious institutions' stays: http://www.hospites.it/Objects/Home1_Eng.asp Also some info is below (Italian language only I'm afraid): http://www.bed-and-breakfast.it/ospitalita_conventuale.cfm or (for Florence) http://www.italyguide.com/firenze/religiosi.php
There are many more options in those cities than that, but I bet what is happening is that your dates are restricting what you get to see. I plugged in three nights in October and got 15 options for Florence.
Roberto - Thanks so much. Very helpful. I'm off to start looking now. I really appreciate your assistance. Jim
Michael - that certainly may be the case. What I've started to do is to ask the few convents listed if they can suggest others - certainly they have greater local knowledge than me. I've made a couple contacts. Knowing there are (at least) 15 facilities is really encouraging. Thanks. Jim
There are books that list convents/monasteries that take tourists; you might want to search Amazon. I've also found some convents by searching the internet. Convents/monasteries are my preferred lodging; universally I've found them to be economical, clean, and safe. However, flexibility is required, since English is rarely spoken. And you won't have things like TV, radio, or concierge, and there may be no phone or clock. Also, you'll rarely find AC, although the convent in Florence MAY have it. In Florence, i've twice stayed at the convent of the Suore Oblate dell'Assunzione Via Borgo Pinti 15; Firenze tel: 39 055 248 0582; email@example.com It's about 3 blocks from Duomo, about half way between San Marco museum and Santa Croce; last fall I paid 45E for a single room with breakfast, bathroom down the hall; simple, retreat house type rooms; spotlessly clean; lovely and interesting early building and furnishings; nice garden; no English spoken, but the sisters are very nice; I booked directly via e-mail. I'll stay there in the future. In Milan, last fall I stayed at a religious guest house (not a convent): Istituto La Casa Srl; Via Lattuada 14; 20135 Milano, Italy tel: 39 02 55 18 73 10; or 39 02 55 18 92 02
fax: 39 02 55 18 73 17; www.istitutolacasa.it; firstname.lastname@example.org I would stay there again. There's a subway stop about 2 blocks away, so it was easy to get around. Nice, safe residential area; it reminded me of New York's Upper West Side. The building probably dates from the 1960s and has a dormitory feel, but clean, quiet. Some folks working there spoke English. I don't have a note about how much I paid, but it was in the 50E range for a single. I've not been to Turin. Let me know if I can provide any other info.
Jim, one other note: It's cheaper to book directly than via MonasteryStays, although you'll need to write in Italian (Google Translate makes that easy). However, MonasteryStays is quite good... The one time I used them was when I was staying on the Gargano Peninsula and didn't want any surprises. They provided all communications/instructions in English, and things went really smoothly.
Sherry - thanks so much for your help! The reassurance about Monastery Stays is helpful since I have never used them. The information about Milan is particularly helpful as it tends to be such an expensive city for hotels being such a banking-focused town. I will contact their site immediately. Best regards, Jim
Jim, your last post mentioned the high cost of hotels in Milano - I can recommend Hotel Garda, a block from the train station, about 50 euro for a single with bath (breakfast is extra, optional). In some cities convents/ monasteries aren't the most economical option, if that's a high priority.
Thanks Zoe - its a sort of combination of cost and venue. Many convents have nice gardens and are quiet. Since we will be using the space mostly for sleeping (being on foot the bulk of the day) the amenities can be basic and we can be quite happy. However, the recommendation about Guarda is most appreciated. I'll go check their site. Best Jim
My family has stayed twice in Santa Susanna. It is close enough to walk everywhere. We took the train from Rome, and then the bus to the convent because we had luggage and we were't sure where we were going. However, we walked after that, and when we left we walked to the car rental agency.
thanks very much Barbara!
Hi Jim, You may have already made a choice, but when we were searching for accommodations in Florence, I came upon the Foresteria Valdese di Firenze (http://lnx.istitutogould.it/foresteria/index.php?lang=en). It looked fabulous. We didn't end up booking because they didn't have any vacancies during our stay, but I read many good reviews. Good luck!
thanks very much Becky - we have rome and florence covered. where we can't seem to get any leads is Milan and Turin..... Jim