Convent versus apartment

Jan 1st, 2003, 02:31 PM
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Convent versus apartment

My husband, my self, our 9 y/o and a toddler will be in Rome 5 Feb through 12 Feb. We are on a budget (middle range) and we are torn between staying at the Fraterna Domas Convent (central Rome) at $120 or renting an apartment on via Pellegrino (same area as convent) at $950 managed by Mauro Sacchetta Cali (Underground Viaggi Om Tours).
I know most of the advantages of staying at an apartment(TV just in case it rains or kids get sick ,etc., kitchen, privacy, etc.). Yet, I still wonder which place would be best for all of us since we are staying 7 nights. Our main needs are cleanliness, safety, warmth (Feb weather) and location.

Jan 1st, 2003, 04:17 PM
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We stayed at Fraterna Domus for a week in December, and we enjoyed it very much.We paid 78 Euros for a double room; actually there were three beds in the room. There were several families staying there. The nuns were very attentive to the children and seemed to enjoy them. Breakfast is included in the room rate. We ate lunch and supper there a couple of times for 12 Euros a meal. The food was pretty good.

We had plenty of privacy there. It was a quiet pleasant place to stay. The sisters all spoke some English and were unfailingly cheerful and helpful with suggestions about activities that we might enjoy, such as concerts.The convent is easy walking distance to Piazza Navona which your children will love.

There is no tv, and the rooms are very clean, with comfortable mattresses. Our bathroom had a shower in the floor, and there was plenty of hot water at all hours. The room was larger than a lot of hotel rooms, simple decor- a white room with red bed spreads.

We would definitely stay there again. We liked it much better than staying in a hotel; however, we have not tried an apartment there.
Jan 1st, 2003, 05:52 PM
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Jan 1st, 2003, 06:30 PM
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Thank you for your post. Could I possibly e mail you privately? I have several other questions.

1. There are elderly (70s and 80s) folks traveling with us. One lady has difficulty climbing stairs. Would she have a problem at Fraterna Domas?

2. A travel agent told me that the convent would be cold in Feb, although he has never stayed there. Did you find your room to be warm or too cold?

3. Although I have faxed the convent several times and asked in different ways, ( I even tried calling), I cannot get a direct answer as to whether or not they charge full price for our toddler (18 months). I would liked to know so that I can include her cost in our budget. I directed my questions to Sr. Milena.

Jan 1st, 2003, 06:39 PM
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One more question:

What are the bathrooms like in the convent? Is there a door?

Can you please describe how the bath rooms are set up for some one who is not an experienced European traveler.

My father - in - law is traveling with his wife and a female cousin. He does not mind sharing a room with the female cousin but feels a bit embarrassed that the shower might be in an open area?

Would you please clear the bath room situation up for us by giving a description?

Thanks again.

Donna Mitchell
Jan 2nd, 2003, 09:11 AM
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To be honest, as much as we enjoyed staying at Fraterna Domus for a week, I would not recommend it for an elderly person who had trouble with stairs. Our room was at the top of one flight of fairly steep stairs and the breakfast room was off the main lobby, but down another flight of stairs. In fact, if you plan on staying at an apartment, make sure about the stairs there, too. So many places in Europe do require going up and down stairs. Your best bet might be staying at a hotel with an elevator.

We found the temperature comfortable at the convent. In Italy there are regulations about using heat due to its high cost. The heat was turned on in the evening and turned off probably by 11 or 11;45pm. It was forty degrees outside, and that was sufficient. I am not sure about daytime usage since we were out sightseeing.

I don't know about whether there would be an extra charge for a toddler. There were several toddlers there when we stayed there, and they received lots of attention from the sisters and other guests.

The bathroom was adequate size and had new fixtures. It had a door. What I meant about the shower is that like many in Europe, it does not have a stall or tub enclosure, but rather there is a shower and a drain with a shower curtain that kind of wraps around you, and water is splashed into some of the rest of the bathroom. You dry off and then use the towel to dry the floor! But there was plenty of hot water at all times. This might be another reason to have an elderly person stay elsewhere. The bathroom floor might be slippery while damp. I looked after my 80+ mother for a couple of years recently, so I am aware of safety issues for that.

I think that the convent would be very enjoyable for a family with small children, but probably not for elderly people unless there is a room on the street level.
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 20
Dear Donna,
My husband and I consider going to Italy this spring with our by then 6months old daughter ;-)

Would you mind posting the address of Fraterna Domas Convent and any other child-friendly hotel/motel/etc you know in Italy.

We'll probably drive from our home in Denmark through Germany and Switzerland all the way to Sicily or as far as we can get during 3½weeks.
Cecilie, Copenhagen
Cecilie is offline  
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