Stuff, Wanderings

Bending The Rules

When I first joined Her Britannic Majesty’s Prison Service, several lifetimes ago, (I actually joined up twice it was such a hoot!) a gnarled old Chief Officer gave me some advice. ‘Sonny’, he said, ‘rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools!’

He wasn’t wrong! Which is why I’m bending my blogging rules and slipping in a little reklam (advert) for a very deserving little business. It’s called the Althea Inn, it’s in Rome and it is, in my opinion, a very special oasis in the midst of big-city hustle and bustle.

When J and I made our recent trip to Tuscany, flight timings meant that we needed to overnight in Rome. Ideally, we wanted to be as close to Ostiense rail station as possible and so we searched websites for places and information. It was an enlightening but uninspiring experience. Feedback about place after place around the area made for dismal reading – ‘. . whatever you do stay away from this dump’ . . ‘the photos lie!’ . . and so on.

the room

. . and then up popped the Althea Inn with glowing reports and photos. I phoned Alessandro the owner/operator and, dredging up all those years of experience of dealing with plausible, likable rogues (‘they’ are all plausible and likable when they want something), did a gut-feeling character assessment and booked.

the terrace

Streets around railway stations on wet, dark evenings seldom look very salubrious and Via dei Conciatori was no exception. Number 9 Via dei Conciatori does not look like the sort of place that would house the rooms we had seen on line – I experienced a slight wilting feeling as I rang the bell.


When Alessandro appeared and welcomed us our doubts melted away – he is a most charming and attentive host. When he opened the door to our rooms it was like walking into one of the many photos of his tastefully decorated rooms. The mini-fridge was stocked with non-profiteeringly priced drinks; on the table was complimentary chilled wine and scrummy, hand-made chocolates. The shower was hot and the bed wonderfully comfortable.

breakfast of our choice

a nightcap before a wonderful night’s sleep

Breakfast next morning was a treat of fresh fruit salad, good coffee, juice, croissants, and a selection of meats and cheeses – delicious! On our return leg we had a different room and a repeat of everything above, plus a black, luxury Merc complete with a ‘Man-In-Black’ driver who was himself complete with earpiece with blue, flashing light. Cool!

So, if you are in Rome and want a really decent place to stay then contact:

Alessandro, Althea Inn, Via dei Conciatori 9, Roma 00154   Tel: (+39) 0698932666  Mobile: (+39) 3394353717  email: info at altheainn dot com   website:           B&B: 90 Euros per room    Man-In-Black with car to airport 50 Euros

That’s it! Promotion over – normal service is resumed.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

12 thoughts on “Bending The Rules

    1. . . at last, someone who will believe some of the outlandish stories of life behind bars! Did many a detached at Scrubs and Brixton and for some time when I was reception officer I’d make weekly trips to select prisoners for our jail Eastchurch. When I rejoined I became Industrial Manager for the place and H&S manager for all three island jails. Small world! We have to meet up and swap tales.
      Alan recently posted..We’re Off To See The WizardsMy Profile

  1. Alan, Not telling people about good things is not a good rule at all! (And besides, you break that rule all the time.) It’s interesting that we also found a nice B & B for a very reasonable price near the Termini RR station (Little Italy B&B). Rome is so daunting because there are so many expensive hotels that are so terrible but it is possible to find modest B & B like Althea. Thanks for the tip.
    Senior dogs recently posted..When Money TalksMy Profile

    1. . . you can see from the photos how nice it is, and the pizzaria just down the road is excellent. There are other classy places around but we lacked the time to try them. Access by bus, train and metro are close by so getting around the city is easy.
      Alan recently posted..Quality StreetMy Profile

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