When my friend told me that his aunt owned a bed and breakfast in Rome, this was not what I imagined. This elegant Bed and Breakfast in the heart of Rome welcomes tourists and celebrities.
Last year before I left for Italy, I did some online research to locate this elusive bed and breakfast. Known only as Anna Manieri’s Bed and Breakfast, it’s one of those places that doesn’t advertise and is found by word of mouth.
I sent an introduction email to Anna but it bounced back. I couldn’t find a current email address. With what I hoped was an accurate street address, I was determined to locate Anna and her B & B somewhere near the Spanish Steps in Rome.
My post-cruise night in Rome was spent at a bland, non-descript hotel arranged by the cruise line. I woke early, grabbed a coffee and a light breakfast, and with the address for Anna in my pocket, I headed out to find her.
Dodging cool raindrops of an early October drizzle, I made it up the hill to find myself at the top of the Spanish Steps. I had no clue how I got there.
It has to be here someplace.
I walked past the iconic Hotel Hassler and across the piazza. I asked several nearby shop owners where I could find the Manieri Bed and Breakfast. The fourth person I asked pointed to his right and said in English, “There.”
I was about to ring the brass bell when an aproned woman with two bags of garbage opened the door. I asked her if this was the Manieri bed and breakfast. She motioned inside and pointed towards downstairs. I went in.
When I reached the bottom and knocked on the door, a spry, impeccably dressed woman answered. “Hi,” I said, a bit nervous at the thought of yet another person who didn’t speak English. “Are you Anna Manieri?” “Yes,” she answered in perfect American-accented English, “I’m Anna. Come in.” Anna was from Philly.
Over freshly brewed coffee and cookies, I explained that I was friends with her niece and nephew in Florida. Anna told me a little about her life including how she (American of Italian descent) and her husband (Italian) met in Italy when she was on vacation. She’s lived in this villa for more than 40 years.
My visiting time was limited due to my early afternoon train back to Torino. Anna gave me a quick tour of her Villa (yes, it’s actually considered a villa by Italian standards) which included four or five guest rooms, the lounge/living room, dining area and her private living section of the house.
The four other much-larger guest rooms were occupied so I couldn’t get photos.
This was exactly where I wanted to stay when I returned to Rome after next week’s Rhine River cruise. A single room was available.
Ten days later I arrived into Rome’s Termini station at 8pm. Luckily, the taxi ride from Termini to Anna’s is only 5-10 minutes. She greeted me with some Italian candies and a bottle of water. Much appreciated after 10 hours of train travel.
After a chat, and settling in to my room, I went out to see Rome. The famous Spanish Steps get quite cozy at night when the tourist mobs are gone.
Mostly American kids were sitting on the steps nearest to me, one of whom had a guitar. He started to play and soon everyone was singing the Eagles’, “Hotel California.” Harmony and all. Definitely a travel moment.
Grudgingly, I headed back to Anna’s. Everyone receives a key to the two front doors and their own room, so you can return whenever.
Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon were on my early morning to-do list. But not before the other guests and I were treated to a delicious breakfast, with fresh baked rolls and breads and eggs cooked to order.
After breakfast, Anna showed me the short cut from her place to Trevi and beyond. Instead of walking up the spiral marble stairwell, I walked down two flights, exited from another gladiator-style wooden door and out into the Roman sunshine.
Back to Anna’s place to collect my luggage, I took the tourist route and walked up the 135 steps, from Piazza di Spagna to Piazza dei Monti at the top.
Time for goodbyes, we hugged and promised to keep in touch. I’ll be staying there again this fall.
If you’d like to stay at Anna Manieri’s Bed and Breakfast in Rome, you can send an email to: [email protected].