Designed by Baroque architect Borromini, the Donna Camilla Savelli is a former monastery in Rome's popular Trastevere area. It offers a garden, elegant and sober rooms, and free Wi-Fi in the lobby.
This is the website description of a 4 star hotel located at the foot of the Janiculum hill in Rome’s Trastevere area .
For many lucky American students studying in Rome during the 1980s it was home during their semester study abroad program.
|Borromini designed the facade of the monastery|
The female students were “cloistered” on the first floor while the men were relegated to the second floor corridor. There were communal bathrooms back then and the ancient heating system was seldom lukewarm. To survive the chill, the students bundled up with thick sweaters or sat in the sunshine of the courtyard garden where roses bloomed even in December.
The atmosphere at the convent was often similar to a Fellini film set : Gina, the grumpy portinaia, elderly nuns gliding silently along white and black marble hallways, meals served in the frescoed refectory, cavernous kitchens hung with bright copper pots and sitting rooms furnished with antiques including Pope Pius IX’s armchair.
|copper pots in the convent kitchen|
near the refectory
The sisters of the religious order were grateful for the money which arrived from America and used it to repair parts of the roof.
|the convent today - an expensive 4 star hotel|
Here are some of the original letters with the price list for bed and breakfast....a far cry from what today's clients pay to stay in the luxurious modern rooms of the former monastery.
How times have changed! Notice that IVA tax was only 9 or 10%.
What could you buy for the equivalent of 26 or 28,000 lire today? (approximately 14-16 euro)
The convent was founded by Donna Camilla Savelli (related to the Ruspoli-Marescotti family) and has had an interesting history culminating in its new use as a luxury hotel.
During World War II many Roman Jewish families found refuge here and the sisters distributed bread and food to the local population from the monastery kitchens.
Please leave a comment about your living experiences in Rome as a student .
What were your accomodations like ?
Check out the antiques gallery on my website.