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Monastery stays in Italy with bed bugs!

by Claudine
(Canada)

My mother and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to stay in monasteries for different reasons. One of them was quiet surroundings with a clean room. Well, we slept in 5 different monasteries and 2 of them had bed bugs!

The sad thing about this, is that the sisters did not want to know about our experience. They denied that the bites all over our body, multiple linear bites on back, arms and faces were bed bugs. After our arrival at home, we googled bed bites and our stressful thoughts were confirmed. Even more troubling, is that we did send emails to both monasteries. They either said the bites were mosquitoes, (not true) or they didn't answer our emails at all.

So, If I were you, I would double check the beds and linens before paying. Bed bugs are not always easily spotted, but be aware. After we searched the internet, we even discovered that the Monastery in Florence was infested. There was a funny smell in the hallway to our bedroom that neither my mother nor I had ever smelled. This was the sign of a bed bug infestation.

Sadly, bed bugs are easily transportable. We have thrown away mutliple clothes, amenities etc... but my mother brought back bed bugs into her own house. Can you imagine our despair? We advised the company we booked our monastery stays but they said they never received any complaints.

We did advise the 2 monasteries, and they ignored our claims. On top of this, we should have been more careful when we checked in Florence. Our room was full of dust, the shower not very cleaned. Same thing happened in Venise. Bed bugs travel very easily, be aware!

Comments for Monastery stays in Italy with bed bugs!

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Jan 22, 2010
Thanks for the warning!
by: Leyla (Editor, Women on the Road)

It goes to show - monasteries are no better - and no worse - than other accommodation! Unfortunately you'll find bedbugs in some more downmarket hostelries, although I would have through that monasteries would have been cleaner.

I think you've been really unlucky, because I've stayed in a number of monasteries without any such 'company', but some of these are centuries old and I suspect the people who run them may feel that leaving things as they are is in some way quaint.

Lesson learned: always check the beds and rooms before you actually check in. If you make a fuss right at the start, chances are they won't want you to bother other guests and will find you another room. And if they persist or if you receive no redress, post your experience briefly in some of the best travel forums so you can help other travelers and put pressure on those who rent rooms.

May 12, 2010
Nasty bed mates!
by: LaLa

I walked the Camino Santiago de Compostela in 2008 and experienced bed bugs. No one wants to admit you got them at their place. I even went to the Centro Medico and the doc told me they were mosquito bites.

Thankfully, I didn't suffer too much but learned that Benadryl would have been great in my backpack as it takes away the bite pain.

When checking in lift up the mattress to see if there are ANY MOVING APPLE SEEDS, IF SO YOU DON'T WANT THEM AS BED MATES.

Make sure you wash ALL your clothes and silk bag liner before moving on.

I did this several times and ended up just fine even though I did have some humongous welts.

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