Monasteries in Italy - what is it like staying in one?
Accommodation in Authentic Italian Monasteries
Experience a slice of Italian life as a guest of monks and nuns

Staying in a monastery is a unique and inspirational cultural experience.

The defining element of a 'real monastery' or 'real convent guest house' is that it is operated by monks or nuns. Monastery Stays is a travellers booking service for 'real monasteries' - not monasteries converted to privately operated hotels.

The monks and nuns are your personal hosts who are inviting you to stay in their homes. Two elements common to monastic life found in the Rule [or constitution] include:
an historical focus on hospitality to a guest/traveller.
a requirement that all monks and nuns as members of the community at the monastery contribute to daily work
That said, these wonderful treasures of Italian life are open to all - there is no religious expectation at all, just warm friendly hospitality.

LAR134 in Rome, Lazio

A window on a new experience
What will I experience as a guest of the monastery?
One of the monks or nuns will appointed as the guest master or director of hospitality in larger monasteries. You will find that they are very skilled and organised in looking after you during your stay.

You will be free to come and go on your daily outings subject to any curfew [see website for each situation]. Depending on the size of the monastery or convent guest house there may be additional monks or nuns and other staff to assist as well.

Your accommodation will be extremely clean and well kept. Monastery Stays only arranges accommodation at monasteries in rooms with private-bathrooms/ensuites.
One of the true experiences is the monks and nuns presented in a variety of habits [uniforms] or less formal attire [imagine a monk in jeans under his robe!] and are of various ages and nationalities - marvellous people who enjoy the company of strangers and encourage conversation. You will notice that their lives are dedicated to the provision of hospitality to you and to all visitors.
Do I need to be religious...no - it is open to all!
You will be greeted and welcomed warmly at the reception door by a monk or nun, occasionally by a lay person representing the community. You will not be asked about your religion or whether you wish to attend their community services. However you will always be welcome and should you have any queries, then the community representative will be happy to discuss the culture of the community with you - your approach will be welcome.

By the time you rise each day your hosts will have prayed in the community since the early hours and sometimes during the night. Although most monks and nuns in Italy are Catholic they follow different traditions and daily routines set in place by the founder of specific orders centuries earlier. None of the rituals will disturb your stay.

You will encounter monks and nuns other than the guest-master at breakfast or other meals during your stay.

TOF104 in Florence, Tuscany

LAR118 in Rome, Lazio
A reception is usually open during the day and assistance for your daily activities (sight-seeing, public transport tips and a locals guidance) outside the walls may be gained from here. Language is sometimes a barrier although often one of your hosts speaks some English.
How can I find this accommodation experience?
Staying in real monasteries and convent guest houses is a special cultural event of which you are welcome to partake when visiting Italy. Sure they are quiet places but isn't that great for a change?

Monasteries are often ideally sited, and those listed on the website are in the three to four star range, and relatively inexpensive for the travellers to Italy. Visit our website to experience some of these magnificent monasteries in Italy.

About Monastery Stays
Monastery Stays Pty is a typical innovative small company established to provide a superior service for people wanting an authentic experience in Italy of staying in unique and value for money lodgings conducted by religious orders, showing warm hospitality to all travellers.

Monastery Stays Pty Ltd
Angela Hoban
VP Customer Relations

Email: info@monasterystays.com
Website: www.monasterystays.com

Note: The author is David Hoban, a director of Monastery Stays Pty Ltd. This article may be freely reproduced if acknowledgement is given to Monastery Stays Pty Ltd or a link to our website provided.