To stay a few days in a peaceful monastery environment is a possibility that people have long been familiar with and utilize. In medieval times pilgrims went to monastic guest house where visitors could stay overnight and have meals served in a more peaceful environment than the noisier Inns along the way. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, there was even a kind of travel agencies, where you could book seats in advance along the journey. It worked effectively without either fax, phone or e-mail.
Questions about a stay at a monastery
We receive many questions about how it is to stay at a monastery. Maybe not so strange since Sweden does not have a long tradition of staying in the monastery guesthouse. But the Italians, and many of the other European countries who live in a Catholic culture has a tradition of staying at monastery´s a few days or throughout their vacation. People return year after year to the monastery guesthouse to rest, sunbathe and swim, or just read a book under the lemon trees. To stay at the monastery guesthouse is a little like today's "all inclusive" fixed in significantly slower pace and above all more spartan and restful. Here you have everything you need, comfortable beds, clean rooms, good food and friendly staff. Staying at a monastery guest house is truly an experience. And once you experienced it, it´s hard to imagine anything else!
Here we have answered some of our most common questions:
Can anyone stay at the monastery guesthouse?
- Yes, young and old
Are there special rules that take into account?
- One should respect the sisters' prayers.
- Say hello (Buongiorno) to the people you meet, in the elevator, at breakfast or at the door. (Italians are a polite people)
What is the difference from staying in a ordinary hotel?
- The main difference is that instead of hotel staff at the reception you will meet a happy nun. It's a much slower pace, both for those who are guests and the sisters in their work. Some monetarys is more like a regular hotel. It may have been rent out to other personnel, but there is always a monastic orders in the background.
Do you have to be religious?
- No, but you have to respect the sisters' faith
Is it okey for families to stay at the monastery?
- Absolutely, the sisters are very happy about children smiling and running around. Kids are kids and they make sounds and plays. If you are lucky you might get a nun to play football with them.
Why do some places have a curfew?
- That´s because the sisters get up very early for morning for their prayers, and need to get some sleep. In those places where you get your own key, you can remember too try to make as little noisy as possible on the way to the room if you come home very late.
How does the full board and half board work / food?
- Have you selected the full board you eat all meals together with the other guests in the dining room. You get your table as you have throughout your stay. You order your wine and water to the food. One of the sisters will be serving the food. Pranzo, or lunch is the main meal, and is served between twelve and half past one. Cena, dinner, taken at seven or eight o'clock in the evening, and is often a lighter meal than lunch. Have you selected the half board, you decide from day to day if you want to eat lunch or dinner. Notify sisters at breakfast if you like to eat lunch or dinner. In many places there are small patches next to the dining room where you write your room number and if you want to eat Pranzo or Cena.
Regular menu: first the main course, the primo piatto. The most common Primo is pasta. Then served the secondo piatto, which is the second main dish consists of meat (meat, fish or chicken). Then comes dessert consisting of cheese and fruit or sweets. Formaggio e Frutta, "cheese and fruits".
Can you order vegetarian meals?
- Yes. Please let us know at time of booking so we can pass this on booking.
Are you allowed to participate in the sisters' prayer?
- Sure, you get to participate in the sisters' prayer.
Are you allowed to drink alcohol?
Of course you can sit on the terrace or in the garden and drink a glass of wine.
You do not have a party, but to jointly open a bottle of wine and eat some olives and a piece of cheese is totally fine.