Monastery/Convent stays vs hotels

For my trip to Rome in October I am also considering staying at a convent or a monastary. Has anyone experienced this before? My trip is sort of a mini pilgrimage, so it would fit. But was wondering if anyone had experienced this before?

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

That's my preferred lodging, and if your purpose is pilgrimage, I recommend it. It's wonderful to have a chapel in your home for the night. You won't find much English spoken, but the sisters are kind and I've always been able to work around it. In Rome, I really like the convent of the sisters of S Elisabetta. It's 1/2 block from S Maria Magiore (sp?) and from my favorite church in Rome, S Prassede; about a mile from the Lateran; and a little farther from S Croce in Gerusalem. Don't trust my spelling on any of these. If you'd prefer to stay with a community of men, I've also stayed at the monastery of San Gregorio Magno; less homey, more self service, less user friendly; I stayed there because I'm affiliated with the Camaldolese monastic order and it's their house in Rome; it's on the site of the family home of Pope St Gregory the Great and is the site of the monastery he founded. It's across the street from the Circus Maximum, a block of so from the Colusseum. The monks gave part of the monastery to Mother Teresa's order, so they have a convent and shelter on site.

Posted by Adam
Fort Worth, TX
22 posts

Thanks for the great advice Sherry! I would prefer something with a chapel for daily mass for sure.

Posted by Kat
Seattle
49 posts

I've stayed with the Suore di Nostra Signora di Lourdes (near the Spanish Steps), the Suore di Santa Elisabetta (near Santa Maria Maggiore), Suore Francescane della Croce del Libano (Trastevere/Janiculum), Suore Orsoline di Maria Immacolata, and at the Monastero Delle Benedettine Camaldolesi (Aventine). They've all been lovely and immaculately clean. The nuns have all been sweethearts. My favorite chapel was with the Suore di Nostra Signora di Lourdes (and yes, the nuns sing during Mass, and yes, they sound like angels). The site operated by the Suore Francescane della Croce del Libano was the most difficult to get to without a taxi. Check out monasterystays.com. The booking system is a little screwy, but I've used it for each stay and I've never ever had a problem.

Posted by Adam
Fort Worth, TX
22 posts

Ah thank you Kat. I have been on the monastery stays site and am planning to use them when I book. Thank you for the advice! I will look at those convents for sure.

Posted by Alison
New York
15 posts

Hi Adam, I stayed at a guest house near the Vatican about a year ago. It was fantastic! Simple, clean, breakfast included, tickets to the Wednesday audience provided at the front desk, a balcony with table and chairs. All I needed. I found the place through The Pontifical North American College in Rome who provides pilgrims with a list that includes dozens of lodging options if you email them. Go to pnac.org and click on "pilgrim information". There is a lot of helpful information on that site. The seminarians also provide free guided tours of St. Peter's Basilica which was amazing and filled with history from a Catholic worldview- if you are interested.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1978 posts

If you're looking for a peaceful, quiet trip, staying at a convent would be the place to stay.
I personally prefer air conditioning, televisions and the internet capabilities of modern hotels.

Posted by Alison
New York
15 posts

Mine had wifi. a tv was in a central location, but i was never around long enough to watch it because i was out and about in Rome seeing all the sights there. By time i was back in my room at night, I was looking for lights out. In the morning, i relaxed on the balcony and hung out some laundry before heading out for the day. High up, nice views. Not sure about AC. Was not needed in April, but the heat was which the sisters turned on for us, thankfully. Monasteries, guesthouses fun by orders, or pensiones are no for everyone, but it sounds like the OP is well suited for that type of accommodation. My only suggestion - go to daily mass in Rome instead of the monastery . There are hundreds of churches in Rome. Not all are open every day, but many are!

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

Just got home from Ft. Worth. It was hotter here when I arrived then in TX. There is also a series of books you might want to check out on monastery stays in Italy, France, Spain and Great Britain by Eileen Barish. I got mine through Amazon, but they might be in the library or used book stores. There are several listed in Rome and it gives detail about each one.

Posted by Adam
Fort Worth, TX
22 posts

Nice! Yes we have had a really mild spring here. I am going to check out Monastary stays and the North American College organization for lodgings... I kind of would like to find something sort of centrally located so when I go to see the sights I am in the middle. Is this even possible or is it even worth it to try and find a convent/monastary centrally located?

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

I don't have my book here at work with me, but I recall that there were several in the central Rome area that took in guests. Hope the tornado last night missed you.