Monastery Stays in Berlin and Italy

Nov 13th, 2009, 03:50 PM
  #1  
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Monastery Stays in Berlin and Italy

After working for many years, I am retiring and plan to travel to Italy and Berlin to decompress. I'd like to stay in a monastery or convent and hope to find one that offers a quiet, contemplative atmosphere yet within walking distance to museums, good food, etc. I'd love to spend about a month in each place - but money is an issue. Any ideas?
HiptheBip is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 07:11 PM
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Where in Italy? Monasteries and convents that have museums and restaurants within walking distance are in the larger cities. They do not operate very differently from hotels and are unlikely to offer a monastic experience.
Zerlina is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 07:31 PM
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There are quite a few monasteries that offer retreat like you want. I suggest you purchase the book by Eileen Barish called Guide to Lodging in Italys Monasteries. Many of the convents/monasteries are hotel types, others are strictly retreat and she lists the info in the description.
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Lodging-...949278-4944519

You might also check out books by Kevin Wright which leans more to retreat/spiritual type of stay than the hotel type. I bought one of his books and didn't like it for that reason. I prefer Eileen's books.
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 13th, 2009, 09:23 PM
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I did not really expect to find any convent accommodation in Berlin, but it appears there is at least something like that:

http://www.hotel-augustinenhof.de/
WillTravel is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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You can review a large number of monasteries and convents in Italy using www.monasterystays.com. It has many more places than any book I've looked at (I'm planning my next trip to Sicily for Feb 2010. They state the monasteries are genuine but you need to make sure the nuns and monks are in residence.
AussieJohn65 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 06:03 PM
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I'm beginning to think AussieJohn65 this connected to Monastery Stays (all if his 10 posts are touting the company) which is a reseller that marks up the prices. Their website is useful for locating and seeing amenities (Italy only), but I would book directly with the convent
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 15th, 2009, 11:58 PM
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In Berlin, there is a women monastery with guestrooms:

http://www.karmel-berlin.de/gaestehaus/index.html

You find a telephone number on the website for reservations.

However, a monastery is not a cheap hostel - it is a place for prayer and meditation.

>>>I'd like to stay in a monastery or convent and hope to find one that offers a quiet, contemplative atmosphere yet within walking distance to museums, good food, etc.<<<

This sounds as if you are looking for a small luxury hotel, not for a monastery.
Echnaton is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 04:40 AM
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Some are small luxury hotels. There is one in front of the Vatican like that, but don't think it would be quiet.

http://www.palazzocesi.it/
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 16th, 2009, 12:43 PM
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>I did not really expect to find any convent accommodation in Berlin, but it appears there is at least something like that:
http://www.hotel-augustinenhof.de/

It is just a normal hotel in a former monastery building.
altamiro is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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This my first post on any site so I was very excited to read your replies. To Zerlina, I hope to spend a few months in Italy so I am open to location and suggestions. To kybourbon, thanks for the tips. To WillTrave, I appreciate your supplying the Berlin address. To AussieJohn65, making sure the nuns and monks are in residence is important to me, so thank you. And to echnaton, I appreciate the Berlin address as well. For me, spending time praying and reflecting would not preclude an occasional museum visit or good meal. Perhaps I'm looking for the best of both worlds - very simple accommodations in a peaceful atmosphere that would allow an occasional diversion. Best regards.
HiptheBip is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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Will you have a car? Many that are more retreat type would require a car.

Some don't allow contact with the monks or nuns and keep their guest quarters separate. If you don't speak Italian, you aren't going to be able to talk to most of them anyway.

Others are more hotel like such as Alma Domus in Siena and not for retreat. Take a look at Monastero San Lodovico which is an hour north of Rome by train to see if it's something you might be interested in (it's somewhere between hotel and retreat). When I was there no one spoke English.
http://www.monasterosanlodovico.it/English/english.htm

For Monte Oliveto Maggiore you would need a car.
http://www.monteolivetomaggiore.it/inglese1.html
Visitors are housed at their farm.
http://www.agricolamonteoliveto.com/
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 17th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Hi kybourbon. I agree that the more retreat type places do require a car, which I had hoped to avoid because I would use the car so infrequently during my retreat. After the initial stay (two weeks, three weeks, who knows), friends are coming from the states and we plan to rent a car for a week or so and tour areas maybe north of Sienna. Did you stay at Monastero San Lodovico? What has been your experience with monastery stays? I appreciate your reply.
HiptheBip is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 07:17 PM
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Yes, I've stayed at San Lodovico. If you click on "where we are" on the website you can see the monastery on the side of the cliff. It has an interior courtyard and you have to be buzzed in. None of the nuns that I encountered spoke English. My room overlooked another courtyard (not the entrance one). Although I ran into a few people at breakfast (which was a huge breakfast with some products made by the nuns -jams, etc.), I didn't ever see anyone in the halls or other rooms. Curfew is listed as midnight, but they had a sign about letting them know if you plan to be later than 11pm. I don't think you would be out much later since Orvieto seems to be a bit sleepy hill town at night. There are plenty of restaurants in Orvieto and you can easily reach other places by bus or train if you want a few day trips such as nearby Civita di Bagnoregio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civita_di_Bagnoregio.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orvieto

Someone must translate their booking requests for the nuns. I was quoted high season rates (mid-September) of 40€ per night plus 3€ if I wanted breakfast. At checkout, I expected my bill to be 86€. Instead it was 67€. I tried to explain it was wrong, but they kept insisting completo. I gave up after a bit. You just don't argue with nuns especially when you don't speak the same language. I think they charged me low season as the town was quite empty, but can't be sure.

I don't use Monastery Stays which is a booking company because they mark up the prices (for a single room the markup is 10-15€ per night which adds up). I book directly with the convent or monastery. I have a couple of books that list direct contact info. If you know what area of Italy you might be interested in, I can post a few in that area. This one is on my list for sometime I'm in the area (requires a car).
http://www.gsbernard.ch/index.php?page=183
kybourbon is online now  
Nov 18th, 2009, 04:17 PM
  #14  
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Great info kybourbon. I so appreciate your input. San Lodovico looks ideal. I may incorporate a couple different locations so I'll get back to you. Again, thank you...
HiptheBip is offline  
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