When traveling, two of the most expensive parts of a journey are getting to where you’re going and staying where you’re at.  Some hotels can have hefty price tags and hostels aren’t for everyone.  If you are looking for an off the wall place to stay that is super clean, safe, incredibly welcoming, and an affordable accommodation option in Italy, staying at a convent might be a good option for you!

Admittedly, when we discovered we would be staying in a convent as our travel accommodation during a group trip, we weren’t really sure what to think. But it turned out to be a very pleasant stay and something we would recommend others to consider. Bonus that it was only a 12-minute walk from the Vatican!

We stayed at a convent, Casa per Ferie Monsignor Aurelio Bacciarini, during a visit to Rome.  This convent is next to a beautiful church and is located in the Prati neighborhood.  It is just a few minutes’ walk from great restaurants and shopping, a metro station, and is walking distance from Vatican City.

Getting There

This particular trip to Rome was part of a group trip. Admittedly, we don’t generally love group travel, but sometimes it just works out better. In this case, part of our package included round trip ground transportation from the airport.

If you need other options, you could take the train from the airport to Termini Station, then hop on the subway to connect to the nearby station and walk just a few blocks. Read more about this here.

Checking In

The check in process is similar to that of any other lodging facility, except that you will need to be buzzed into the building. Personally, I liked this extra sense of security, especially when returning at night.  Room keys are still metal and are left at the front desk each time you depart the convent.

The Room

While modest, the rooms are super clean and provide you with everything you need during your stay.  There are ample places to store your bags and hang your clothes in your room.  Unlike most hotels, the windows open fully and do not have screens, allowing for fresh air and great views of the happenings on the streets below. 

The bathroom in our room was also clean and spacious. Fresh towels are provided daily (even if you plan to reuse yours).  However, the toiletries are minimal so make sure to bring your own necessary items. There are limited surfaces to store toiletries, so it was a great reminder to pack light and keep things well organized. For a trip like this, I like to use my hanging toiletry bag. Something like this helps to keep things tidy and accessible.

The Facility

Because this accommodation was a working convent, the building was functional with a variety of spaces. In fact, Casa per Ferie Monsignor Aurelio Bacciarini was attached to the church next door and is run by their monastery. We didn’t see many nuns in passing, but other travelers were always polite. In addition to the adjoining Basilica di San Guiseppe al Trionfale church, we found several quite rooms which could be used for small meetings and study/reading purposes.

The Dining Room

The basement also housed a full-stocked kitchen and large dining space. Guests were able to opt-in to dinner service for a minimal fee and advanced request. While we had a few dinners here, most of our meals were out in city! They also offer breakfast. We received to-go breakfast bags they prepared for our early morning flight home too!  So thoughtful! 

One evening, we noticed an elderly, injured, solitary nun sitting by herself at dinner time. We decided to invite her to join us for dinner over at our table.  It was great to talk with her over fresh pasta and hear her perspective.  Personally, we think things like this are an integral part of the travel experience. We encourage others to embrace moments like this during their travels. What an amazing life experience – I’m not sure when we will ever have an opportunity like this again!

Additional Considerations

  1. Although the convent might be fully operational, you will rarely see nuns.
  2. Certain religious affiliations are not required to be a guest here.  They are very welcoming.
  3. There are established curfews. If you plan to stay out later, ask for a key.
  4. You are welcome to bring alcohol back to the property and respectfully enjoy drinks on the rooftop terrace.
A view from the rooftop terrace

The staff here is incredibly helpful and hospitable!  They are always pleasant and provide good customer service.  They will even help you check in to your flight if you are having difficulties.   We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and would recommend it to anyone seeking reasonable accommodation in Rome.  If you’d like to book at a convent in Italy, you can do so through this website.

Have you thought about staying in a convent? Did you even know it was an option?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. The last time I stayed in a convent I was at school (I went to a convent!) – I would definitely stay in a convent in Italy – how fab and how different! I would have invited a nun for dinner too – how interesting! I will keep this in mind for my next trip to Rome (no idea when but I adore Rome so it will be at some point!) #feetdotravel

  2. Oh wow, I have never considered staying in a convent before, I didn’t actually think it was possible but this is fabulous! I love accommodation that is different and this definitely ticks that box, what a brilliant idea, thank you so much for bringing this to my attention! Pinned for future reference! #feetdotravel

  3. Yes. In Italy they are a really good option as they usually occupy the best places too! Here in Cefalu’ we have one run by nuns and it overlooks the harbour and beach! Costs practically nothing to stay in too

  4. This is such a cool experience and it’s awesome that you got an opportunity to have a nun join you – it must have been amazing! What kind of things did you ask? I would definitely love to do something like this on my travels. I am considering doing a temple stay on my next visit to Asia!

    1. It really was cool, and a temple stay sounds awesome too! We asked about what she was doing it Italy – she was on a pilgrimage to find some books she wanted to study that were only available in Italy. We also talked about how she has been treated during her time in the country, her views on some of the things going on in the States, etc.

  5. I’ve heard about staying at convents as an alternative lodging option, but never knew how it worked. Very interesting… Do you still have to book it ahead of time or do you just show up? And is it free? Sorry but I don’t think you said the price? I’d love to know more about this option!

    1. We booked ahead of time. Prices will vary depending on time of year, but our group stayed for a week and it was just over 800 euros total for about 12 rooms.

    1. It was a great experience all around. Couldn’t just let that sweet little nun have dinner by herself and we are so glad she was willing to join us for dinner!

  6. I had to smile when I read the title of this post – because we stayed at a hotel in Portugal this year that was a former convent. Our lodging retained some of the aspects of a convent (including a rock hard bed) but it was not an operating convent. How different to stay at a convent in Italy. And interesting to meet the nuns and hear their stories. A very different stay for sure.

  7. That is such a cool, unique experience to have stayed in a convent! I am sure you have so many stories to tell back home. That was so kind of you to invite the nun over for some small talk too, I’m sure she appreciates it!

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