I will be in Rome, Siena, Assisi,Florence, Milan and Padua in Sept and would like to stay in hostels ( I am open to staying in convents and monesteries) I am familiar with USA hostels, the good bad and ugly, I would like suggestions about hostels in the cities I will visit. John
Look into The Beehive in Rome. It gets great reviews.
Might consider posting this inquiry on the thorn Tree Forum on the Lonely Planet website as well. That said, this website is good for convent stays.
http://www.santasusanna.org/comingToRome/convents.html Have a great trip.
In Siena I highly recommet hotel Alma Domus. It is very reasonably priced, run by nuns, and most of the rooms have amazing views of Siena. You need to ask for a view room though...otherwise you might get one facing a wall...that happened to us the first time we stayed there but NOT the other times!