We’ve all been there – the point in your life as a traveler where sharing a room with 10 other people who don’t have the same sleep patterns or hours as you gets a bit tiresome. Or perhaps you’ve just been on the road for long enough and are hoping to take a shower without wearing flip-flops. Regardless, you’ve arrived in Bologna (or anywhere else in Italy), and you’re hoping to find a comfortable, clean, and most importantly, affordable room. Fear not, weary traveler. Italy is perhaps one of the best European countries for finding alternatives to hostels that are still reasonably priced and offer quieter, more private accommodations.
During my first visit to Bologna, at the ripe age of seventeen, I ended up at the Albergo Panorama with two friends, after having spent several weeks in and out hostels and similarly cheap albergos or hotels throughout Italy. The experience was pleasant and cheap enough that I ended up returning there three years later with two different friends, and although prices had increased, we ultimately paid less than 30 Euros per person each evening. The location is by far the most appealing element of the Panorama. Located off Ugo Bassi, a mere three blocks from Piazza Maggiore, most of the major sights are easy walking distance, along with a choice of restaurants, shopping and nightlife options. The rooms are enormous and sunny, and although I’ve shared a bathroom during both visits, the accommodations are spotless and the other patrons seem to be similarly minded in terms of cleanliness, noise, and what have you (it doesn’t hurt that the “curfew” is at 3am).
There are similarly priced albergos and pensiones throughout the city, including the Albergo Garisenda (Galleria Leon, 1), which includes breakfast, and the Pensione Marconi (V. Marconi 22), which is located near the central station. For prices nearing the 70 to 80 Euro per evening mark, the Albergo Centro (V. della Zecca 2) has single and triple rooms with bathrooms. And for a “hostel” of sorts that caters to those partial to an early evening (the curfew is 10:30), garden-views and frescoed ceilings, the women-only Protezione della Giovane (V.S. Stefano 45) offers breakfast and board for 20 Euros per evening.
Photo taken from flickr Creative Commons, by Nizam Uddin.