Rome is the first stop on many a trip to Italy with kids. It sets the foundation for understanding Italian culture and provides immersive opportunities to experience life like a Roman both past and present. Seizing on this theme, my family stayed at a restored 16th-century monastery, the 4-star Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel, in the happening neighborhood of Trastevere. It sits behind a brick wall with a simple entryway that gives away no secrets as to what lies beyond the doors.
Trastevere translates to “beyond the Tiber,” meaning it’s on the other side of the Tiber River from the historical core. It’s a 15-minute walk to the Ponte Sisto Bridge and, from there, another 10-minute walk to Piazza Navona. With kids in tow, we generally walked in the morning and took a taxi after a long day (though with the traffic in Rome, the taxi was sometimes no faster than walking).
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The tradeoff for an extra few minutes’ walk to major sights is that Trastevere feels local, different from staying within the heart of the busy historical center. It’s a popular spot, especially in the evenings, and is known for being a foodie destination and a place to go out on weekends. The hotel is 5 to 10 minutes away from central Trastevere, far enough not to have noise issues but close enough to stroll out to dinner.
For families who want a unique experience or are on their second visit to Rome, Donna Camilla Savelli is an interesting option. Step inside, and arched doorways and marble floors give way to frescoed porticos and nooks with statues. A blooming courtyard creates an oasis for breakfast in warm weather and a relaxing stop after a long day of sightseeing.
There are 75 rooms at the hotel, with plans for an additional 25 soon. Rooms are traditional in decor and some have wood-beamed ceilings. The hotel does not offer connecting rooms, so families with older children can choose side-by-side accommodations with a courtyard or city views. Bathrooms are modern and spacious.
Room rates include a full breakfast, though there is no onsite restaurant.
The courtyard is a highlight at the hotel. Beginning and ending the day surrounded by the scent of flowers and under the cover of shade is a gift in Rome’s hot summers. It provides precious downtime on days that are packed with seeing the sights and gives everyone a little breather from the touristy side of Rome.
There is also a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city that is lovely at sunset. There are no chairs or tables, so it’s better for enjoying the views than as a place to relax.
There are more than 900 hundred churches in Rome, and even the smallest chapels have astonishingly beautiful artwork and detail. Don’t miss taking a peek into the original chapel at Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel which is cared for by three nuns who live on-property. Mass is held each day in the early morning.
Room Rates begin at 325 euros for a family of four per night during summer.
Editor’s Note: Kristi received a media package from Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel in order to review the property. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Kristi Marcelle.
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