La Foresteria Orsa Maggiore
Via della Lungara 19, Rome, Italy
Doubles from: $100
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
It's all for the women (and nun for the men) at La Foresteria Orsa Maggiore, a peaceful, female-only Trastevere abode.
This stunning 17th-century structure was once a convent. Now it houses the Casa Delle Donne, a cultural center for women and children that was established in the 1970s by champions of the Italian women's movement. Part of the project includes offering a safe place for female travelers to lodge.
Pros: Friendly, communal atmosphere. Great location. Spacious, clean rooms.
Cons: Can pick up noise from the street. Strictly enforced curfew (3 a.m.).
Spread across the upper floors of the building, La Foresteria Orsa Maggiore’s 13 guest rooms run the gamut from private singles, doubles and quads to dorm rooms that sleep between four, eight and nine women.
Private rooms are no-frills but comfortable, furnished with a bed, tiny bedside table and small cupboard for storing clothes. There isn’t much in the way of décor but they are bright and clean. Wicker bed frames lend a cheery feel to some rooms.
The dorms at the Orsa Maggiore are equally simple, but they are spacious and outfitted with beds (the Orsa Maggiore prides itself on not having bunks) and modern art hung on the white walls.
The rooms include beds, a bit of cupboard space and not much else. There are no safes, but lockers are available to store personal items. There is also no air conditioning, but rooms do have fans, and high ceilings mean they are usually airy and cool (although things may get a little sweaty during Rome’s hot summers).
While a couple of private bathrooms are available, more rooms share bathrooms. Shared facilities are large and utilitarian. They have stall showers and toilets that are cleaned regularly, and handicap facilities are also available.
Toiletries are not provided, but towels are usually included in the room rate (check when booking). There are also a couple of hair dryers available at reception.
What the Orsa Maggiore lacks in modern décor and high-end amenities it makes up for in friendly charm. Endless corridors, high wood-beamed ceilings and cotto floors lend a palace-like feel to a quite modest establishment.
The lower level has the sort of positive community feel one would expect of a women’s center. It’s got a lush interior garden and restaurant (guest discounts are available), plus a gorgeous courtyard that provides a tranquil respite from the bustle of the city.
La Foresteria Orsa Maggiore hosts lecture series, art exhibitions and concerts, and on the whole feels like the kind of friendly, happy place where friends-for-life may develop over a glass or two of local wine.
Breakfast is included in the room rate and served in a large breakfast room with a view of the courtyard. There is also a guest kitchen as well as laundry facilities (€7 wash and dry). Wi-Fi is free throughout, and there are a few free Internet stations.
The Orsa Maggiore's staff is on duty until the 3 a.m. curfew. Note: The entrance to the hotel is on Via di San Francesco di Sales.
The Orsa Maggiore is located on the charmingly cobbled Via Della Lungara, which runs parallel to the Tevere River. It is within walking distance from many tourist attractions, including the Santa Maria In Trastevere Church, the Vatican, Palazzo Spade and Corsini Palace.
Lovely Via Della Lungara is fairly serene, despite being located so close to the thriving hub of Trastevere. In fact, if you walk in a straight line from the hotel you’ll end up in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, the veritable beating heart of the neighborhood.
Guest reviews in brief
La Foresteria Orsa Maggiore is well received by guests, who love its Trastevere location and find it to be a good value. Many guests praise the spacious rooms, but on the whole it seems the highlight here is the sense of community.
The major complaints guests have about the Orsa Maggiore have to do with noise—some say that due to thin walls rooms pick up noise from adjacent rooms, and one guest notes that the noise from events can carry into the rooms. A few guests also note that the shower stalls, while clean, are quite tiny. One guest also complains that she was locked out for arriving an hour later than the curfew (although, to be honest, 3 a.m. is a pretty easy curfew and it's clearly posted).
*These reviews were provided by verified guests who booked through EuroCheapo's reservation partners. Click on the links below to read reviews in detail.
Metro: There is no stop in the immediate vicinity of the Orsa Maggiore. However, the Ottaviano (Line A) is a pleasant 15- to 20-minute stroll across Vatican City.
Bus: Bus is the most direct way to arrive at the Orsa Maggiore. The number 40 bus (P.za Pia/Castel S. Angelo) stops at Chiesa Nuova, a short stroll from the hotel. The bus ride from Termini station takes between 20 and 40 minutes (depending upon the traffic). Read more about public transportation in Rome.
Fiumcino: The Leonardo Express leaves Fiumicino Airport every 30 minutes and takes about 30 minutes to reach Termini Station. From Termini, take the bus to Chiesa Nuova.
Ciampino: Terravision runs a shuttle service to Termini station. The journey takes around 40 minutes, and from there you can catch the bus.
Read more about airport transportation in Rome.
Reviewed by: Sarah Tighe, EuroCheapo Staff Writer
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Breakfast Included
- Concierge/Booking Services
- Guest Kitchen
- Historic building
- Internet Access: Free
- Laundry Facilities
- Laundry Service
- Luggage Storage
- Non-Smoking Hotel
- Tourist information
- Vending Machines
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Bathroom: Private
- Bathroom: Shared
- Linen Included
- Soundproofed Windows
Via della Lungara 19
Trastevere, Rome, Italy
About the La Foresteria Orsa Maggiore neighborhood
Perched on the western bank of the River Tiber just where it straddles Isola Tiberina, Trastevere is known for its artsy demeanor and picturesque, winding streets. This historically working-class neighborhood is terribly cute, and hip to boot. Trastevere is now home to numerous trendy and touristy bars, cafes, shops, restaurants, and a few tourist traps. Despite all this, we can't help it. We love Trastevere just the same.