I travel with my work, so I frequently stay in hotels. I always love the first night or two, there is no lego on the floor, no laundry on the chair to fold, no dinner to make or dishes to wash. I shower and jump into bed early with the remote, my book, my laptop and the room service menu.
But by the fifth night I am always afflicted by a despair that makes me want to get home. I think it is the soullessness and isolating nature of hotels.
So when I came to start looking at accommodation options for my 5, nearly 6 weeks in Italy later this year, hotels weren’t going to cut it. Firstly, for the reason above, I think I would get gloomy. Secondly, hotels often don’t reflect the culture in which they reside. They seem to have a neutral interior design, which can be disorienting and overly safe. You are almost able to dip in and out of your travel experience, like a part time tourist where you venture outside of the hotel, later returning to the safe neutral room.
Then of course, they can be outrageously expensive, Rome has rooms listed from around 60 to 1000 Euro a night at a quick glance.
So in the interests of happiness, full cultural immersion and economy I have booked convents and monasteries for most of my stay. I will have nearly a month in these case religiosi, with only 10 nights in other types of accommodation, 5 nights in a hostel in Taormina, Sicily and 5 nights in a hotel in Naples. The only reason I am having these two alternate options is because these two places didn’t have convenient convents or monasteries.
I will have 6 different experiences each with their different rules and set up. Some offer a basic breakfast, (coffee and bread), some a more elaborate breakfast and some no breakfast at all. Some have a curfew, some only take cash, some can accept all credit cards including Amex!
The cheapest is around 30 Euro in Palermo, Sicily, only steps away from the Quatro Canti and the Fontana Pretoria. I am however, most excited about La Culla in Sorrento, it is the most expensive but looks wonderful. I have a vision of writing my blog from their balcony overlooking the Gulf of Naples for the princely sum of around 80 Euro a night. I might even meet other women travelling alone.